Geoff Johns Talks Expansion Of DC Universe On Television And Reaffirms No Crossovers With Movies

In an interview with Comic Book Resources, DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns talked in detail about the expansion of the DC Universe on the small screen. When asked if he’s focused on making a crossover between the TV shows and DC’s movie universe less likely by having the same characters appear in both mediums, he said, “No. Not really. I mean, Flash has the best Rogues Gallery, beyond Batman and Spider-Man, in comic books, and we’re going to explore that. From the Rogues to eventually a talking gorilla to time travelers. But really, it’s a separate universe than film, so we can allow the best creative — the filmmakers can do their best version. They want to tell the story that’s best for film, while we do something different in a different corner of the DC Universe on television.” After reaffirming again that the two universes will not be connected, Johns then weighs in on potentially joining all of the television shows together. “Well, “Arrow” and “Flash” absolutely live in the same universe. “Gotham” is set in the past, so it’s a very different show. “Constantine” is in the supernatural world, whereas “Arrow” and “Flash” are kind of at the center and heart of the DC Universe. That’s why you see characters like the Atom and Firestorm and others we’re talking about right now… You’ll see a lot of DC Universe characters. You won’t see Batman. You won’t see Superman. There are a lot of other characters that we aren’t going to go to. We’re in production on “Batman V. Superman,” so you’ll see characters like The Atom and Firestorm. We have plans for a lot of other ones, but right now, you will not see a Batman or a Superman in this one.” 

With the movie universe focusing on the likes of Batman and Superman, while the small screen incorporates lesser known characters, is there a part of the DC universe Johns wishes to see further explored? “There are, yes. We’re working on a bunch of stuff right now that I can’t really get into. And it’s not just DC — it’s Vertigo. It’s “Mad.”… We have so many different comics that aren’t just superheroes, and that’s what we’re working on right now. “iZombie’s” a Vertigo book that people probably hadn’t heard of before the show. It’s a great book, and it’s going to be a great show.” Johns then discusses Kevin Tsujihara becoming CEO of Warner Bros. and whether or not the number of DC shows was a corporate decision. “Well, since Kevin Tsujihara took over with Warner Bros. — he’s a huge DC fan, too. His favorite character is Solomon Grundy! He really knows his stuff, and he knows the value of it. All it really takes is people like Kevin and Peter Roth and Diane [Nelson], our president, to really love the characters and support all that. But it came about because everyone was behind DC, and you had great creators on it. Bruno Heller on “Gotham” — that’s A+. So as long as we have the best creators and the best studio — like, Warner TV is probably the best television studio. I don’t think anyone can argue that at all, and there’s a reason for that. You have to combine that power with the DC characters and brand and this is what happens.” 

Finally, Johns weighed in on an Easter egg seen in the pilot for The Flash. [Potential Spoiler Ahead] At the end of the episode, the word “crisis” can be seen. When asked if that was placed casually, Johns says, “No. We purposely put the word “crisis” in there. For those who don’t know, “Crisis” was a series from the ’80s. Barry Allen was a big part of that. He ‘died’ in it and returned years later.” It will be interesting to see how this plays into The Flash. For more of CBR’s interview with Johns, in which he discusses adapting the Rogues onto the small screen and the relationship between the comics and TV shows – click the link above.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of WOBAM! Entertainment.

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