Suicide Squad has been something of a sore spot for fans; not just for movie audiences, but Arrow viewers in particular. The CW’s small-screen version of DC’s famed Task Force X was seemingly shelved by the movie’s announcement, but producer Greg Berlanti says we have it backwards: Arrow introduced Suicide Squad specifically to test the waters for a movie.

The second season of The CW hit saw Cynthia Addai-Robinson’s Amanda Waller assembling a Suicide Squad that included Deadshot, Bronze Tiger and Shrapnel, with an unnamed Harley Quinn cameo that seemingly presaged Amy Gumenick’s Cupid from joining the team in Season 3. That said, it had seemed the announcement of a Suicide Squad movie forced Arrow to hand over its toys, killing off Deadshot and Amanda Waller, and banishing associated characters like Manu Bennett’s Deathstroke or Nick Tarabay’s Captain Boomerang to offscreen exile.

The divide gets a little murky, as Season 4 still managed to include a brief return for Rila Fukushima’s Katana, but a new Vulture interview with DC mega-producer Greg Berlanti says that Arrow was actually considered a testing ground for the live-action Suicide Squad:

To what extent are the comics R&D for the TV and movie properties? Does DC Comics president Geoff Johns come to you and say, “Hey, here’s something we tried out in a comic. Let’s try it here”?

Sometimes, or he has other executives mention that to us. They said to us a year and a half before they started developing Suicide Squad, “Will you guys put [a version of] the Suicide Squad in your show? Because we want to have it as a film at some point.”

That quote seems somewhat at odds with something Arrow star Willa Holland claimed earlier this year:

We were about season two when they started telling us we had to start basically killing off the Suicide Squad that we were starting to build on our own. We were actually trying to build that on our own on the show, and I guess once DC found out they were going to be doing their own movie of it, we had to axe all of the characters before we even got to show them, which was a little annoying at first.

It gets harder and harder to chart the divide between DC’s TV and movie branches, especially as The Flash (and now Superman) were allowed to exist in either medium, while more niche characters like Harley Quinn or Deathstroke remain off limits. Berlanti also noted that Johns similarly requested The Flash to include Vibe, but should any other Arrow-verse favorites be seen as future film possibilities?

Check out the latest on Arrow Season 5 below.

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