Arrow may be ending, but the Arrowverse lives on. With five original series under its belt (and growing!), the CW's DC Comics empire shows no signs of slowing down even as its cornerstone series prepares to take its final bow, but no matter how long The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, and the upcoming Batwoman continue, it's a safe bet that these twenty beloved DC characters won't be making a CW cameo any time soon.
While Ruby Rose's Batwoman has finally opened the Arrowverse's doors to Gotham City, don't expect to see the OG Caped Crusader on your television screens. It took until the "Elseworlds" crossover for Arrow's series to even mention Batman by name, and Batwoman boss lady Caroline Dries told The Wrap that DC continually prevents Bruce Wayne from appearing on the Arrowverse (or any other television series, for that matter). This is probably because DC doesn't want to dilute the power of Batman's big screen appeal and multiple movie franchises with a small screen presence, but Caroline isn't going to stop trying.
Another character whose big screen success means they won't be making an Arrowverse cameo is Diana of Themyscria — better known as Wonder Woman. Gal Godot will be the only actress portraying the much-loved character for the foreseeable future, even though Legends of Tomorrow did feature her island home, Themyscria, in 2017. Legends and Arrow consulting producer Marc Guggenheim has told ComicBook.com that Wonder Woman is "spoken for," as are basically all of the Justice League superstar heroes.
You might not know about Darkseid now, but you will soon. While he might not be a household name (yet), the character is slated to appear in an upcoming film based on the New Gods helmed by the goddess of film herself, Ava DuVernay. Little is known about the project, including if it's connected to the DC Extended Universe of movies, leading CBR to hypothesize that the character might go from flying under the radar to appearing in two separate film franchises in the near future. Regardless, he likely isn't allowed to appear on television and in film at the same time, and adding a third project to his already stuffed plate could be a bit confusing.
Honestly, who could ever want someone other than Jason Momoa playing the King of the Seven Seas? We'd welcome the opportunity to see Khal Drogo return to our small screens on the weekly, but the immense success of his Aquaman solo film, the planned sequel, and a proposed horror spin-off movie within his watery universe make anything beyond the occasional Arrowverse teaser super, super unlikely. The character has only ever been touched upon on the CW in a throwaway mention of Atlantis on The Flash's second season, so Warner Brothers must have a tight grip on our man's Triton.
If DC is even slightly iffy about having current popular film characters pop up on television (which they ~clearly~ are), Harley Quinn's tenure on the Arrowverse began and ended with an Arrow season two Easter Egg. The popular video game voice of Harley, Tara Strong, was heard on Arrow's "Suicide Squad" episode, but showrunners reportedly had to ax any future appearances due to the then-upcoming Suicide Squad film, actress Willa Holland confirmed at MCM London Comic-Con. With Harley's hotly-anticipated Birds of Prey film in the works, it's safe to say DC's most fun anti-heroine is off-limits.
Harley Quinn wasn't the only Suicide Squad member blacklisted from the CW universe. A few Squad characters were already in the Arrowverse's rotation, notably including Floyd Lawton's Deadshot, and had to be removed when the film came to fruition. If the lowest-of-keys Deadshot was written off on behest of the DCEU, we won't be seeing the team's most notorious member on our small screens anytime soon. With a solo Joker movie reportedly in the works and a long history of cinematic greatness (Heath Ledger is eternally the Joker GOAT), there's no way DC or Warner Brothers will be sharing him with a teen television empire.
Arrow planned on featuring Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle, as a new vigilante who tries to woo Felicity Smoak away from Oliver Queen during the show's third season, but then-showrunner Andrew Kreisberg told Comic-Con attendees that DC wouldn't share his rights because they had other plans for the character. The Blue Beetle's arc was replaced by Chuck hottie Brandon Routh's Ray Palmer / The Atom, but it's been years since Andrew got the big N-O without any word of a live-action Blue Beetle project. There was a rumored buddy cop movie with Booster Gold floating around in 2015, but the latter character is getting his own star-studded Netflix series with John Krasinski as the rumored lead, so that can't have been the issue.
We would never have thought of The Question if Marc Guggenheim himself hadn't brought up the low-profile DC vigilante during a 2017 Discussing Film interview. The producer said he would be "a great fit with the tone of Arrow," but DC had mysterious other plans for the Question that prevented him from appearing on the multi-verse. While his home town Hub City has been referenced on Legends and Arrow, the character clearly won't be showing up on the latter before the OG series takes its final bow. And with no Question appearance in another film to speak of, we have some questions ourselves for the DC Powers That Be.
We honestly assumed that DC would do anything to make us forget about that disastrous Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively Green Lantern film, but in the same breath that he dashed our Wonder Woman hopes, Marc Guggenheim also nixed the possibility of a Green Lantern cameo on the Arrowverse. The probably-mythical Green Lantern Corps movie is somehow ~still~ in development, so Arrow and friends couldn't have Hal Jordan (or any iteration of the character) for themselves despite a popular fan theory that Arrow's John Diggle is meant to be comic book Green Lantern, John Stewart.
Okay, guys, this is a weird one. Bare with us. Arrow fans (or even casual Arrow viewers) are probably scratching their heads at the inclusion of Deathstroke on this list because, well, he's appeared on 39 episodes of the show. Honestly, we wouldn't have thought to include Slade Wilson on this list, except for the fact that Marc Guggenheim told The Mutuals this former Big Bad has been on an Arrowverse blacklist since 2017 because of DC's plans for a solo Deathstroke movie and a leading role in Matt Reeves's The Batman... but they still let the character appear on season two of Titans, a DC television series that exists outside of the Arrowverse. What?
Arrowverse bosses Greg Berlanti and Geoff Johns are ~super~ involved with Titans, the flagship superhero series of the DC Universe stream service, but that doesn't mean Titans or any other series in its shared universe have any connection to Arrow's multi-verse. IGN has praised Titans's darker tone and successful attempt at carving its own slice of the superhero TV market separate from the ruling Arrowverse, but DC's church-and-state approach to their television empires means that we probably won't be seeing Titans lead Robin on the Arrowverse in any iteration.
In a similar vein, lesser-known (but still popular) Titans character Nightwing won't be crossing into the Arrowverse, either. CW president Mark Pedowitz made it very clear to the Television Critics Association that there are no discussions to bring Titans and its DC Universe brethren into the CW's superhero fold. Dick Grayson's home of Blüdhaven is mentioned on Arrow even though his vigilante alter-ego isn't, but Titans paired with a Nightwing solo film that's in early development have spelled doom for any potential Arrowverse appearances for a long, long time.
Plastic Man is a little corny, at best, but DC has been trying to develop a Plastic Man film with Warner Brothers since ~at least~ December 2018, meaning the CW probably couldn't use the long-standing hero on any of its series — not that we really think it would want to. Although, on second thought, something about the goofball hero screams early-Flash vibes. After the success of DC's comedy Shazam! film, their plastic man comedic action-adventure described in Collider might be a great move for the company if it actually gets made. That said, Ralph Dibny AKA Elongated Man on The Flash is thought to be The CW's version of Plastic Man.
No one in the Arrowverse has commented on Lobo (yet), but the long-standing villain has both a solo film reported by Collider and a second season appearance on Syfy's Superman-adjacent series Krypton keeping him from the Arrowverse's clutches. At this point, with another hero being featured on television and in a soon-to-be-made film, it seems like the issue isn't so much with concurrent film and television appearances as it is with concurrent film and CW television appearances. It might be the conspiracy theorist in us, but the CWs hyper-popular teen series might be getting DC's cold shoulder.
Originally, we assumed Swamp Thing was never brought into the Arrowverse because it would be too difficult to render him for television, but the eccentric hero is getting his own live-action series on DC Universe in 2019. We're excited to see how they manage to pull this one off, but we're also disappointed that the character's existence within the Titans universe means it won't be able to appear on the CW, judging by comments on IGN and CBR.
Speaking of the DC Universe app, Doom Patrol is the second series exclusively produced for DC's streaming service, featuring Brendan Fraser (and onset stand-in Riley Shanahan) as Robotman. Screen Rant found on-set photos of the character in August 2018 ahead of its September release. The Screen Rant article also took note that it isn't so much DC Universe keeping their shows away from the CW as it is the CW's existing rights to their characters keeping them from being poached by the DC Universe, making it look like it's going to be a bit harder for the CW franchise to introduce new well-known characters that DC Universe will likely now have first dibs on.
Another Doom Patrol regular, Crazy Jane, will now be far, far away from our CW faves. The character is a little dark even for teen TV — Jane is the dominant personality of Kay Challis, a woman with dissociative identity disorder stemming from years of sexual abuse by her father, an Easter Sunday rape in a church, and exposure to an alien "gene bomb." Yeah, it's a lot. Doom Patrol will be the character's first live adaptation, understandably, and we wouldn't have any qualms if it wasn't for the fabulous Diane Guerrero playing the role — she's great at Crazy Jane, but we want her for the Arrowverse, too!
Unlike Deathstroke and Deadshot, Arrow fans never got to see a fully-fledged Katana. The series hinted that Arrow character Tatsu Yamashiro was the sword-wielding badass with her alias, costume, and, well, *sword*, but she was never able to take up the Katana mantle before leaving the series during season four. Katana is yet another character lost to the Suicide Squad franchise, and although Screen Rant has hope for the character's ~official~ debut on the show, it looks like the evidence is not on their side. We're not sure if the CW never had the rights to the Katana name or if they were just ramping up for a big reveal, but it doesn't really matter anymore.
One of the most disappointing Arrow near-misses was their loss of the Oracle moniker. Felicity Smoak seemed poised to take on the role formerly held by Barbara Gordon in the comics after a parallel paralyzation led to the tech whiz taking on a very, very similar role to the former Batgirl, but Screen Rant notes that Arrow had to change an episode called "Oracle" to "The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak." Writers even included a nod to their original plans when Oliver told Felicity her new codename was originally going to be Oracle, but that it was "taken." Taken by whom, exactly? Oh, that would probably be the hacker's future in Harley Quinn's Birds of Prey film.
Black Lightning has his own CW television show, and the show has mentioned Arrowverse characters Vixen and Supergirl on more than one occasion, but Black Lightning executive producer Salim Akil told Entertainment Weekly in no uncertain terms that Black Lightning doesn't even exist in the same ~universe~ as the CW's other super shows. In a weirdly defensive turn of phrase, Salim said the only world in which the Arrowverse's characters would link up with theirs is if they come to visit the Black Lightning universe. Gee, someone sounds bitter.
[UPDATE: This one might be happening, actually, and our interest is piqued. Black Lightning is set to appear on the next annual Arrowverse crossover event. Who had a change of heart, we wonder.]