‘Legends of Tomorrow’ Learning From Mistakes of Yesterday

By October 14, 2016


The CW has adapting DC Comics to television series right down to a science. Well, at least it should by now.

Legends of Tomorrow, which included some of the brain trust already working on DC series like Arrow‘s Marc Guggenheim, should have been able to slide right in. Instead, fans had a lot of issues with pacing and the overall story being told, which caused a rare viewer erosion.

But now Guggenheim and fellow executive producer Phil Klemmer have made a course correction as they continue to plan for the future. In fact, Klemmer told SlashFilm‘s Fred Topel that they may have been a victim of DC’s success on The CW in recent years.

“I think what we felt, after having done a pilot that went straight into series, was that we showed too many of our cards. We established the bad guy, what he does, how he does it, when he does it. 

“We wanted Season 2 to be much more of a mystery, much more amorphous, and having a Legion of Doom, which is obviously a misnomer because they’re not necessarily on the same page about what their dastardly agendas are.”

In fact, inner conflict among the characters could play a much larger role in the second season, which debuted Thursday night on The CW. Guggenheim said one of the things that keep audiences coming back for more is watching as characters who should be getting along don’t.

“We basically started the process by looking at the episodes of last year that worked and asking ourselves, ‘OK, why did those episodes work?’ We looked at the episodes that didn’t work and asked ourselves, ‘Why didn’t these episodes work?’ 

“I think it’s very reductive, but I think ultimately what we ended up doing is we designed a season and a concept behind the season that allowed us to do all the stuff we do well, which is go to cool time periods, get into trouble, have fun, have humor.”

“We retooled everything about the show. I’m very happy with the results.”

The time travel series is actually a spin-off of Arrow, forcing both heroes and villains to work together against a common enemy hell-bent on destroying the world. It features some not-so-common characters from the DC universe like Firestorm (Victor Garber, Franz Drameh), Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) and White Canary (Caity Lotz).

Legends of Tomorrow also features Brandon Routh as Atom, an actor who is no stranger to the DC universe, playing the title role in Superman Returns in 2006.

The conflict in Legends of Tomorrow will be reminiscent a bit of another film, Guggenheim said. And despite the fact that The Avengers is a Marvel property, the producer wasn’t shy of giving credit.

“I thought Joss (Whedon) did a great job with that actually. Even in Avengers 2, he found ways to get the superheroes fighting each other. It’s one of the key required elements of any superhero team up.”

Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursdays on The CW.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael began what has become nearly 19 years of entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based out of New York City where he is the editor of a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in the Bronx.