DC Comics’s Geoff Johns wears a lot of hats. In addition to serving as president and chief creative officer, he’s a prolific comic-book writer who co-runs the DC Film division with Jon Berg. He’s essentially the arbiter of the entire DC Extended Universe. No pressure, right?
On January 1, 2017, Johns kicked off the new year with a series of exciting announcements on Twitter, the most tantalizing of which teased a possible new addition to DC’s already robust TV lineup on The CW and Fox. Though Johns did not elaborate on the TBD show, it could be a continuation of producer Greg Berlanti’s successful Arrowverse, which includes Arrow, Supergirl, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow. It could also be a series that’s already in development (like Berlanti’s Black Lightning project) or something completely new (Birds of Prey or bust).
Let’s take a guess at which new show Johns is most excited about in 2017.
Black LightningDC Comics
The obvious guess here is Black Lightning, based on the character created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden. The series, which got a pilot production commitment from Fox last year, follows Jefferson Pierce, a man who bailed on being the titular superhero years ago. He’s called back to it, of course, because of his daughter’s quest for justice. Details have been sparse, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Johns, Berlanti, and DC TV are getting ready to make an announcement about the show — whether casting or a potential premiere date — sometime soon. (For what it’s worth, DC TV projects currently in development include Syfy’s DMZ and Ronin, USA’s Amped, NBC’s Red, ABC’s Unfollow, and FX’s Y: The Last Man.)
Krypton, a Superman prequel set on — yep, you guessed it — the planet Krypton, received a pilot order from Syfy last year but has yet to get the go-ahead on a full season pickup. Krypton will follow Superman’s grandfather, Seg-El, whose House of El has been ostracized, as he fights to “redeem his family’s honor and save his beloved planet from chaos.” Casting was announced last year, which means Krypton could be set for a 2017 premiere — if Syfy decides to pick it up.
Y: The Last ManVertigo Comics
FX recently tapped Michael Green to serve as showrunner on this planned adaptation of the celebrated Vertigo graphic novel. Late last year, it was reported that Green would co-write the script for Y: The Last Man, which follows a young man who somehow survives a global virus that eradicates men from existence, alongside comic-book creator Brian K. Vaughan. Last we heard, the project was still in development over at FX, so casting news seems inevitable at this point.
Birds of PreyDC Comics
Sisters Julie and Shawna Benson are doing a killer job with DC Rebirth’s current Batgirl and the Birds of Prey title, which could provide a nice springboard into a live-action series. Laurel Lance was woefully neglected on Arrow, but we know actress Katie Cassidy signed a deal to be a series regular across the entire Arrowverse, so there’s still a chance we might meet Dinah Lance after all. (Plus, The Huntress has already made her mark on Arrow.) With all of the hints the Arrowverse has been dropping about Gotham this past season, it wouldn’t be totally out of the question to cast Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Batgirl, and bring her into the fold. Plus, it’s not like there’s an abundance of badass, female-fronted comic-book shows on TV.
Of course, with Margot Robbie’s Gotham City Sirens movie currently being fast-tracked over at DC Films — which could feature a glimpse of the Birds of Prey — it’s possible that the film division wants Batgirl, Black Canary, and Huntress for itself.
Teen Titans and/or NightwingCartoon Network
TV has tried (and failed) to give us a live-action Dick Grayson for years. Could this be the year DC finally delivers? In 2008, The CW ordered a pilot for a Smallville-esque prequel series called The Graysons about the Boy Wonder during his pre-Gotham years in the circus, which was later nixed. Then, in the wake of Cartoon Network’s successful Teen Titans animated series, it looked like a live-action Teen Titans show would be a go on TNT — until it was canceled.
But Johns, ever the optimist, assured fans last year that DC still has big plans for the Teen Titans. Could years of wishful thinking finally pay off in 2017? Maybe! Not only have there been mentions of Blüdhaven on Arrow, but Supergirl has alluded to Gotham several times in its second season. With Batman currently heading up the Justice League with Wonder Woman on the big screen, it’s possible that DC’s Boy Wonder could finally make his mark on the small screen this year, with or without the Titans.