For all the well-deserved accolades The CW’s live-action superhero series receive, CW Seed has also provided some awesome animated action in the form of Vixen and the upcoming series, Freedom Fighters: The Ray. Their first animated series starred Megalyn Echikunwoke as the voice of the title DC Comics superhero, a role she performed for two seasons in animated form; she also crossed over to assume the live-action role on an episode of Arrow. With Season 2 of Vixen having wrapped up recently, and the debut of The Ray expected in 2017, the creative crossover potential is just getting started.
So when I talked to super-producer Marc Guggenheim, one of the creative minds behind Arrow, Vixen, The Ray, and Legends of Tomorrow, he confirmed that more surprises are in store for both the animated superheroes and their live-action counterparts. I spoke to Guggenheim for the upcoming release of Netflix’s original animated series Trollhunters, of which he’s an executive producer alongside Guillermo del Toro, but couldn’t resist sneaking in a CW Seed question or two; look for the full Trollhunters interview later this month, nearer to the series’ December 23rd debut.
We just finished the outline for [Freedom Fighters:] The Ray. I’ve got my writing staff assembled, we’re all working on it. I’m actually really excited about it, not just because the project’s cool, but because basically we’re going about writing it a different way than we did Vixen. It’s a bit more ambitious. It ties into an announcement that’s going to be made about Vixen pretty soon. So expect a Vixen announcement that I think is very, very cool, and we’re moving forward on The Ray.
Reading between the lines a bit, it sounds like the writing team has certainly learned a thing or two from working on Vixen for two seasons. I have no clue what the related Vixen announcement would be, but perhaps The Ray would be making his debut on a new live-action series centered on Mari McCabe? There’s great potential in the Arrowverse for crossovers; live-action actors have offered up their voices for their animated counterparts and vice versa. Last we heard, the CW Seed series would continue to be a sort of farm team for the live-action side of things. I’m fully expecting a voice cast announcement for The Ray in the months to come, and would not be surprised to find that whoever is cast in the lead role will also be appearing on Arrow or a related show.
As for how The Ray is going to affect the live-action Arrowverse next year, Guggenheim teased that as well:
It’s a lot of fun. One of the things we’ve done is we’ve written in, as we did with Vixen, parts for the various actors who play characters in the Arrowverse. We have a couple of ideas that, if they come to fruition, you’ll see some of these Arrowverse characters in ways you never saw them before.
That’s a great tease. It goes without saying that we’ll see some crossover between the mediums, but as for how our familiar characters are going to take on a new look, your guess is as good as mine! Keep an eye out for more from the Arrowverse, which will likely be announced during the Television Critics Association meeting in early January.