Whilst Marvel embraces an integrated single universe for its film and TV projects, aside from the properties it doesn’t own, DC is walking another path. For now the DC Cinematic Universe (“Man of Steel,” “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Justice League Part 1”) is its own thing, and an arena in which only movies get to play.
The four TV projects currently on screen based on DC comics properties are also their own thing – two of them (“The Flash,” “Arrow”) are linked and share their own onscreen universe, the other two (“Gotham,” “Constantine”) are standalone projects.
In a new interview with Buzzfeed, DC Entertainment CCO Geoff Johns indicates that despite all these distinct screen universes being around at the same time, those involved are certainly trying to avoid stepping on each other’s toes:
“We had talked about it previously being distinct, but I can’t really talk about the films. We haven’t really gone into detail about what that stuff is so I don’t want to get too detailed yet. You have to have conversations about what’s happening in TV and film between everybody because you don’t want to do the same thing. That’s super, super important.”
Despite the distinctions, there’s no plans for crossovers between shows and films even if the same characters show up:
“‘Arrow’ and ‘Flash’ are the same universe, and we get a lot of great story out of that – especially when we have episodes that cross them over, but that’s also where our superhero universe lives. We look at it as the multiverse. We have our TV universe and our film universe, but they all co-exist.
For us, creatively, it’s about allowing everyone to make the best possible product, to tell the best story, to do the best world. Everyone has a vision and you really want to let the visions shine through… Maybe one day we’ll link a show to a film if it makes sense, but the creative process we’re going through right now is to let the stuff live and breathe and be its own thing and own it.”
They do. however, plan to tease the larger DC universe in all of their works:
“We’re trying to utilize as many characters as we possibly can, but there is a conscious effort to explore the DC universe. Like on ‘Constantine,’ we already have Jim Corrigan, we put Dr. Fate’s helmet in the pilot; that wasn’t just a easter egg. I like the term easter egg, but I prefer all our easter eggs actually lead somewhere, that they’re foreshadowing.
There might be someone out there who sees Dr. Fate on an episode of ‘Constantine’ and suddenly they love that character and they become a creator later on and tell me they have a great take for a Dr. Fate TV show. That’s what we want to happen. Like, I can’t believe Gorilla Grodd’s gonna be in a ‘Flash’ TV show. That’s insane.”