2015 was yet another successful year for DC Entertainment. The second film in the DC movie universe – now titled the DC Extended Universe – entered post-production, with two more movies undergoing production and other films moving forward in other stages of development. The DC television world expanded with a new show and more seasons of last year’s. More direct-to-DVD animated features were released, bringing more iconic DC Universe characters to life. And one of the most highly anticipated video games in history was released last summer.
In this part of our annual reflection, we will be looking at all the major news and announcements on DC Entertainment’s television shows.
For our recap of DC’s five best moments from San Diego Comic-Con 2015, click here.
2015 was another strong year for DC’s television shows. Arrow entered its fourth season on The CW last fall. After defeating Ra’s al Ghul, Oliver Queen returns to
Starling Star City and becomes a new hero: Green Arrow. This season, the Emerald Archer is fighting Damien Darhk, leader of H.I.V.E., in yet another battle for Star City’s existence. New DCU characters introduced this season include Curtis Holt (the future Mister Terrific) and Anarky, while this year’s crossover event with The Flash introduced Hawkman, Hawkgirl and Vandal Savage. Also, Megalyn Echikunwoke will play Vixen later on this season, after voicing the character for The CW Seed’s Vixen animated series. Oh, and Diggle is now wearing a goofy helmet.
Meanwhile, The Flash began its second season last fall. This time around, Barry Allen is dealing with the revelation of a Multiverse, with infinite alternate Earths, timelines and doppelgangers. Along the way, he meets the likes of Jay Garrick, Zoom, Doctor Light, and even an Earth-2 iteration of Harrison Wells. Other new DCU characters introduced this season include Wally West, Patty Spivot and King Shark.
Also back for second seasons are The CW’s iZombie and Fox’s Gotham. The former has become a surprise hit after its midseason 2015 premiere, and its second season will run a longer-than-before 19 episodes. As for Gotham, season two continues to explore the “Rise of the Villains” who will one day fight the Batman. In addition to main villain Theo Galavan, the season introduces characters such as Hugo Strange, Mr. Freeze and Tigress.
The other DC show that premiered in 2014, Constantine, was unfortunately cancelled by NBC after 13 episodes. However, Matt Ryan’s John Constantine returned in a crossover episode with Arrow, thus integrating him into a wider DC-TV Universe. Will the Hellblazer return to this world later on? Ryan would love to play the character once more. Meanwhile, newcomer streaming service TVtibi wants to bring the Constantine show back for another season.
Additionally, CBS entered the DC TV game with Supergirl, starring Superman’s cousin. The show is essentially an origin tale for Kara Zor-El, as she learns to use her powers and become her own hero that stands out from Superman’s shadow. Along the way, she encounters characters such as Maxwell Lord, Red Tornado, Livewire and Lucy Lane, all while trying to defeat her evil aunt, Astra. Oh, and an awesome twist reveals that one of the main cast members is actually a fan-favorite DC superhero.
Despite having executive producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, who are also involved with Arrow and The Flash, there are currently no plans for Supergirl to cross over with The CW’s DC shows, even as rumors to the contrary persist. Meanwhile, the show has been picked up for a full season. Now let’s see if it will be renewed for season two.
Next month will mark the midseason premieres of several shows. The biggest one is DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, the third show in The CW’s DC roster. This spin-off will see time traveler Rip Hunter assemble a team of heroes and villains to defeat Vandal Savage and become, well, legends. The cast features many supporting characters from both The Flash and Arrow, such as Atom, Firestorm and a resurrected Sara Lance (who is now the White Canary). And rumor has it that, if the show is renewed for a season two, we may see Constantine as a series regular. Legends will be strongly interconnected with Flash and Arrow, which shouldn’t be a surprise at all.
Meanwhile, AMC will premiere a long-awaited adaptation of Preacher, the acclaimed DC/Vertigo comic, sometime in 2016. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are behind this show, which stars Dominic Cooper and Ruth Negga. Additionally, Fox is adding a second DC/Vertigo show to its lineup with Lucifer, starring a supporting character from Sandman lore. Tom Ellis stars as the Lord of Hell in a crime horror series. The show premieres in January.
Moving on… Announced last year, Titans is still in some stage of development at TNT. The team’s lineup on the show reportedly consists of Nightwing, Barbara Gordon, Starfire, Raven, Hawk and Dove. TNT offered a promising update last summer, but last we heard, the pilot wouldn’t begin production until the fall. It’s now the winter, and there hasn’t been a peep since. Hopefully, we get some official news on this potential series soon.
As for other shows, NBC is playing the DC game again with Powerless, a workplace comedy set in the DC Universe. Basically, it focuses on a group of ordinary workers in an insurance company and their perspectives on superheroes. Also, NBC is adapting RED, based on DC/WildStorm imprint Homage’s comic book series, for the small screen, after two theatrical films. Meanwhile, Machinima is developing two DC-related shows: #4Hero, an adaptation of the Dial H For Hero comic, and DC’s Hero Project, a contest series overseen by Geoff Johns.
In arguably more interesting news, Zack Snyder had met with HBO to discuss bringing Watchmen to television. Of course, Snyder directed the 2009 theatrical film, which was widely praised for its accuracy to the source material. Whether the potential series is a sequel, prequel or remake is unknown. All that is known right now is that early discussions to make the show are taking place.
Meanwhile, David Goyer has been developing a Krypton show for SyFy. This year, he confirmed that the series is still in the works, and he suggested that it was in the same continuity as Man of Steel. If that’s the case, then this would be the first time a DC television show has existed in the same world as the movies. Finally, after New Line lost the film rights, FX and Brian K. Vaughan are bringing Vertigo title Y: The Last Man to the small screen.
And that’s a wrap. Which current DC/Vertigo television show are you enjoying the most? Which upcoming series are you anticipating most? Stay tuned for the third and final installment of our “2015 in Review” series, which will focus on DC Entertainment’s animation and video game projects of 2015.