This month, the CW is planning a four-way crossover of its superhero shows. Marc Guggenheim, executive producer of two of those shows — “Arrow” and “Legends of Tomorrow” — might need to take a breath or two as he juggles those responsibilities with Netflix’s upcoming animated series “Trollhunters.”
How many series can you have on the air at one time?
I think Greg Berlanti is more determined to find that out than I am. The funny thing is, I like taking on a lot of work. But the one thing I’ve never aspired to is having multiple shows on the air. I know that’s a benchmark for a lot of showrunners, but my goal has always to been to diversify across as many mediums as possible. But because “Legends” spun off of “Arrow” — and because “Trollhunters” started out as a feature — I find myself in this wonderful but not predictive position of having three shows. That wasn’t my master plan.
“Arrow” kicked off the superhero TV trend. What was it about the series?
The goal wasn’t to kick off anything; it was simply to make a good show. We went into “Arrow” with a lot of challenges. For one thing, adapting a comic book into a live-action TV show presents its own challenges. There wasn’t a modern-day equivalent to base ourselves off of. We had to learn a lot of lessons.
Why did you want to get involved with “Trollhunters”?
I wanted to have the opportunity to work with Guillermo del Toro. And I wanted to work on something my kids could enjoy — “Arrow” is not age-appropriate for my young daughters. Guillermo always had a vision of “Trollhunters” being very humanistic, and sort of like the Amblin films I grew up with. That was a major draw for me.
How are you enjoying your first Netflix experience?
It’s wonderfully different. I think there are a couple of advantages. First of all, the idea that things are going to be binge-watched is freeing. And the fact that you’re going to tell a serialized story where one chapter feeds into the next. The level of oversight is very different; in network TV in general, there’s a premium placed on the audience understanding things. A lot of the notes that you get come from the place of, Do we need to hold the audience’s hand a bit more? That’s something I don’t find as much in non-network avenues.
What you didn’t know about Marc Guggenheim
BORN: Long Island FAVORITE SHOW GROWING UP: “L.A. Law” SUPERPOWER HE’D LIKE TO HAVE: Flying FAVORITE COMIC BOOK: “Uncanny X-Men” GO-TO WRITERS’-ROOM SNACK: Trader Joe’s dark-chocolate peanut-butter cups