Arrowverse: So What's Next? A Note to DC Studios' Gunn & Safran
So does it REALLY have to be the end of the Arrowverse? Some thoughts we wanted to pass along to DC Studios' James Gunn and Peter Safran.
It began on October 10, 2012, with Arrow S01E01 (directed by David Nutter with a story by Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim and a teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg & Guggenheim), and it ended on May 24, 2023, with The Flash S09E13 "A New World, Part Four" (directed by Vanessa Parise and written by Eric Wallace & Sam Chalsen) – or did it? Of course, we're talking about the Arrowverse – and the two people who could answer that question? DC Studios co-heads James Gunn & Peter Safran, who have an opportunity to avoid repeating Marvel's past mistakes while putting actions behind their words when it comes to wanting to embrace the proud history of the DCU. And while some of the suggestions below would clearly take some time, negotiations, and a few bucks to be thrown around, the long-term benefits (financial and otherwise) that come from publically acknowledging the Arrowverse and giving it an active "Elseworlds" home in the new DCU could pay off big time for the Max streaming service.
Bring the "Arrowverse" Home: If Warner Bros. Discovery is the home to DC Studios and Max is the official streaming service for Warner Bros. Discovery, then the Arrowverse needs to find an exclusive home on the newly-renamed streamer. Again, when we're talking streaming, then you're dealing with any number of legal streaming rights issues that would need time to work themselves out (or expire). But that doesn't mean Gunn & Safran's DC Studios couldn't let the fans know now that that's the plan they're moving on now. That would be an impressive change of pace compared to what Marvel-Netflix fans went through before Marvel would officially acknowledge Netflix series such as Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and others actually existed.
Make the Max "Arrowverse" Experience Fun & Informative: Once you have the series in place, then you need to start scooping up all of the extras that are out there. On top of that, having personally-curated episode playlists based on themes would be a nice way to mix things up. But it's with the crossovers that we could have the most fun, creating hubs for "Crisis on Infinite Earths" (for example) that would include the main crossovers as well as the ability to jump to side episodes for more detailed intel on particular characters or situations.
The "Arrowverse" Could Be an Ever-Expanding Multimedia Sandbox: Because having a hub for the Arrowverse on Max isn't intended to be just a "museum display" or some kind of viewable mausoleum space. From here, there are a number of Warner Bros. Discovery-related opportunities to continue the televised universe. Right off the bat, the first thing that jumps to mind would be scripted podcasts/audio dramas (look how successful Doctor Who has been working with Big Finish Productions in that area) – a prospect that a number of Arrowverse alumni have already expressed interest in being a part of.
And since we know that Max knows how to do reunion specials the right way (see Friends), that would be another area to consider for the Arrowverse (as well as themed docs & docuseries). And did we mention virtual rewatch parties with the cast & creative teams? It would also be a great opportunity for Gunn & Safran to coordinate an official Arrowverse continuation with DC Comics. But that doesn't mean that I've forgotten what brought the Arrowverse to the dance in the first place – a television series. And with that, I end on this: "Tales of the Arrowverse" would be a really great title for an anthology series – one that could revisit familiar faces while introducing some new ones along the way.
So it's your move, Gunn & Safran – it's time to not fail this Arrowverse.