Arrowverse Producer Was Left Out Of The DC Universe Reboot And Feels Like He 'Wasted His Time'

Before the DC Extended Universe first brought its various big screen superheroes together in "Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice," heroic team-ups, and universe-shattering time-travel muckups were already being covered over on The CW, via the Arrowverse. At the height of their powers, those interconnected shows (including "Arrow," "The Flash," "Supergirl" and "Legends of Tomorrow") were delivering on camp, grit, and all sorts of DC Comics deep cuts. But those days appear to be in the past, as many Arrowverse shows have come to an end — both naturally, and prematurely.

Meanwhile, at DC Studios, the cinematic universe is getting a soft reboot guided by co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran. Under their stewardship, everything will be interconnected: movies, TV shows, and games will all be part of the DC multiverse. They've crafted a 10-year plan for the whole thing that sounds intriguingly weird and extremely ambitious. This bold path forward seems to be leaving the Arrowverse in the dust.

With the future of DC fast approaching, Arrowverse co-creator Marc Guggenheim has voiced his dissatisfaction with how the transition was handled. In a recent edition of his LegalDispatch newsletter, Guggenheim commented on the writers room brought together by Safran and Gunn, writing:

"I assumed that they would assemble some kind of brain trust to help facilitate what I assumed — hoped — would be a vision as ambitious as the DC Universe deserves. But I'll be honest: I would have liked to have gotten at least a meeting."

'The Arrowverse hasn't led to any other gigs'

Guggenheim has been with the Arrowverse since the very start, as an executive producer on "Arrow," "The Flash," "Supergirl," "DC's Legends of Tomorrow," and "Batwoman." He was also one of the minds behind "Crisis on Infinite Earths," the 2019 CW crossover event that brought many of the shows together for a multi-episode exploration of the multiverse (it even included character cameos from the 1966 "Batman" series, "Smallville," "Doom Patrol," and other DC projects. So given that history of pulling everything together for the small screen universe, Guggenheim hoped for at least a meeting once the DC reboot process began.

"Not a job, mind you. A meeting. A conversation. A small recognition of what I'd tried to contribute to the grand tapestry that is the DC Universe. I'd only spent nine years toiling in that vineyard, after all. (Not including many more years co-writing the 'Green Lantern' movie, a 'Green Lantern' streaming series, and comic books like 'The Flash,' 'Batman Confidential,' 'Adventures of Superman,' and 'Justice Society of America.')"

In the post, he goes on to lament that although working for DC was "creatively fulfilling," it also involved "a lot of adversity, challenges, and personal sacrifices — none of which seem to have accrued to any professional benefit."

"Simply put, the Arrowverse hasn't led to any other gigs, so it feels — at least on a career level — that I really wasted my time."

'Fans loved what we did'

After "Crisis on Infinite Earths" — which beat DC and even the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the punch of multiversal hijinks — Guggenheim expected more of a response than he earned. The way he sees it, all of those effort to bring together a "labor of love" were ignored. 

"I don't mean to belittle this in the slightest — fans loved what we did. There were tweets. There were posts. There were memes. There was much discussion. All of which I was — and remain — deeply grateful for. Working on these shows, we always reminded ourselves that the opposite of love was not hate, it was apathy, and no matter what, there was never any apathy. Except for, well, Hollywood. Hollywood met everything we did with apathy. Actually, apathy would have been a step up."

Although the Arrowverse didn't get the recognition Guggenheim wanted from those DC higher-ups, it was still something to behold. It had enough of a thriving fanbase to span eight TV series, with 714 episodes across 41 seasons of TV. So it might be time to bow our heads in respect for the wacky interconnected universe that gave us a Sisqó "Thong Song" cameo (one of many unforgettable scenes). 

As for what lies ahead outside of the Arrowverse, Marc Guggenheim will next team up with Universal to adapt "Too Dead to Die," a graphic novel he penned with Howard Chaykin.