Will a TV Incarnation of the Justice League Come Before the Film Version?


If you’re a fan of DC and the Justice League, you know that there have been live-action versions of the team before. There was the 1997 made-for-TV Justice League film which was a pilot for a proposed TV series. It was based heavily upon the Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguirerunon the book. And then there was the Smallville version of the Justice League, featuring pre-Superman Clark Kent, along with Green Arrow, Black Canary, Aquaman, Impulse, Martian Manhunter and Cyborg. Let’s not overlook the comical 1979 TV special Legends of the Superheroes, which is mostly notable for Adam West and Burt Ward reprising their roles as Batman and Robin. 


Now we may be getting another live-action version of the Justice League on our TVs/computers in the near future; perhaps even before the film version debuts. Anyone who has been following the dual CW TV shows Arrow and the Flash knows that DC has been building a mini-combined universe for the two shows, which may expand to include the planned Supergirl series. (Although, sadly, not Gotham.)


Arrow star Steven Amell told Comic Book Resource, “We are creating a Justice League on TV for us. I don’t think there is a logistical reality to us participating in the feature side. That being said, I never wanted to have to feel like the show was justified, just because we participated in the movie. I don’t think my character would participate on the cinematic side. What’s that saying? Is it six seasons and a movie? Our show right now has me, Arsenal, Flash. There’s going to be Firestorm and Atom. The Justice League elements of it are very present on our shows already.”


Arrow and The Flash producer Andrew Kreisberg explained to Collider how the TV universe could be used to create another version of the League. “We’re impressed that we get to play with as many characters as we do. By the end of this season, on both shows, we’ll have Green Arrow, Black Canary, Katana, The Atom, Firestorm and The Flash. We’ve got a pretty good chunk of the Justice League, on both shows. We never look at ourselves as limited.”


 He adds, “With Arrow, we were able to bring on Deathstroke and The Huntress, and this year we have Katana. It was actually DC comics’ idea for us to use Ray Palmer/The Atom. On The Flash, with Geoff Johns, our partner, we’ve carved out this whole world of characters that we have access to.”


 Will the Arrow and the Flash go the Smallville route, and give us a TV version of the Justice League? On that version, Green Arrow was actually the leader of the group. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see Steven Amell as the leader of the League?


Amell told AMC Movie Talk, “The plans that Warner Bros. has, and it’s a great plan, overall, and DC has for the introduction to the Justice League of America and all the standalone films, is going to take place over the course of five to six years. So who knows what could happen. I’ve had some great conversations with Geoff Johns, who is DC’s Chief Creative Officer. We had this conversation shortly after the film announcements were made, and I came away from the conversation feeling great.”


We don’t know what these mysterious plans are, but since Geoff Johns has stated that the TV and film incarnations of the characters would be unconnected, we can only guess about what plans the company has for their ever-growing TV universe. Will the Justice League appear to save the day on the small screen before getting to the big screen? What effect will a TV League have on the film, or vice versa?