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Geoff Johns: DC’s Film and TV Universes Will Stay Separate

dc comics logoAlthough some fans have been pushing for Arrow star Stephen Amell to appear alongside the likes of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman in Warner Bros.’ planned Justice League movie, DC Entertainment’s Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns asserts there will be a distinction between television and film continuities. They’ll have “their own universes,” he said during a Television Critics Association presentation for the upcoming Arrow spinoff The Flash.

“You’ll see a lot of DC Universe characters [on The Flash and Arrow],” IGN quotes Johns as saying. “You won’t see Batman or Superman. We’re on production on Batman v Superman now. So you’ll see characters like The Atom or Firestorm, but no not Batman or Superman right now [on TV].”

Johns reiterated that the Justice League that appears in the big screen will be different from any that viewers might see on Warner Bros. television series.

“It’s a separate universe than film so that the filmmakers can tell the story that’s best for film,” he said. “While we explore something different in a different corner of the DC universe.”

At the end of their talk, Johns said he’d like to see Shazam make his way to big screens next, perhaps echoing an unconfirmed schedule leak that showed Shazam slated for a July 2016 release.


  • AirDave

    I can’t help but feel that it’s a mistake to keep the films and television shows separate.

  • mel

    I agree. So dumb. They could basically be doing what Marvels doing with the individual movies, but on tv.

  • UkiyaSeed

    Same here. But then I realized one thing after remembering the end of The Flash pilot. DC might be up to something here by keeping things separated.

  • Guest


  • Guest

    Look on the bright side… they can have a Crisis where the two meet!

  • C4darkmane

    hell could even lead to Tom welling and a weird Dark Knight returns Adam West Cameo in Crisis

  • ECONOMYpolitica

    If you really want a comic book story that is separate from anything else out there, try BANG IN THE CITY over at A crazy crime comic that we hope you will LIKE. That’s all we ask as we deliver weekly color installments drawn by Dheeraj Verma (TRANSFORMERS: FALL OF CYBERTRON)!

  • WonderScott

    I’m happier with the TV- and movie-verses being separate. Seeing different takes on the characters is more interesting to me than one cohesive broadcast/digital media experience.

    It’s way to complex to connect a movie-verse with multiple shows (Flash, Gotham, Arrow, and Constantine) across multiple networks. I’d rather have them have their own vision and not get creatively stifled by trying to make everything “fit” together.

    I also think it’s good for the growing casual fan base, the people who only watch the TV series or movies. They sooner they get used to multiple versions of characters appearing, the better. Batman has been an excellent ambassador for that. He can be anything… Nolan’s Batman, animated Batman, 60’s Batman, the Burton Batman, etc.

    Ultimately, for example, I think it’s a good thing if people can see a version of Zatanna show up in Constantine and that world and then see her show up as Zatanna in Justice League. They’ll get the the character, but that it’s another take on her.

  • Krzysztofiński

    I completely agree with you and I am also on board with separate universes, as it’s a great opportunity for the franchises to be creatively as best as they can be. Besides, the concept of multiverse is already there in comic books, why not in films and tv then?

  • ElWaldorf

    DC thinking a head of time? Yeah that’s not the DC’s way.

  • Streig

    DC’s ONE advantage when it came to tv/films was the fact that Arrow has been such a hit, garnering a very loyal following. They could have easily translated that success to the big screen. Seeing Amell on the big screen in a future justice league movie was the one thing that had me kind of excited for said film. Now that its been confirmed that isn’t happening, I’ve lost all interest in DC properties.

  • Streig

    Assuming any of these franchises last long enough for that to become feasible, which, looking at DC’s current track record, is highly unlikely.

  • 7Thunders

    Now if only we could keep Geoff Johns and the movies separate. I know, a lot of people think he’s super creative. I don’t.

  • WonderScott

    I definitely agree that they did Arrow right (especially the kickassness of S2). I’m cool with Arrow and Flash being sister shows to help introduce a ton of DC characters and concepts to fans and casual fans.

    They’ll do well making the two shows work together, yet be their own stories – I’m looking forward to it!

    It’ll be interesting to see how Agents of SHIELD changes this season, from a lot of the complaints that it “wasn’t enough like the movies.” They’re kind of the template for figuring out the a whole TVmovieverse.

    I haven’t read too much about it, but does anyone know if the Marvel Netflix series will be connected to the greater TVmovieverse?

  • LGBoex

    Wow – Geoff – I know you’re all about recycling old ideas, but that ship sailed, guy. Crosspromotion keeps the punters happy – and that keeps the Warner brother$ happy

  • Krzysztofiński

    To answer your question: from what I’ve read, Marvel Netflix series will take place in the same universe as the Marvel Studios movies and tv series, although they’ll first try to focus on the character development and only them allude to some events from other “creations”.
    About that whole “‘Agents of SHILED’ wasn’t enough like the movies” business – I can’t understand it. You can’t expect a tv production, which definitely has a lower budget per episode than the movies had, to be all that flashy and edgy and feature the A-list actors you saw on the big screen. I didn’t and I really watching it, as it had great dialogues, fun characters and looked really great.

  • Kerwin

    wow…this is just so stupid…I’m sorry for being so forward but your television world is developing into something AMAZING and the fact that you don’t want to feed that world directly into the movies is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Marvel had a great idea with Agents of Shield however, there show wasn’t that great in my opinion. DC has a chance to take the same basic idea and perfect it…and instead they fall on there own faces again and fail. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid! We need a DC studios so that we can finally fix all this stupid crap.

  • Yuri

    No man, totally agree with you. He should stick to writing comics and stay away from the movies.

  • WonderScott

    Cool. Thanks for the head’s up about the Netflix series. I was wondering how they were planning to execute it.

    Yeah, I didn’t have the same movie expectations for AoS. It’s expecting too much given budgets, etc. The show had a slow start to me, but gained momentum toward the end.

    I’m guessing they learned their lesson and will probably pick up the pace and add a few more “known” characters into the mix. For a spy show, I’d like it a little darker with the intrigue, but that’s just me. That’s not necessarily the tone Marvel/Disney is going for, an I can except that and let it be it’s own thing.

  • S. Morrissey

    HUGE mistake from DC, BUT at this point, I have gotten used to TPTB screwing up DC.

  • Crimsonrain

    Ok…so they will be different continuities. Are the TV Shows even going to be in the same continuities? I mean are the CW shows going to be in the same continuity as Gotham on Fox and Constantine on NBC?


    Good call. Whatever you think of the arrow universe, its no way good enough to hold its own against the movies. The acting is definitely tv level only.

  • Dave Robinson

    I actually think it’s a good idea to separate TV and film. They support different kinds of storytelling, so by keeping them separate, DC can build to their separate strengths.

    Also, DC’s very much in the driver’s seat when it comes to TV right now. They’re getting actual costumed superheroes (and bigger names than Deathlok) on a weekly basis, and are opening this fall with four series to Marvel’s 1.5. (I’m only counting Agent Carter as 0.5 because it’s filling in the Agents of Shield mid-season break so Marvel won’t have two different series on the air the same week.)

    DC clearly has plans and is executing on the TV stage, and they have a much better overall track record than Marvel on the small screen, both in live action and animation. Just because they’re approaching TV differently than Marvel doesn’t make their approach wrong.

  • Chicago Ethan

    I don’t think anyone expected to see Henry Cavil or Ben Affleck on Arrow or Flash. My big wish was to see Stephen Amell on the Big Screen in the eventual Justice League movie. Johns didn’t really address that, which is a shame. I’m sure they’ll ultimately be separate, which is disappointing.

    However, if they are completely separate, then why not have a DCTVU Batman and Superman? How sweet would it be to have Tom Welling show up as Superman from time to time?

  • Tony Nichols

    Cause that would be hard. Waaaaaah.

    Meanwhile, I’ll be watching Agents of Shield.

  • Joel Reed

    I totally agree with you on the Batman and/or Superman TV versions. I think if DC Movie U evens attempts to do a Flash or a Green Arrow then the leash should be off the TV team.

    I don’t know that it should necessarily be Tom Welling, it would be fun, but also a little jarring and weird. But there is no reason that a costumed Superman or Batman couldn’t be on TV. I know there are a lot of people that put their noses up and say those are “movie caliber” characters but lest people forget both of those characters have a substantial TV legacy.

    I’m disappointed they couldn’t make a combined universe work. The “creative freedom” mantra is so weak. As the whole single universe thing has been working in comic form for 7 decades. I don’t think Green Arrow or Flash comics (or their creative teams) were ever ruined or rendered impotent because some god-like fellow superhero existed somewhere else in the world. Those two managed to get in and out of trouble and have quite interesting lives completely independent of Superman and Batman, and vice-versa. These guys also manged to have some pretty fun and epic team ups. Team ups that are wholly worthy of move cinematic magic.

  • Gregory A. Swarthout

    You can’t have Justice League without The Flash. And having a different Flash on TV than in the movies seems to create more problems than it solves.

  • Convoy

    While I don’t like this idea, I have said before that one of the difference between Marvel and DC is that DC has a history of alternate Earth stories. So TV, movies, the animated movies, can all be their own Earths. It could even be possible that it’s part of the DC Multiverse.

  • Adam

    You’re making the wrong call, Mr. Johns

  • John Olesen

    I’m okay with this, because look how Marvel spent like 6 episodes of SHIELD just spinning their wheels, waiting for the Captain America movie to drop

  • Ninjajp

    if you think they were spinning their heels then u were NOT paying attention, it was planned all along, it wasnt some catch up game. smh..

  • Ninjajp

    SHIELD did their movie tie in just FINE, and it was planned from the start. DC just doesnt want to be copy cats and pay people to make their own ideas with no restraints, Lucas did it with star wars for 20 yrs, all of a sudden the movies will knock those loose and not use any of the ideas from the ongoing series. But now the movies are exclusively canon to the storyline?, what kind of shyte is that? So if DC wants to be lazy then let them, Marvel is too busy thinking of new ways to make money, and pulling it off.

  • Ninjajp

    Nah, thats why no tie ins at all. DC is completely immersed in their multiverse anyways. makes it easier for them.

  • Ninjajp

    Nah, the “worlds finest” (earth prime and original earth 2) storylines and versions of characters are the most popular versions for Bats and Supes. Thats why Smallville had so many fans, it was the superboy storyline without superboy.

  • todd

    Wow that is really pathetic. Just because Arrow won’t be part of the DCCU you loose faith in all properties.

  • todd

    Why can’t people just accept that Marvels way ins’t the only way? So what if Marvels TV shows and Netflix shows are all in the same universe. DC decided that it would be best to keep the Arrowverse and the DCCU separate and I see no problem with that. There are advantages and disadvantages to both and the way I see it by keeping Arrow and Flash separate means the writers won’t be hampered down by what happens in the movies and vice versa. For example Dr. Ivo was apart of Cyborgs creation. Considering he died on Arrow while Ollie was on the island he would be able to be apart of Cybrogs origin or anything else in the movies.

  • The Dread Pirate Steve #812

    If Amell’s not GA in the film universe, maybe he could play a different hero or even a villain.

  • flassh81

    TV is Earth 2 version..?

  • UkiyaSeed

    More or else, that’s what they implied at the end.

  • UkiyaSeed

    Yeah, but the fact that they didn’t say much about any new DC film projects makes sense.

    Besides, DC works best with their multiverses and having an adaptation of COIE makes sense in the big screen so that DC will have a definitive live-action universe, something that they did in their comics back in the 80’s.

  • Imran

    most non-comic books readers still say things like tobey maguire was the real spider man the new one sucks etc etc. a lot of people wont get why the same character is portrayed differently on tv and film around the same time.

  • Imran

    flash tv show will be awesome. the writers for flash in the justice league movie will not want to look like copycats and will make changes to flash which will ruin it for the tv show fans. the tv show will already have a big following so not using it is stupid.

  • Livnthedream

    With how terrible DC movies are, I am quite ok with keeping them separate, as tv is actually decent.

  • WonderScott

    Everyone is going to have their favorites, kind of like how comic book fans have their favorite interpretation of characters by writers and artists, but in my experience with “civilians” they’re getting it more and more that it’s just another interpretation.

    I always say it’s kind of like having new Bonds in the 007 franchise and they immediately get it.

  • hanson724

    I think keeping them seperate is a good idea. AoS came after the Avengers movie so it was easier to fit it in with the movies. Arrow has had 2 seasons already with alot of characters and trying to make a movie that would have to deal with that continuity would be a severe drag.

  • dtr

    Imagine the weirdness of seeing Christian Bale or Henry Cavill guest starring on Arrow and you’ll understand why the tv and movies worlds are kept separate. Television shows, especially those on what’s essentially a teeny bopper network which is The CW, is small potatoes and has a B-grade stigma.