Producer and Creator Greg Berlanti is now synonymous with the DC television universe that encompasses a sizable chunk of The CW's weekly line-up, a line-up celebrated for its rich characterization and more lighthearted tone.
At one point, though, the talented showrunner actually pitched a film idea to Marvel Studios, a pitch that included billionaire playboy Tony Stark. As Berlanti details in a recent interview with Vulture, his film would have been a bit different than the one that ultimately launched an expansive film universe.
"I kept telling people in the industry that I loved comic books as a kid when Iron Man hadn't been made yet. I pitched on that."
"There was that movie with Nic Cage where he's a gunrunner. Lord of War. Marvel wanted that feeling. Tony [Stark] was an alcoholic in it by then. My pitch certainly wasn't as good as the eventual film. So everyone made the right choice. My agents at the time were like, "You like comic books?" And so then I pitched Warner Bros. on Green Lantern."
It wouldn't be until Iron Man 2 that the alcohol issues were even hinted at, and they were more a symptom of his breakdown rather than the cause of it.
As for Green Lantern, that film would also look very different than the version he originally pitched. The film was not very well received, but Berlanti did learn a few things from the whole ordeal.
"That I would rather make my own mistakes and learn from them than have other people take the material. If you're not executing it, if you're not there, not everybody can know what's in your head. The devil is in the details, whether it's in a piece of casting or whether it's an action scene being representative of the character. So when I eventually got back to Warner Bros. after Green Lantern, they said, "Well, you've worked on DC material before. Do you want to make a DC show?" I was hesitant."
He had every reason to be hesitant, but luckily for fans, he eventually decided to take on the Arrowverse, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Speaking of Arrow, the hit show returns to The CW on October 5th.