During an interview with writer/producer David S. Goyer, IGN talked about the possibility of having a cohesive DC universe like Marvel did with Agents of SHIELD. It is safe to say that Marvel is winning in the movie department, but since the introduction of Arrow, DC has been winning on the smaller screen: it also has two more television shows in production, CW’s The Flash and Fox’s Gotham. While his response to the question is extremely vague, he does not rule out the fact that Arrow, Gotham, or The Flash might crossover into the films.
“I mean, it’s too early. I know that Warner Bros. would love to make their universe more cohesive. There have been a lot of general conversations about that, but it’s really, really early. I’m not sure. Marvel has had enormous success, but I’m not sure that everybody should try to emulate them either. It’s just been vague conversations so far.”
Obviously, Goyer is playing dumb and there has to be more of a plan, but at the moment, he is unable to divulge information. Especially since, DC is playing ‘catch up’ to Marvel, who has been able to make their own brand. For instance, when the public sees an Avengers, Iron Man, or Captain America flick, the people know that they are going to see a Marvel film; on the other hand, Superman and Batman have had so many different films with different tones that both are seen as their own individual property. That is what DC is hoping to change with the Man of Steel sequel, which is currently titled Batman vs. Superman.
But I do not like the idea of making a cohesive universe with the television shows. Yes, DC wants to eventually get to the Justice League, which would match the success of The Avengers, but do we really want to see Grant Gustin as The Flash? On top of this, does that mean the movies would have to abide by all the storylines that have been done in Arrow: for instance, why is Harley Quinn caught by the CIA or would the cinematic universe account for the shows deaths, like Shrapnel? No matter how mediocre it is, at least Agents of SHIELD was built around the Marvel movies; it seems, at least to me, the creators of Arrow were not planning a cohesive universe. And as much as I really like Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, the continuity problems will trouble hardcore fans.
Furthermore, a show like Gotham is understandably in the past, but when does Arrow or The Flash take place? If the show happens in or around the Man of Steel storyline, then Starling City should be affected by the presence of Superman or even the news coverage of Batman. Now, it is way too early to tell if the movies and television shows will mesh, but being that shows like Arrow or Smallville (as Goyer points out the show was successful during the release of Superman Returns) have succeeded by being their own contain stories, I think DC will have more drawbacks than benefits if they attempt this connected universe.
In the end, DC has to do their own thing, while appeasing the fans who want a ‘Marvel-like’ product; but the company has constantly shown incompetence with under planning, as well as, poor entries, vise vie Green Lantern. While Man of Steel was more of a fan divide than DC hoped for, it still made enough money to catapult the DC brand forward: hopefully Batman vs. Superman can be the further resurgence that the company desperately needs. Yes, DC is ‘sort of’ beating Marvel on the small screen, but the unreleased Gotham and The Flash are not guarantee hits; so even though Goyer claims that it is too early for a plan, I hope he is wrong because DC cannot afford another misstep.
Meanwhile, the ‘alpha male’ fight continues with the scuffle over the May 6th, 2016 release date: both Captain America 3 and Batman vs. Superman are scheduled to release that day. Marvel set the Captain ‘threequel’ date knowing that the Man of Steel sequel will be that date and it seems that DC will not back down from the challenge; as stubborn as both of these studios are, it is understandable why DC refuses to back away. They have been the proverbial whipping boy, and they need to stand their ground against the juggernaut Marvel; but both movies are huge, which means that they cannot be released on the same weekend. However, Batman vs. Superman is more important than Captain America 3 (which is an established property): so Marvel is forcing DC’s hand. And as much as it may hurt to retreat, DC needs to change the date because a disappointing box office will hurt their plans, meanwhile, a flop will barely register on Kevin Feige’s radar. But until an official announcement, fans will watch the children have a ‘schoolyard scuffle’ over May 6th: which is equally entertaining and depressing to watch.