Should DC Stick to TV Shows?

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12 Dec 17
Should DC Stick to TV Shows?

Should DC Stick to TV Shows?

This November, DC Comics’ greatest heroes assembled for a massive big-screen adventure. We had the chance to meet an inspired Batman (Ben Affleck), and a determined Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and (*technically I guess this is a spoiler, but I think everyone knows*) a resurrected Superman (Henry Cavill), join forces with Aquaman (Jason Momoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) against an enemy that’s greater than anything we’ve met before.

The movie was directed by Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon (who contributed to the script and took over after Snyder’s unfortunate exit) based on a story written by Whedon and Chris Terrio. As usual, fans expected the movie with a mix of anticipation and fear – after all, we’ve had a pretty lousy ‘Suicide Squad’ and a controversial ‘Batman vs. Superman’, followed by a great ‘Wonder Woman’ that received some criticism but an awful lot of praise.

So how did ‘Justice League’ do? Well financially, it finally reached $600 million worldwide at the box office this weekend, which currently puts it as the lowest grossing DC movie so far. Admittedly, it hasn’t had it’s home/disc release yet, but still, that has to be a concern for DC. Whilst I personally enjoyed the film, it didn’t land great reviews from critics too. The question remains, where to DC go from here, and why can’t they get their movie universe right?

While DC’s recent movie lineup had its ups and downs, DC’s TV lineup has performed pretty well – so far, that is. After all, DC superheroes have done traditionally well on TV. Batman may have started his on-screen career in cinema in the 1940s, but Adam West, who portrayed the character in Batman ’66, is still one of the most beloved takes on the role. It wasn’t until Michael Keaton, who was Batman for an entire generation, that the character became popular in movies again. Although, ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ then came along, voiced by Kevin Conroy, and showed how you could make the character work on tv again, albeit in an animated form. Then Christian Bale’s rendition of the character revived the film franchise, leaving its fingerprint on many other forms of media, including a slot machine at Most recently, we’ve had Batfleck, who I do love in the part, I just wish he’d have better scripts, stop making comments about leaving!

When it comes to Superman, his career on screen was similar to that of the caped crusader of Gotham City. Christopher Reeve’s shoes were pretty hard to fill. But before he took on the role, a long-running TV series laid the groundwork. Then came Dean Cain, who turned out to be a sympathetic (and pretty funny) Man of Steel, followed by Tom Welling’s Clark Kent in ‘Smallville’, a series that ran for a decade. Then came Brandon Routh in a rather misjudged sequel of sorts to the Reeve’s movies. Superman finally flew again on screen with Henry Cavill, who really nailed the part. However, we then got a different Superman for the small screen, in the form of Tyler Hoechlin on ‘Supergirl’.

Whilst DC might be struggling on the big screen, they are knocking it out of the park on tv. And by that I’m mainly talking about Greg Berlanti’s Arrowverse – ‘Arrow’, ‘Flash’, ‘Legends Of Tomorrow’ and ‘Supergirl’. Wouldn’t it be a good choice for it to leave the silver screen, at least until they can decide what you actually want to do with it, and focus on the more extensive storytelling possibilities of television?

Unlike Marvel, DC decided that their TV and movie universes would be separate. I’ve heard a lot of people say this is a mistake. Personally, I disagree. The mistake is being overly precious about the characters… or rather, the inconsistency of how they treat the characters. As we’ve heard from the tv show actors, when DC decided to make a ‘Suicide Squad’ film, they banned the Arrowverse from creating their own version, which they were already in the process of doing. Yet they were happy to put The Flash in ‘Justice League’, and allow a tv version of Superman… It’s inconsistent. The huge advantage they have over Marvel by splitting the tv & film universes is that you can have the big name heroes in the tv shows played by different actors. Wouldn’t it be great to see Batman pop up to help Ollie in Arrow? Or Wonder Woman to lend a hand to the Legends?

Personally, I think DC has this great roster of high profile characters, let the tv shows use them. Audiences aren’t stupid. They know the difference between tv and film. Unshackle the tv shows, and let them fly.