Today, The CW held its panel for the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour. The network issued plenty of interesting news beforehand – The Flash and Arrow have been renewed for their second and fourth seasons, respectively, while animated spin-off Vixen will premiere on The CW’s digital platform, The CW Seed, this fall. Now, the panel for the network’s DC shows has ended, and interesting details from both series have emerged. The following round-up sheds light on a third DC Universe show from The CW, plans for Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer/Atom, the aftermath of Arrow‘s shocking midseason finale, future crossovers with The Flash and more. Many thanks to HitFix, The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly and TV Guide for the information. [Warning: The Following Contains Major SPOILERS From The Midseason Finales For Both Arrow And The Flash.]
-After the highly successful crossover between Arrow and The Flash – which saw the former receive its highest ratings since its series premiere – CW President Mark Pedowitz confirmed that there will be more in the future. There are plans to make the crossovers an annual event for the fourth quarter of each season. However, this likely doesn’t rule out minor crossovers, such as Felicity Smoak’s appearance on episode four of The Flash. So, it looks like we can expect Oliver Queen and Barry Allen to meet up again every fourth-quarter.
-Additionally, Pedowitz reaffirmed that there are ongoing conversations to add a third DC television show to The CW’s slate. “You’d have to be judicious. Could there be another hour in that universe? Possibly. That’s why we’re in preliminary discussion. [The show] has to stand on its own legs.” A popular suggestion for another Arrow spin-off is a series starring Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer, who is close to becoming The Atom. Executive producer Greg Berlanti, in fact, has revealed that an Atom series is being considered. “We’re in very early talks in a very general idea that we haven’t gone deeper on yet.” So, we could very well see much more of The Atom on the small screen in the future. Meanwhile, Routh has commented on playing Palmer after his lukewarmly received performance as Kal-El in 2006’s Superman Returns. “When [the Arrow role] was proposed, I was hesitant to step into DC world again. I never thought it would happen and that I would play, in my mind, a pivotal character. It’s been nothing but an amazing experience.”
-There was also talk of Supergirl, the CBS series which may end up being integrated into the world of Arrow and The Flash. Concerning why the show was picked up by CBS and not The CW, Pedowitz stated, “We were aware of it. You don’t want to become just one thing.” However, the different networks shouldn’t keep Supergirl from crossing over, since CBS co-owns The CW with Warner Bros. Greg Berlanti is also involved with all three shows.
-Talk moved on to Arrow and what to expect from the remainder of the season. Previously, Oliver Queen was killed by Ra’s al Ghul after a brief but epic duel. Of course, it’s extremely unlikely that Oliver will stay dead, but the next few episodes will deal with the aftermath. Stephen Amell said that this is an opportunity to put the spotlight on Arrow‘s supporting characters, while Oliver’s demise will result in Laurel Lance finally embracing her destiny and suiting up as the Black Canary. Katie Cassidy has this to say on donning the costume, fulfilling plans that were made from the series’ conception. “I’ve been waiting for this to happen. She goes from avenging her sister to honoring her sister to becoming her sister.”
-Of course, Laurel isn’t the only character suiting up. Ray Palmer will become The Atom, but in a “slightly different” direction compared to Team Arrow, while Diggle will don the Arrow costume again during Oliver’s absence. Marc Guggenheim said this on how Oliver’s decision to become a vigilante is spawning the presence of more and more costumed heroes. “One of the things that has always been part of the design of season 3 is that there would be more and more costumed characters populating Starling City. Oliver started off as just one man and he never envisioned all these other people being part of that plan. He thought he would be a solo act. Part of what he experienced this year was seeing the crusade grow beyond him.”
-Now, onto The Flash. As revealed/strongly suggested in the midseason finale, Tom Cavanagh confirmed that Harrison Wells is indeed the Reverse-Flash. Talk then turned to Eddie Thawne, who many expected to be the identity of Flash’s archnemesis. While Eddie is not the Reverse-Flash, he does have some sort of link to the character. That should not be a surprise, as he shares the surname of Eobard Thawne, who was Reverse-Flash in the comics. “His name is not an accident,” says Andrew Kreisberg. “Eddie’s connection to the Reverse-Flash lore is going to pay off big time in the back half of the year.”
-Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell then talk about reteaming to play Captain Cold and Heat Wave, respectively, as the Rogues team begins its origin story. Miller takes the credit for bringing his Prison Break co-star into the DC Universe, while Purcell, originally “naive” regarding comics books, admits to having a lot of fun playing this character.
-Finally, with Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell) crossing paths with Martin Stein (Victor Garber) soon, we have a first look at the initial costume for Firestorm. It is admittedly bland compared to other costumes in The Flash and Arrow, but this is likely a prototype suit which will evolve into something grander, probably closer to its comic book version. Check it out below, and stay tuned for more news from The CW DC Universe as we have it.