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The Idea Of An Atom Spinoff Series May Be Growing On The CW

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ArrowComic-book superheroes have been ruling the big screen for a while now, with Marvel enjoying an insane run of success at the box office and DC now doing its best to play catch-up. But some of the most entertaining comic adaptations are actually unfolding on the TV front — especially on The CW, where Arrow and The Flash are constructing a shared universe any longtime DC fan should love. Now it looks like the Arrow-verse might be expanding even further in the not-too-distant future, by giving a tiny hero his big moment in the spotlight.

Of course we’re talking about Ray Palmer, aka The Atom. Palmer was introduced earlier this season on Arrow as a scientist/industrialist who takes over Oliver Queen’s former company. And just as Barry Allen/The Flash was introduced on Arrow in the hopes that the character would prove popular enough to support his own show, Palmer (played by former Superman Brandon Routh) is also being groomed for his own potential spinoff once he dons The Atom’s red and blue super-duds. Speaking to THR, Arrow-verse executive producer revealed that very early discussions about an Atom spinoff have already taken place, but it’s a long way from a done deal. Berlanti said:

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DC Needs A Movie/TV Multiverse, And Here’s How To Make It Happen

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MultiFeatWith the word that Syfy and David S. Goyer are officially developing a TV series focused on Krypton — and on Superman’s grandfather — I’ve been thinking about how DC’s ambitious TV and movie plans could affect each other. Right now, DC is trying both to compete with Marvel’s huge head start at world-building and to set itself apart from Marvel’s “everything is connected” approach. So they’ve gone the opposite direction, with an interlocking movie continuity in the works while DC’s various TV properties unfold in their own separate realities (with the exception, so far, of The CW’s Arrow and The Flash). But what if we could instead have the best of both worlds? Or, more to the point, the best of infinite worlds?

One of the things that made the DC universe so fun over the years was the notion of the “multiverse” — countless parallel worlds, some dramatically different from the core DC universe of “Earth-1,” while others varied only in the smallest of way. I loved seeing Earth-2’s Justice Society — composed of the older “Golden Age” versions of DC’s heroes — teaming up with Earth-1’s Justice League to take down Earth-3’s Crime Syndicate, and that was one of the least nutty things that the multiverse made possible. So why not apply this multiverse idea to the various DC TV and film projects? DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns even hinted such a thing was possible a while back, and the concept is back in play at DC comics right now thanks to Grant Morrison’s Multiversity event. Honestly, the more I think about this, the more I love the idea. So, let’s break down why the notion of a DC movie/TV multiverse has the potential to be amazing.

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Brandon Routh Joins Arrow As Shrinking Scientist Extraordinaire, The Atom

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RouthIt’s anybody’s guess whether Zack Snyder’s cumbersomely titled Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice will be a trainwreck or a successful foundation for the DC Cinematic Universe Warner Bros. is desperately hoping for. But regardless, the folks at The CW’s Arrow are already succeeding at creating a more interesting and coherent DC universe on the small screen. With its third season set to premiere this fall, Arrow has grown into a hugely entertaining show and has been steadily introducing TV versions of tons of familiar DC characters, including Barry Allen, aka super-speedster The Flash, who is spinning off his own show this fall as well. Now it looks like another stalwart of the Silver Age Justice League line-up is entering the Arrow-verse: ex-Superman Brandon Routh will be guest starring this season as Dr. Ray Palmer, better known as The Atom.

Deadline reports that Routh, who played Superman/Clark Kent in Bryan Singer’s 2006 franchise non-starter Superman Returns, will be “the season’s main recurring guest star” on Arrow, and is set to appear in 14 episodes. He’ll be playing Palmer, who is described as “a scientist and inventor who will play an unexpected role in the lives of Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak as the new owner of Queen Consolidated.” Fans of the show will recall that Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) lost control of his company last season thanks to an evil scheme by the vengeful Slade Wilson (Spartacus: Blood & Sand’s Manu Bennet) and his undercover protege Isabel (Summer Glau). Since both of them have been dealt with, it was unclear if Oliver would somehow be able to wrest back control of Queen Consolidated, or if he was going to have to get used to a steady diet of Ramen.

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Farscape’s Ben Browder Lands A Role On The CW’s Arrow

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For a while there it seemed like Farscape’s Ben Browder had vanished off the face of the Earth…or at least the part of it dedicated to film and television. Aside from a post-Farscape run on Stargate SG-1 and a guest appearance on Chuck, Browder’s resume has been depressingly barren in recent years. That’s incredibly disappointing, because Browder’s performance throughout Farscape was amazing. Fans were thrilled to hear that Browder was going to appear on an episode of Doctor Who earlier this year, only to be disheartened when that episode thoroughly wasted him in a near-nothing role. But now there’s another ray of hope: Browder has signed on for a role in the CW’s DC Comics adaptation, Arrow.

The show is a new spin on DC’s Emerald Archer, Green Arrow. Only a few weeks into its first season, the show has already introduced versions of comic characters such as Deadshot and Deathstroke. IGN reports that Browder will be playing yet another comic-to-screen transplant, albeit a fairly obscure one. In the show trust fund brat/secret vigilante Oliver Queen has revealed his secret identity to his former bodyguard, John Diggle (David Ramsey). Browder will be introduced in the role of Ted Gaynor, a former soldier colleague who served with Diggle in Afghanistan. He is also currently working for the Blackhawk Squad Protection Group…a nice little tip of the hat to the original comics character, who first appeared in Blackhawk #266 in 1984, as a member of the legendary Blackhawk Squadron.

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Torchwood’s Captain Jack Joins The CW’s Arrow

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Doctor Who continues to grown in popularity these days, but the future doesn’t look nearly as bright for fans of the spin-off series, Torchwood. The disappointing Torchwood: Miracle Day series took an interesting concept and killed it with molasses-slow pacing, an ironic feat for a show about a man who can’t die. Given that Miracle Day didn’t exactly light up the ratings for Starz, there’s some question whether we’ll get anymore Torchwood or if it is well and truly dead. But take heart, Torchwood fans: even if you can’t get more of the show, you can at least get more of the cast. Actor John Barrowman — Captain Jack himself — is joining the CW’s upcoming superhero action series Arrow.

Based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow, Arrow gives the character the Smallville/Batman Begins treatment, showing Oliver Queen’s path to becoming an emerald-hued, arrow-slinging vigilante. The show stars Stephen Amell as the hero, and EW reports that Barrowman will be playing a “well-dressed man … as mysterious as he is wealthy … he is an acquaintance of the Queen family and a prominent figure in Starling City.” That doesn’t exactly tell us much, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s playing some existing DC character and they’re trying to keep the lid on his identity until the show eventually reveals it. Sadly, the story also fails to explain why they’ve decided to change the name of Green Arrow’s hometown from “Star City” to “Starling City.” Who the hell names a city after a starling?

Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim are writing for the show, and that could be good or bad news, depending on your opinion of the Green Lantern movie, which they also penned (along with Michael Green & Michael Goldenberg). Either way, the show’s got a high bar to reach — in longevity, if not in quality — if it’s going to fill the (super) boots of its predecessor, Smallville, which ran for 10 seasons.