DCTV Brings ‘The Flash’, ‘Titans’ and More to DC FanDome
What a night, right? From that opening Wonder Woman 1984 panel to the closing first look at Matt Reeves’ The Batman, DC FanDome just completely raised the bar for what a virtual convention should be. On top of all the movie and game reveals, DC TV brought The Flash and Titans to FanDome’s Hall of Heroes along with two fantastic new Batman shorts.
If one thing was clear yesterday it’s that DC and Warner Bros. are fully embracing the DC Multiverse and all of the rich storytelling opportunities that it provides. After years, decades even, of infamous character embargos the floodgates are opening to a world of infinite possibilities. No where was this clearer than in the Multiverse 101 panel, where Jim Lee, Greg Berlanti and Walter Hamada discussed the concept and what it means for DC moving forwards.
Whilst discussing The CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event, Berlanti reflected on the origins of the Arrowverse, saying that the multiverse, or even a single universe, was never their intention at the start. But all that changed with the arrival of Barry Allen. Seeing the Flash and the Arrow, as Oliver Queen was then known, side by side was that moment of “one plus one equals three”, of seeing the comic world come to life. The show runners and producers are fans. Episode by episode, season by season, series by series they make the shows they would want to watch and it inevitably pushed in the direction of Crisis. But even as things pushed in that direction they never thought they’d actually get approval to do it. Berlanti joked that at the end of Elseworlds they asked if they could say “coming next year: Crisis on Infinite Earths” and when Warner Bros. said yes they took that as approval.
And the timing couldn’t have been better. As the Arrowverse was building towards Crisis, the film division was planning their own multiversal adventure for The Flash. Knowing this, Jim Lee approached Walter Hamada and asked if they’d like to get Ezra Miller into the crossover. “Before I could even finish the pitch, he was like, ‘I’m in.'” Hamada recalled. It was beyond the last minute. Filming was done. But when those behind the scenes are fans they work to make the impossible a reality. They even used the crossover to give Miller’s take on the Scarlet Speedster his name. “Ezra’s Flash was never named The Flash in the movies,” Lee said, “He learned the name from The Flash.”
Thanking Berlanti for laying the groundwork, Jim Lee called the multiverse a blessing for the DC Universe. Now, Hamada says the doors are open. They’re not going to do an Elseworlds movie a year or anything on a set schedule like that, but if the right filmmaker comes along with the right idea then they can do it without worrying about fitting into the main universe. Last year’s Joker and Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman are both examples of this approach. On the TV side it sounds like the embargos are a thing of the past, and Hamada called HBOMax a place when DC’s TV and film can “meet in the middle” with so much potential for the future.
The Flash panel itself was up next. Looking back on the sixth season showrunner Eric Wallace and the cast discussed breaking the season into two story arcs and how that worked well for the heroes, the build up to Crisis, and also for the villains, noting how having different villains for each half season allowed them to develop better rather than spreading that development out over 22 episodes.
Talking about the second half of the season Candice Patton expressed how much she enjoyed finally getting to develop Iris the reporter and the new energy that the “Charlie’s Angels reporter team” that she’s built around her brought to the show. Obviously, season six ended with Iris still trapped in the mirror world, but look for that to be resolved early in the seventh season as Wallace and the cast confirmed that Barry and Iris will always find their way back to each other. But will she be back in time to help Team Flash face the threat of Eva McCulloch’s (Efrat Dor) new Mirror Master?
And Mirror Master isn’t the only threat to Central City next season, God Speed is coming. Talking about the decision to include God Speed, Wallace explained how he wants to feature new/current villains from the comics, and not just the classic Silver Age rogues, so that kids reading comics today can see their villains on the screen.
When the shut down order came, The Flash was on the last day of filming episode 20. That episode, which was about 85% shot, will now form the basis of the season seven premiere so even though production hasn’t resumed yet they were able to bring a trailer to FanDome! And, because the creative team already knew where they were heading next season, Wallace teased that there are some huge spoilers for the direction of the new season already present in the episode. Ending the panel on a lighter note, Grant Gustin answered a fan’s question about Barry’s gold boots, saying that if it was up to him Barry would have had them “two seasons ago.”
The Titans panel consisted primarily of a look back at some fan favorite moments from the first two seasons but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some reveals for season three. Damaris Lewis discussed bringing Blackfire to the show and how she was interested in exploring the duality of her and Anna Diop’s Starfire. Blackfire isn’t the only villain in the new season. Last seen driving off away on a motorcycle, Curran Walters’ Jason Todd will return to “burn down the village” with a new alter ego as Red Hood. And we’re going back to Gotham where we’ll meet both the Scarecrow and Commissioner Barbara Gordon, which I have to say is a great call back to Batman Beyond and an interesting way to explore a new dynamic with these characters. Like Dick in the first two seasons, Barbara will be dealing with the mistakes and legacy of her father.
No release date was given for Titans’ third season, nor did they mention Jim Lee’s recent comments of DC Universe’s original content eventually migrating to HBOMax, but production will hopefully resume soon.
Both panels will have extended editions available when DC FanDome returns next month.
But that’s not quite all. Whilst there were no animation panels today there were some brilliant new shorts that debuted at DC FanDome including a reunion of Kevin Conroy and Will Friedle for the hilarious Beyond Batman, with Diedrich Bader and Will Arnett joining them for Batman Carpool, and Kaley Cuoco’s Harley Quinn answering fan questions in Ask Harley (an uncensored version will be available during DC FanDome: Enter the Multiverse next month).
DC FanDome returns with DC FanDome: Enter the Multiverse on September 12, with an incredible selection of panels featuring TV, animation, comics, and much, much more.