In a move that makes about as much sense as making sure Aquaman is heavily featured in the DC Cinematic Universe, DC and Warner Bros have tied the hands of the producers of ‘Arrow‘ and ‘The Flash‘ by forbidding them to visit the two most well-known cities of DC comics, Gotham City and Metropolis. According to a statement made by producer Andrew Kreisberg at a recent preview showing of the upcoming crossover event:
“There are things we can do, and there are things we can’t. I’m a huge fan of Nightwing. But there are cities we can use, and then there’s everything else. You won’t be hearing Gotham or Metropolis on the show any time soon.”
Despite the information about the geographic red-tape, the mention of Nightwing is exciting and interesting because it means that while those cities may be off-limits, the heroes that dwell within might still be able to visit Starling or Central City. (And I personally think it would be amazing to see Nightwing visit, as I think he fits in nicely with the world that ‘Arrow’ and ‘The Flash’ inhabit, plus ‘Arrow’ has been dropping the name of Nightwing’s home city, Bludhaven, for a few seasons now).
And why does DC/ Warner Bros limit what places shows like ‘Arrow’ and ‘The Flash’ can visit? Because they have no faith in the intelligence of the average viewer. In their eyes, people are not smart enough to distinguish that ‘Gotham City’ as it will appear in their Cinematic Universe would be a different Gotham City than one that might appear on ‘Arrow,’ and they don’t want to ‘confuse’ people, which in their eyes might turn viewers away from one medium or the other. Which is idiotic.
Back when Nolan was making the Dark Knight Trilogy, there was an animated DC universe, (a continuation of the excellent ‘Batman: The Animated Series‘ show that ran in the early nineties) which culminated in an amazing ‘Justice League’ series. But since the Nolan films were being made, the producers of the ‘Justice League’ animated series were not allowed to use any members of the Batman family. Why? Because Warner Bros didn’t want people to get “confused.” Instead of allowing well-made and quality shows use the properties that DC/ Warner Bros owns to their full potential, it seems the studio would rather hinder the current creative efforts and gamble on future projects that have the potential to make them money, with no guarantee.
Hopefully Warner Bros’ gamble will pay off in this case, and their Cinematic Universe will finally make it off the ground and use Gotham and Metropolis to their full creative potential. But if not, here’s hoping the studio can learn that the average viewer is smarter than they think. After all, these are just comic book shows/movies at the end of the day.