Why DC Should Double Down On TV
Love the shows but hate the films? It's ok, you're not alone, not by a longshot...
TV is changing. A lot. If you watch the shows that were on television even 10 years ago, something really big will hit you: the visual quality. CGI has made massive improvements in the last decade, even just in terms of affordability. This is one of the reasons why shows like Arrow and The Flash are doing so incredibly well with audiences.
But it's not just that. The DCTVU (DC Television Universe) is finally doing something that is only possible thanks to the availability of technology and talent: they're actually able to tell the big stories from the comics.
Before Arrow came on TV, every single live-action superhero TV show had to essentially create a new story for heroes from scratch. But thanks to Geoff Johns–who helps produce the TV shows and is one of the best regarded DC writers in modern comic book history–the shows are FAR closer to their comic book counterparts than they ever have been before.
The entire point of superhero shows and movies is to capitalize on an existing fanbase for a given character or plot-line. For example, Captain America: Civil War was so popular not just because of the Marvel movies, but because the Civil War story in the comics was a huge hit before the movie was even a script.
What About The DC Movies?
What About Them?
Chances are, if you're reading this then you've seen at least some of the Dark Knight trilogy, Man of Steel, and maybe Batman v Superman too–I'm going to take a wild guess and say you've got some feelings on them, and not all of them are good. The DC movies are in crisis mode and have been since BvS started getting terrible reviews.
The real test for whether DC can get their act together in the theaters is to see what happens with Wonder Woman and Justice League. If they're solid films then DC has a chance to expand their movie universe, but that's a big IF, as many fans just aren't happy with DC's vision for their feature films.
Alright, So What's So Special About The TV Shows?
The DCTVU is already hugely successful. So successful, in fact, that it has been able to add a three brand new shows into its continuity since Arrow debuted in 2014. We've gotten The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl all brought on to the CW. These TV shows are by far the closest resembling adaptation to any comic book. Why? Because the tone of all these shows FEELS like a comic book, not like a TV show or a movie, and that empowers and excites both longtime fans and newcomers.
What if DC decided to focus primarily on the TV Universe? Well, production quality would be even better than it is now, thanks to a bigger budget; the writing would be elevated as much is done with Geoff Johns, who has a smaller role in DC film production. In short, literally everything would be elevated.
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What if the Justice League movie that's coming out starred at least some of TV show actors? This could've been a big boon for DC as the actors who play The Flash and Green Arrow have HUGE fan followings. There are so many side-characters already in the shows, any film would feel both brand new and familiar all at the same time with all these characters coming together.
What makes this idea extra interesting is to set this plan in a yearly cycle: Every year has a season for each show, and at the end of the seasons there's a big climactic crossover movie that all the shows set the stage for. It's similar to how the crossovers are already done; but with the added focus and funding from DC. TV allows for the most content to be created with the best quality possible, and movies take existing content and elevates it to a new level. Seems like a no-brainer, right?
Will It Happen?
For the foreseeable future, don't expect to see any feature films starring the DCTVU actors. However, there is more than an easy fix to make this continuity possible. In fact, the answer has already been used extensively on The Flash: Parallel Earths. The idea of parallel earths are a major feature in many of DC Comics' biggest crossovers like Flashpoint, Crisis on Infinite Earths, and Crisis On Earth-Three.
There is even the Flash of Two Worlds concept which has been consistently explored by The Flash TV show; making the parallel earth continuity more than acceptable to fans, particularly in terms of seeing Grant Gustin (TV's The Flash) on the big screen. Honestly, even just that would suffice to create significant excitement and hype between the movies and the TV shows. Something that DC desperately needs.