Arrowverse Co-Creator Spent His Own $10,000 on ‘Infinite Earths,’ Never Got a Call to Meet About New DC Universe: ‘I Really Wasted My Time’
Marc Guggenheim has been a staple of DC Entertainment on television for over a decade as the co-creator of The CW’s Arrowverse, which launched in 2012 with “Arrow” (Guggenheim developed the series with Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg) and continued through “The Flash,” “Supergirl” and more. In a February 2023 blog post that’s now circulating online (via Entertainment Weekly), Guggenheim lamented over not being included in the new DC Universe that’s taking shape at Warner Bros. under DC Studios bosses James Gunn and Peter Safran.
Guggenheim admitted in his blog post that friends had told him Hollywood would come calling after he pulled off The CW’s ambitious “Crisis on Infinite Earths” storyline. That crossover event, which aired in December 2019 and January 2020, brought together six different superhero series for a story that ran through five hours of television. It was no easy feat, and Guggenheim said he even put up thousands of dollars of his own money to pull it off.
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“The project, a live action adaptation of a seminal comic book series that made a significant impression on my psyche, was more than a labor of love,” Guggenheim wrote. “It was a labor in every respect and a project where I spent every ounce of capital I’d amassed in developing DC Comics-related shows for Warner Bros. over an eight-year period. I called in every favor. I used every chit. I burned every bridge. I even spent $10,000 of my own money.”
“Afterwards, my phone did not, in fact, ring. ‘Off the hook’ or otherwise,” Guggenheim added. “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.”
Guggenheim decided to reveal all this after “James Gunn announced that he assembled a ‘writers room’ to help chart out what the new ‘DC Universe’ under his and James Safran’s leadership is going to be.”
“Suffice it to say, I am not among that group,” Guggenheim wrote. “I’m not particularly surprised. In fact, 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.”
“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,” he continued. “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.’)”
Guggenheim summed up his frustration when writing: “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.”
“Arrow” wrapped up its eight-season run in 2020, while “The Flash” is coming to an end this year after running for nine seasons. The series finale of “The Flash” in May 2023 will effectively serve as the end of the Arrowverse, although The CW’s Arrowverse-adjacent series “Superman & Lois” will continue for “one or two more seasons.”
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