DC's Cooking Up a Live-Action Superman Prequel Series

Everyone knows you're not allowed to play with the two best toys in the DC Comics box -- Batman and Superman -- unless you're planning to blow a few hundred million dollars on a major motion picture. Batman and Superman prequels, however? Totally fair game.

Metropolis, a prequel story about the city before Superman's arrival, has been given a straight-to-series order from DC for its upcoming digital streaming service, with the show due out in 2019. Can you imagine what that city looked like before they had an all-powerful alien protecting it from the weekly super villain attacks, plane crashes and meteor strikes? Yeesh.

John Stephens and Danny Cannon, who work on Fox's Batman prequel series Gotham, will write and direct the series. According to the press release, Metropolis will focus on Lex Luthor and Lois Lane as they "investigate the world of fringe science and expose the city's dark and bizarre secrets." So there's a chance we won't see Superman at all, unlike Gotham, which is clearly working its way toward giving us Batman.

DC's streaming service is due out later this year and has a few series already planned, including the live-action version of Titans and animated series Young Justice: Outsiders and Harley Quinn.

This article originally appears on TV Guide.com.

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Feb 24, 2018
This is almost offensively stupid. I'm planning to abandon tv as soon as the few shows I'm currently watching finish up. The state of scifi and fantasy tv is complete trash. I'm going to read far more books and comics, and dip back into art again. Perhaps learn a computer programming language. TV is now largely a waste of time.
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Feb 24, 2018
Sure, why not. After all, Superman in a Superman story would simply ruin it. Better leave him out. Better yet, why not make a TV show of 10 seasons about the Kents on Kent farm in Smallville before Clark ever came to earth? 10 years of chicken raising, corn planting, corn harvesting, winter snowing and cow grazing? Who wouldn't want to pay to watch that? Yeah, right.
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Feb 20, 2018
Enough with the prequels already. There is literally no audience screaming for a property that removes the primary ingredient of why it's popular. The Star Wars prequels were profitable but hated. Smallville, while decent, dragged on for 10 years when it could have easily ended well after 5 or 6. Gotham is so schizophrenic with how characters behave that it's turning into a mess. Why not put focus and money on a good (I would settle for decent) Superman movie before creating two more Superman prequels without Superman?
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Feb 21, 2018
one I loved the Star Wars prequels Second Smallville could have gone longer and lastly GOTHAM is simply awesome!!!!
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Feb 16, 2018
Another streaming service to pay for? No thanks.
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Feb 11, 2018
I bet by season 5 (if it does last that long) they will introduce their own superman probably as clark kent the reporter before he becomes superman almost like lois and clark the new adventures of superman
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Feb 06, 2018
I am in
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Feb 03, 2018
better make a new wonderwoman or hawkgirl we already had 10 good years of smallville

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Feb 04, 2018
They won't make Wonderwoman because DC doesn't like to mix the tv shows and the movies. So villains\heroes who go to the DCEU are taken out of the shows.

Like Deathstroke.

Flash is the exception.
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Feb 11, 2018
that is wrong.

The DCEU and CW TV shows are not connected, they are two separate entities. The Warner Bros and DC didnt want certain characters to be in both as they thought it would confuse people. It is establish that they are not connected unlike the avengers, AOS, Defenders, runaways and Punisher are all connected.
Deathstroke returned in arrow at the end of last season and start of the new season. tyler hoechin (derek from teenwolf) is superman in supergirl. In Legends of Tomorrow they dropped off Helena of Troy at Wonder Woman's Island. Oliver Queen dropped Bruce Wayne's name in an episode of Arrow.
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Feb 12, 2018
They are allowed to drop references to characters but are not allowed to feature those characters without approval and deference is usually given to the cinematic department over the TV department, likely because of the potential for licensing and profit.

This is why the Suicide Squad and Amanda Waller were killed off of Arrow, they were going to be used for the movie. Same goes for Deathstroke who is going to be in the new Batman movie should the damn thing ever get made. Characters like Booster Gold and the Question are also off limits despite CW requesting permission since they are earmarked for cinematic use.

The CW has used some tricks to open the door to off limits characters, basically writing themselves into corners with references or creating high viewer demand. That is how Superman was allowed to be used sparingly on Supergirl. They certainly seem to be trying to get a Green Lantern on the show since they have referenced Hal Jordan and Ferris Air on Flash and Jefferson Pierce's Ex-Wife on Black Lightning is apparently supposed to be the sister of John Stewart along with a drug called Green Light.
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Feb 12, 2018
No, this is correct. You apperantly aren't aware of things.

DC said they are taking Deathstroke out of Arrow now because of his cameo in Justice League movie which hints of his future involvement with the movies.

Flash will be kept on the tv. Because that pretty much means it's going to be cancelled otherwise.

Yes, the movies and shows are separate, but they don't want the characters to be simultaneously on both as the tones are completely different and the audience will have even more negative reaction than he already has now for the movies.

That's why DC is removing things from the shows if it clashes with the movies.

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Feb 02, 2018
WHY?
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Jan 31, 2018
Isn't it enough they are making a superman prequel in Krypton?
Why do we need 2 shows? Also we already have Supergirl for the (Lena) Luthor + Reporter combo.

Who on earth thought this was a good idea?
Add on top of that the problem that the movies \ shows will clash and it gets even worse.
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Feb 11, 2018
DC films and TV Shows are not connected.
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Feb 12, 2018
You missed my point. The movies want to be separate from the tv shows, therefore whenever something is added to the movie, it's taken out of the tv shows.

Flash is an obvious exception, but they already said that they are removing Deathstroke from Arrow because he'll be in future movies.

Therefore, they might run into the same issue again in the future with some superman villain.
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Jan 31, 2018
According to the trailer, Krypton is going to Syfy.
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Jan 31, 2018
Gotham's premise worked because the city and its corruption was a huge part of Batman's origin. It not only birthed Batman through its crime, it became so bad that the only way to save it was for a vigilante to become a symbol of fear.

Metropolis, while being important as being Superman's base city, has never really had much to do with him. There's no dark secrets outside of maybe Morgan Edge. It's basically been said that Superman chose Metropolis simply because it was a large city with a large newspaper which would be the first to get word of an emergency that he could respond to. The city itself had no real character and could have easily been any other large city. Heck, he may have chosen it simply because Perry White hired him for the Daily Planet.

As for the Premise of the show, I'm just not sure it would work. For one thing why would Lex Luthor and Lois Lane be working to uncover anything together. Lex is not a reporter, he is a businessman and at most a scientist. He wouldn't be investigating fringe science or exposing dark secrets in the city since, if anything, he would be the one creating that science and would be the dark secrets of the city. Unless they completely change the character then at most they could show how he grew to be the beloved but corrupt man of Metropolis.

Maybe showing Lois's backstory would be interesting but even that generally does not have much to do with Metropolis in that most iterations have had her being a military brat who moved a lot before settling in Metropolis later, sometimes only after she was fired from other newspapers.

In the end though, haven't we already kind of seen a version of Lois and Lex's backstory, how they became the known characters, and even shown them investigating strange things and corruption. It was called Smallville. Kind of the same thing only it had Clark as part of it also.
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Jan 31, 2018
Before Superman, Lex Luthor owned Metropolis. And before Superman, Lois Lane was a hungry and hard working journalist. So, I can this being an interesting show because of the following potential. 1) Kal-El/Clark Kent will exist and live in Smallville, implying that there was a meteor show 2) Luthor will probably be interested in the mystery of the meteor shower 3) Luthor will probably be viewed as great guy to the public eye and the evil mastermind of the criminal world of Metropolis 4) Lois Lane will more than likely be moving up the ladder in the world of journalism. --- So this has great potential for many storylines and the meeting of many characters such as Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, Cat Grant, Maggie Sawyer, Dan Turpin, Bibbo Bibowski, etc.. If this is done smartly, this can be a prelude to Superman. Obviously, this show simply cannot be tied to the DC Movie Universe. It would be a different continuity. And if we are very lucky, it won't be on Earth 38 which is the Supergirl show in the Arrowverse. So, if this is done right, it can evolve to great possibilities.
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Feb 01, 2018
You make a lot of good points. However, I think that the real potential for storytelling would be to forego the "Lex and Lois investigate fringe science and dark side of the city" aspect and make it more of a cat and mouse type of story where Lois tries to uncover Lex's secrets and him trying to stay one step ahead of her.

Another aspect you bring up that might actually be a better focus on the story is Perry White. Perry is depicted as having been a legendary reporter in his day. If Metropolis is going to be a focus on the new series, why not forego Lois and Lex, whose stories have been told before, and make the show a period piece that tells the story of Perry White and how he grew into the respected journalist who many say deduced Superman's identity years ago but has never said anything. This would bring the show a little closer to Gotham's original premise which was to look at Gordon grow into the man Batman considers his closest ally by showing Perry grow into the man that would be Clark and Lois' mentor. You could also show Perry working with Dan Turpin as he investigates things in Metropolis as a detective.
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Jan 31, 2018
Gotham seemed like a bad idea, but it works.. I would love to see Billy Zane as Lex Luthor.
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Jan 30, 2018
This sounds so stupid
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Jan 30, 2018
A very bad idea as there's no point to series what the hook ?

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