Numerous DC Comics characters have put in appearances on the The CW series Arrow in its two-and-a-half years on the air, even if those characters, ostensibly, have not much to do with Green Arrow. In the midst of the weekly adventures of Arrow we’ve met The Flash, Huntress, Black Canary, the Suicide Squad, Amanda Waller, Deathstroke and Ra’s al Ghul. Now, that last one, you may know, is a Batman villain technically, so it begs the question: is it possible that the Dark Knight might ever visit Starling City to be vigilante bros with Oliver Queen? A key producer on Arrow says that he’d love to welcome Batman to the show, but the fact of the matter is it’s highly unlikely that Brave and the Bold style team-up between the two heroes is unlikely.
During an interview with the showrunners of fellow comic book show Agent Carter, Marc Guggenheim (whose wife Tara Butters is one of the executive producers of Carter) responded to a query about Batman on Arrow saying (via The Hollywood Reporter) that:
At the end of the day it’d be so awesome to have Batman on the show. That’d be really cool. I don’t think that will be happening anytime soon, but you never know … one day. One thing we’re always saying … we never expected to have had the Huntress [Jessica De Gouw], Deathstroke [Manu Bennett] or Deadshot [Michael Rowe]; we ended up with a lot more DC Comics characters becoming part of the show than we had ever planned. It wasn’t initially part of the pitch or the conception of the show. Now here we are in our third season and we’ve Flash [Grant Gustin] and the Suicide Squad and we’re going to have Katana and we have Ray Palmer [Brandon Routh], and it seems like you could field an entire show off the characters that we have introduced on Arrow. That’s so beyond anything we expected. That’s a long-winded way of saying I’ve learned not to expect anything or make any predictions because the reality has far exceeded any of our initial predictions or initial conceptions.
Heck, they even sneaked in Harley Quinn. What more do you people want?!?!
A couple of things to highlight the logistical difficulties in securing Batman for an Arrow appearance. First of all, there’s already a Batman-ish show on TV, Fox‘s Gotham. Secondly, Batman, as one of the marquee players in the DC Universe, has always been a movies-first kind of hero, and with all eyes on 2016’s Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Warner Bros. is unlikely to sully (so to speak) that Batman played, as you may have heard, by Ben Affleck, with an in-costume TV appearance on Arrow. It’s also worth noting that The CW’s heroic predecessor, Smallville, tried for years to get young Bruce Wayne to appear on the show, only to be met with no success at convincing the WB brass to allow them to make it happen (although Batman did get a sort of shout out near the end of the series).
It would be somewhat interesting though to find out if Batman is a part of the Arrow universe or not. Recently, in the episode “The Brave and the Bold,” Flash’s sidekicks Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) and Cisco (Carlos Valdes) asked to see the “Arrow Cave” and if there was an “Arrow Mobile,” but where would they get that nomenclature from? Would that mean “Batman” in the Arrow-verse is a TV show and comic character, or is there a “real” Batman running around in Gotham City, but is never mentioned in conversation by anyone in Starling City? That would be weird because as we’ve seen on The Flash, residents of Central City are aware of the Arrow operating in Starling, so wouldn’t it be unusual for no one to be aware of a guy in a bat suit thrashing criminals in Gotham?
But the ultimate answer to this question may have already been given. Last fall, Guggenheim’s co-producer Andrew Kreisberg put water on any fire to the idea that some key heroes would be taking part in the fun on Arrow anytime soon. “There are things we can do, and there are things we can’t,” said Kreisberg. “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 anytime soon.”
Arrow returns with new episodes on The CW on January 21.