In the case of the former, I had to go onto iTunes to buy the episodes of B:BATB I hadn't seen, which was hardly difficult but certainly not good for the show; how many people, used to seeing the show for free, are going to pony up $1.99 or whatever for the chance to see episodes?
So while leaving a comment on the blog of comics legend (and frequent B:BATB writer) J.M. DeMatteis, I came up with an idea on the fly: DCTV!
DCTV would be an entire channel devoted to running nothing but movies, TV shows, cartoons, and the like starring DC characters. Just imagine! an entire channel that could run movies like Batman: The Movie, the four Batman films of the 90s, the five (to date) Superman films, Supergirl, Swamp Thing, Green Lantern, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Jonah Hex, and Catwoman (okay, maybe not Catwoman). Due to their length, they would be DCTV's main block of programming at night, taking up the 8-10 or in most cases 8-11pm time slot.
Later at night, the movies could be skewed for older, more mature audiences--V for Vendetta, Constantine, The Losers, A History of Violence, Road to Perdition, and Watchmen.
This is where you could really get creative: an edgy director or writer who wants to make an Ultra The Multi Alien movie? Done! Somebody with a crazy, out-of-the-box idea for The Atom? Done! Disney wants to squeeze some more money out of the still-standing Pirates of the Caribbean sets? WB could rent them for their upcoming Captain Fear TV movie! WB Animation wants to do a classic Tex Avery-ish version of Plastic Man? Set those Korean animators to work!
This, of course, could be a Doc Magnus-esque laboratory for what kinds of characters might just work as blockbuster franchises: if ratings are huge for, say, a Dr. Fate TV film, then the WB and DC would have that a base to determine whether it could be expanded into a Summer blockbuster. Right now, its all just guess work, with hundreds of millions on the line. If Dr. Fate proves he can be a movie star, then in a few years we could have Guillermo Del Toro's Dr. Fate (with Ron Perlman as Wotan).
I realize, of course, that rights issues complicate all this--DC/WB doesn't necessarily own the rights to all this stuff (in fact, no one owns the rights to the Max Fleisher Superman cartoons of the 40s), but I always believe that if enough money is there to be made, rights issues can always be worked out.
If Marvel Comics can have Marvel Studios, DC can have DCTV.
This post originally appeared on August 8, 2011.
Post Script: Of course, this piece was written almost four years ago, before there was Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl. This whole idea doesn't seem as pie in the sky now, does it?