Any Arrow fan well-remembers that the CW drama’s take on DC’s Suicide Squad seemingly went up in smoke over the course of Season 3, reportedly over corporate mandate not to compete with David Ayer’s upcoming film. Now, series star Willa Holland confirms as much, venting her frustration that DC TV can’t interact with the films the way Marvel or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. do.

Speaking at MCM London Comic-Con (Via The Mirror), Holland reiterated that Arrow had more extended plans for their version of the Suicide Squad after Season 2, though DC brought the hammer down to kill, or otherwise disassociate the characters from their movie counterparts:

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.

Indeed, one could chart a fascinatingly bizarre course of Suicide Squad characters weaving in and around Arrow, from an unnamed Harley Quinn appearing in silhouette in Season 2, to Season 3 claiming the lives of Michael Rowe’s Deadshot, and Season 4 Cynthia Addai-Robinson’s Amanda Waller. Rila Fukushima’s Katana resurfaced in Season 4 (without any connection to the show’s Task Force X), while Rowe reappeared as a comically-inept Earth-2 Floyd Lawton on The Flash. Most bizarre of all, Manu Bennet’s Slade Wilson (a character rumored for the films) resurfaced outside his costumed identity of “Deathstroke,” while this year saw his son’s differently-colored Deathstroke in a future timeline, and a curiously-unnamed return in Arrow visions.

Holland didn’t stop with Suicide Squad, however, pointing out co-star Stephen Amell’s exclusion from the cinematic Justice League, as well that Arrow could take cue from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in its ability to reference or interact with the films:

Then when Stephen found out there was going to be a Justice League [movie] it only seemed – rightly so – he would be playing Green Arrow on it as well as that Grant [Gustin] would be playing the Flash. It seemed like the right normal answer, and – once they said no – you can’t really fight against them for it, because they are the people that gave us a job in the first place. So you just have to sit there on your hands, like okay, I get it!

Marvel does it in their own weird right, kind of mash between ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ and the movies and stuff. So it’s a little upsetting because you know it is possible and it can be done and how good it would be if it was done.

It’s worth pointing out that in spite of Holland’s envy, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Chloe Bennet has similarly spoken out against Marvel movies ignoring the continuity of its TV counterparts, while Amell has recently made headlines of his own for discussing the potential of a Green Arrow movie. Even then, while Holland may have a point with Suicide Squad being taken off the table, tethering DC’s TV and movie properties would create significant scheduling and storytelling difficulties, just as Marvel movie writers have struggled to include TV characters they can’t know the future of.

It remains to be seen if either Marvel or DC will ever manage a cinematic universe with its TV and movie branches perfectly in sync, but could Suicide Squad end up taking any further characters off the market? What should we expect from Arrow Season 5 in the meantime?

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