Is Brandon Routh’s “Atom” The CW’s Next ‘Arrow’ Spinoff?
The CW’s joint ‘Arrow’ and ‘The Flash’ panel from yesterday’s TCA press tour brought with it plenty of scoop on either superhero, but also news that their small-screen DC-verse would expand with a ‘Vixen’ animated series, and potentially another spinoff for the network. Speculation has flown in every direction, but is Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer character the one super-sizing his own spinoff for “The Atom”?
Take this one with quite a few grains of salt for the moment, as very little of what was said in and around yesterday’s panel confirms that ‘The Atom’ will enter development as another potential ‘Arrow’ spinoff. For one, even amid a landscape as jam-packed with movie and TV superheroes to come in the next few years, a smaller network like The CW playing host to three separate super-shows with one universe seems a little far-fetched.
Here’s where the hype is coming from. CW president Mark Pedowitz noted in his general speech to reporters that they’ve had discussions on “expanding” the universe shared by ‘Arrow’ and ‘The Flash,’ though he declined to elaborate any further. Later, ‘Arrow’ producer Greg Berlanti fielded questions as to whether Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer character could become the focus of said spinoff speculation, to which Berlanti responded “We’re in very early talks in a very general idea that we haven’t gone deeper on yet.”
Routh himself chimed in on the idea, noting that the floundering of ‘Superman Returns’ initially gave him pause to pick up another DC superhero’s mantle. In addition to the panel, the actor recently spoke to IGN about the possibility of growing the character’s media presence with a spinoff:
With any character you bring on this show that’s a possibility, depending on how the fans react and the character is received and developed. You know they’ve shown with The Flash that just being a part of Arrow that it can work. It’s exciting. The sky’s the limit. DC and The CW have done a great job with the two shows and the platforms in terms being their own entities. What the future holds, who knows? But anything is a possibility.
I’m a bit mixed as to whether The CW would genuinely consider adding ‘The Atom’ to its lineup, even as the slight gamble of spinning off ‘The Flash’ paid off to become the network’s most-watched series. For one, even the arrival of Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man’ won’t change the fact that Ray Palmer remains far from one of DC’s most bankable characters. Even then, we haven’t fully seen how ‘Arrow’ plans to incorporate the hero’s abilities, which themselves were initially conceived for Blue Beetle, before the network was denied use of the character.
Would that prevent ‘Arrow’ from launching a second spin-off? Certainly not. If indeed Brandon Routh’s Atom (or in this case, A.T.O.M.) proves the subject of the CW’s vague “expansion” plans, it doesn’t seem as if very much has been mapped out at this point in time. Suggestions to the contrary seem a bit more focused on the headline than the content, but it’s an exciting idea to consider nonetheless.
What do you think? Would you want to see ‘The Atom’ spin off to join ‘Arrow’ and ‘The Flash’ on The CW? What other superheroes might make the jump to live-action in the current boom of comic TV shows?