The launch of DC Universe later this month will serve as the beginning of brand new content bringing many classic and fan-favorite superheroes to the small screen, but don't expect it to mimic the Arrowverse or the MCU.
The first live-action original series premieres next month with Titans. That series is also set to get its own spinoff with Doom Patrol, following the team's debut in the first season of Titans. Next year sees the launch of Swamp Thing, a new live-action series from Aquaman director and horror master James Wan.
So with so many superhero series, including one spinoff, it would stand to reason that DC Universe is crafting its own shared universe. But that's not exactly the case here, according to Swamp Thing writer Gary Dauberman.
"I think the opportunity is there if we want to [connect the series] but it’s not mandated," Dauberman told /Film. "I think we could if, in the future, it organically works itself out to be that way. I haven’t discussed that with the guys from Titans and they haven’t discussed it with us."
While this might be disappointing to some fans, it's probably the best way to build each individual series at this point. Each series in The CW's Arrowverse all served to build out the flagship series and their crossover events, except for Black Lightning. That show is taking a similar approach as DC Universe's output, building its own storyline before potentially crossing into the worlds of Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl.
The programming heads for DC Universe don't seem eager to repeat the mistakes of DC Films, which quickly attempted to manufacture a shared universe in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. It was poorly received by fans, and the success of Wonder Woman caused Warner Bros. execs to backtrack and give each subsequent film their own breathing room.
Given the people involved with Swamp Thing and the first trailer for Titans, it seems like DC Universe will offer fans darker takes on the iconic superheroes. Producer Geoff Johns spoke about the direction for Titans and what fans can expect in the first season.
It is controversial! I think that was expected though, you know? I don’t think anyone was like, ‘What? Wait! What?!’ As I’ve been telling people, I’m like, you know, not to take the trailer as, ‘This is the whole show.’ But I’m glad there’s discussion and there should be discussion about that and why we would go that direction and why Robin would ever get to that point,” Johns said to CBR. “You know, a big part of the series is exploring — and I’m doing that with Akiva Goldsman, Greg Berlanti and Greg Walker — and a big part of the series that we’re exploring is the moment that Robin left Batman."
Titans premieres on DC Universe on October 12th. Swamp Thing is rumored to debut sometime in 2019.