As part of Saturday’s virtual DC FanDome event, executives from DC’s movie, television and publishing divisions talked up one of the strengths of the brand — namely, that there is more than one universe inside the interconnected fictional realities of the company.
During the “Multiverse 101” panel, Jim Lee, chief creative officer and publisher, Walter Hamada, president of DC Films, and Greg Berlanti, producer of the multiple DC shows on the CW, talked about the multiverse — which connects the different realities of all DC narratives no matter the medium — as a whole, and the potentials it opens up for storytelling that transcends media — including the crossover between DC’s films and television shows when the Flashes of two Earths met in December’s Crisis on Infinite Earths event on the CW.
“We’d been developing our Flash [movie] script for awhile, which was dealing with the multiverse,” Hamada explained, and it was during a meeting for that project that someone — Hamada remembered it being Jim Lee, although Lee suggested it might have been someone else — suggested a crossover with the show. The idea was suggested to Ezra Miller, who immediately agreed. “He understands the importance of the Flash and his role in the multiverse,” Hamada said.
The addition of the scene was, Berlanti revealed, extremely last minute. “We’d shot the crossover. We were editing,” he said. Marc Guggenheim wrote the original version of the scene — although Berlanti and Lee agreed that much of it was improvised on set — including the unexpected origin of the movie Flash’s superhero monicker. “Ezra’s Flash was never named Flash in the movies. He gets his name from Grant [Gustin, the television Flash],” Lee pointed out.
Hamada teased that, despite the CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths closing out the televisual multiverse for now — “For the purposes of the CW, the worlds are one, but off-network is like being off-planet,” Berlanti explained — a future crossover between DC movies and television isn’t off the table.
“This opens the door to us to do more crossovers,” he said, referring to the Crisis crossover between film and TV. “I do think that, moving forward, there’s more opportunity to do more things like this.”
Hamada also talked about the importance of the multiverse even within DC’s movie properties.
“What the multiverse allows you to do is that you can tell great stories and it doesn’t tie you to a single continuity,” he said, pointing to the fact that the Earth of Aquaman, Wonder Woman and Justice League co-exists alongside Matt Reeves’ The Batman Earth. “It just opens doors to us in a way that you couldn’t have if you just had a singular universe,” he said.
In response to a question about the possibility of Elseworlds movies — stories set far outside regular continuity, and often putting characters in extremely unusual circumstances — Hamada said that he’s open to the idea. “It really comes down to the right filmmaker and the right idea. We want them to be great, we want them to be special,” he said, with Joker — which exists outside of every other movie continuity — as an example. “There has to be a reason for it.”