Nearly a decade spent helping Greg Berlanti assemble the Arrowverse did not get Marc Guggenheim so much as a phone call from the new regime at DC Studios, the prolific executive producer has revealed.
Guggenheim said in a recent posting to his “Legal Dispatch” blog that although the Arrowverse, among other things, hosted a “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover event that “brought together characters from the 1966 Batman television show, the 1989 Batman feature, the 1990 The Flash series, the Smallville series, Lucifer, Doom Patrol, Titans, Swamp Thing, the Green Lantern movie, Superman Returns, Kingdom Come…” — and in which Ezra Miller top-secretly reprised their role as the big screen’s Barry Allen in a scene with TV’s Grant Gustin — such endeavors wound up being met with “apathy” by Hollywood.
“There were tweets [by fans]. There were posts. There were memes. There was much discussion. All of which I was — and remain — deeply grateful for,” Guggenheim wrote. Yet, “Hollywood met everything we did with apathy. Actually, apathy would have been a step up.”
As such, when new DC Studios bosses James Gunn and Peter Safran announced that they were forming a writers room to map out the new DC Universe, Guggenheim says he was “not particularly surprised” to not make the cut.
“But I’ll be honest: I would have liked to have gotten at least a meeting,” he said. “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.”
Guggenheim added that “although working for DC had been creatively fulfilling, it 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.”
Gunn, when revealing “Chapter One” of his and Safran’s DC Universe on Jan. 31, appeared to shade not specifically TV’s Arrowverse but the larger hodgepodge of sometimes-connected DC properties.
“The history of DC is pretty messed up,” Gunn said, name-checking the Arrowverse, two versions of Zack Snyder’s Justice League film, and even his own The Suicide Squad team-up movie and the Peacemaker series it spawned.
“No one was minding the mint,” Gunn observed. “They were just giving away IP like they were party favors to any creators who smiled at them.”
In the years since wrapping his run as an Arrowverse EP, Guggenheim has been busy shepherding an L.A. Law revival that didn’t go, writing movies, and penning comics — both work-for-hire (e.g. Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca) and creator-owned (e.g. Last Flight Out for Dark Horse).