In an interview with Variety, DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson revealed that the various DC Entertainment TV shows and the upcoming DC Comic Expanded Universe films will not be part of the same continuity. With this, DC Entertainment makes a huge departure from its rival, Marvel Studios, which has combined their live action TV shows and movies into a complex and successful franchise.
With Arrow and Flash being successes on The CW, along with Gotham on Fox and Supergirl about to premiere on CBS, one would think DC Entertainment would want to capitalize on the successes of these programs. However, Nelson has stated there is no plan to do so, instead choosing to give the various projects more creative freedom, “We’re so talent driven. [The focus on a single universe] could end up handcuffing our creators into trying to work with the same storyline or force them to hold back characters or introduce certain characters. Ultimately it hinders the ability for someone like (showrunner) Bruno Heller to come in and create Gotham.”
It might be a strategy that might pay off for DC Entertainment. For one, it helps differentiate them from their competition (and let’s be fair, if they did make it a shared universe, people would be shouting that they were just copying Marvel). Secondly, as of the moment, it would be hard to retcon everything in the various television series to make things fit with the various television series. DC Comics is known for their multiverse, and having these separate projects, with some crossover, on television allows more freedom than tying them down to the film franchises. Thirdly, it prevents the problems that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has suffered: mainly slowing down plots so they can into the big event movie that is being released.
In the end, time will tell on whether DC Entertainment’s gamble will pay off. But it seems that with their success on television, and two highly anticipated films, it might pay off in spades.