For the ten-year duration of the CW Network's Smallville, fans knew that Batman was off the board, barred from appearing on the show by the network's corporate parents and DC Entertainment's owners at Warner Brothers.
And while Bruce Wayne's appearance in the Smallville Season Eleven comic books is raising some eyebrows already (mostly over who will appear as Nightwing), Arrow showrunner Marc Guggenheim told IGN that he'd like to see Batman appear in the upcoming series.
The show, which is already known to feature Deathstroke, China White and Deadshot as villains, will also incorporate at least Laurel Lance, who in the comics became Black Canary, and rumor has it that there will be more heroes to come. But put on the spot regarding a specific Caped Crusader, Guggenheim said that those decisions are made "above my pay grade," but that if it's up to him, the series will incorporate the Gotham City crew.
"Oh, my hope is that we can use him at some point," said Guggenheim. "I think that plagued the Smallville showrunners more than it plagues us because, obviously, the Dark Knight Trilogy is over. They’re not available to us yet. My hope is that they’ll be available to us at some point. That would be awesome. No question, that would be absolutely awesome."
He also noted--not specifically about Batman, but in a way that's still germane to the issue, that fans are smart enough to be able to delineate between the different versions, and not feel as though the prodcuers are going back to the well too soon with characters who were just appearing in another series or film. It's important not only if they decide to use the Dark Knight, but because Green Arrow, Deathstroke and Deadshot all appeared in the last couple of seasons of Smallville.
"Look at The Amazing Spider-Man. That was five years after the last Spider-Man movie. Audiences have become incredibly savvy about almost every aspect of our business. I think we actually make the mistake when we underestimate what an audience can handle. We never make a mistake when we overestimate it."