It would be a cliché to say that Arrow and Flash are two of the best Superhero TV shows maybe ever. They have raked in highest ever TRP in the entire CW network, and the hysteria surrounding it is only growing. For the first three seasons, Arrow dealt with the elements of vigilantism and science fused into one another, in the fourth season it entered into the world of magic and mysticism, but in the fifth season the show went back to embrace its roots and delivered a power-packed finale. Arrow is a dark, brooding & edgy superhero drama, and to a large extent inspired by Batman lore.
The fans have often wondered – Does Batman exist in the CW/DC TV universe? The answer is in the affirmative. There have been multiple references to the character of Batman in the different seasons. In the particular episode of Flash season 2, when Barry goes to Earth-2 to fight Zoom, at his home’s speed-dial we see various names are mentioned, one of the names is Bruce. Further, Geoff John’s Flashpoint comic-book storyline was being adapted for Flash Season 3, where Batman is an integral part of the comic-book storyline.
In the Legends of Tomorrow, Captain Hunter says “I have seen Men of Steel die and Dark Knights fall.” In Supergirl, Kara said, “My cousin worked with a vigilante once – tons of gadgets, lots of demons.” There is also a possibility that several big Batman universe characters to make an appearance in Supergirl future seasons like Kathy Kane/Bat Woman, Barbara Gordon as Oracle etc. and they could likely form Birds of Prey.
One of the most direct references was in Arrow when Felicity is given a code name Overwatch instead of Oracle as it’s supposedly taken. Moreover, the show has used Ra’s Ahl Ghul who is Batman foe in comics. In the latest Arrow episode, Oliver Queen name dropped Bruce Wayne to shield himself from the allegation that he is the Green Arrow. Flash TV show has never shied away from dropping Batman references, in season 1 we saw the 2024 newspaper where Wayne Tech was completing a merger with Queen Consolidated.
But recently in Season 4, Episode 2 titled ‘Mixed Signals’ we saw control screen for Barry’s new suit which had something called ‘Babel Protocol’ among the new features. In Justice League of America comics and the animated movie titled Justice League: Doom, we found mention of ‘Babel Protocol’ created by Batman as he does not trust his fellow team members which led to the downfall of Justice League at the hands of Ra’s Ahl Ghul in the comic and Vandal Savage in movie.
At present, CW Arrowverse comprises of four major shows – The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and soon Black Lightning could join the bandwagon. But guess what, there is a rumor that CW is slowly moving towards making a TV series on Batman. Andrew Kreisberg, the executive producer of “The Flash” spoke with ScreenRant and had this to say on the recent revelation that Batman may be coming to CW roster of shows:
“Honestly, I never would have thought we’d actually get to use Bruce Wayne TV. It was wishful thinking when we dropped the Wayne Tech easter egg early in The Flash’s first season but now to see Daniel in the role, it’s truly amazing”.
Here’re four ways in which the Dark Knight can be actually brought into Arrowverse in the near future:
Another Flashpoint like event can be created in future seasons which can be used as a plot device to bring Bruce Wayne into the alternate timeline. It would be big missed opportunity for DCEU not to utilize its biggest superhero to the fullest. Perhaps, in the previous timeline, his parents were alive and he didn’t transform into Batman.
Nightwing Solo show:
DC has been trying to make spin-off shows of sidekicks or other important comic-book characters such as Birds of Prey. The best one would be a Nightwing series based on Dick Grayson coming out of Bat shadows on his own. Bloodhaven has been referenced many times on Arrow, so it wouldn’t be difficult to eventually bring Batman into this world.
An easter-egg can be dropped in a Flash newspaper containing an article about the merger of Wayne Enterprises and Queen Consolidated. Bruce Wayne can travel to Star city to finalize the business deal, but actually, he is hunting a violent criminal (Riddler or Two-face) who escaped Gotham prison, both of them could team-up and take him down for good.
The most obvious way to bring Batman in Arrowverse is the crossover event between Gotham TV show and CW Arrow.
This will be an awesome way to bring Batman into Arrowverse as Stephen Amell is personally obsessed with Batman universe. In fact, you will be stunned to find out what’s the character that Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen/ Green Arrow) would like to play if given a chance.
He was on a press tour for his movie TMNT: Out of the Shadows, he was asked about which superhero would he like to play on big screen. One would naturally believe it should be Green Arrow, but he said:
“I always get this question. I think all the superheroes are taken now. I’ll play The Riddler, okay? It’s a villain, but I like The Riddler.”
This isn’t the first time that he has expressed his interest to play the role of Riddler, back in 2014 at San Diego Comic-Con International when he was asked the same question, he then said:
“The Riddler”. I think I actually said that to Geoff Johns at like 2 o’clock in the morning Saturday. ‘Hey, Geoff, I want to play the Riddler.’ That actually happened.”
He further said:
“The Riddler, I mean that’s an awesome villain, and it hasn’t been in the modern…well, I guess modern, post-turn-of-the-century versions of Batman. So that would be cool.”
Riddler is a popular fictional super-villain based in Gotham, an arch-enemy of Batman, first appeared in Detective Comics, 1948, created by Bill Finger and Dick Sprang. In Gotham TV show, Edward Nygma portrayed a version of “Riddler” on a small screen. He is a criminal mastermind with a genius-level intellect and has been a part of Secret six, Legion of Doom, Secret Society of Super-Villains.
It’s understandable that Stephen Amell would have a liking for Batman characters, but Riddler is a strange choice for sure.
Matt Reeves and Geoff Johns are currently working on the new Batman franchise, although the details are kept under wraps, the first movie may feature multiple Batman villains. Matt revealed that he will be taking a page from Christopher Nolan’s playbook as he was inspired by the Dark Knight trilogy. He explained:
“What I love about what Nolan did was that he took the genre seriously. What studios willing to make at the moment is a very, very narrow band of films. What I discovered is that this genre has the potential to be about something more. You can use metaphors of the genre to talk about a lot.”
Recently, at MTV Happy Sad Confused podcast, Matt Reeves dropped a bombshell and revealed that he has tossed aside the entire script written by Ben Affleck and that he will start afresh. He said:
“No. It’s a new story. It’s just starting again. I’m excited about it. I think it’s going to be really cool.”
Moreover, this may just throw everything out of the window including the villain i.e Deathstroke which was the choice of Ben Affleck as he has not been done onscreen ever. The actor Joe Manganiello had already been cast to play him. But now speculation is that the new villain may be Penguin or Riddler.
Is it possible that Geoff Johns actually reach out to Stephen Amell and cast him for the role of Riddler? Far-fetched?