If you’re anything like us, eyebrows naturally raised when The CW upped its Arrow ante from a Flash spinoff to the madcap Legends of Tomorrow cast and premise. It’s too early to know exactly how the time-travel teamup will pan out, but already its showrunner teases that not everyone will return for Season 2, and future Legends could look very different, potentially even subtitling each year, and with a limited shelf-life built in.

While we’d admittedly heard talk to the effect that Legends shared DNA with the likes of Ocean’s 11 capers or even Guardians of the Galaxy, showrunner Phil Klemmer painted a surprising portrait of the teamup spinoff to Screen Rant, suggesting that each self-contained season could end up with a very different focus, or even cast:

At a certain point, we will have darkness emerge and characters will betray one another and be tempted by the dark side. And others might not make it along for the full trip. And others might be lost in weird time periods.

It’s an anthology show. This is not designed to go forever. This season is meant to be standalone … I mean not as anthological as ‘True Detective.’ But not everybody will be continuing on this journey. The sort of central premise of time travel and Vandal Savage is totally up for grabs. This is meant to be a season that is tightly serialized that, when it’s over, you can’t go home again. It’s not going to begin Season 2 with us all hopping back on the same ship and like ‘Let’s get Vandal! Let’s get him for real this time!’ This is not traditional episodic television.

Added executive producer Marc Guggenheim:

The way we think of it is each arc, each season is its own separate movie. What we want to do is have each separate movie have its own identity. So almost to the point where each season was telling one big story that you could sort of subtitle, like the way you do subtitle ‘American Horror Story,’ if that makes sense

It makes sense that Legends might look to set each season apart from one another, given the fluid nature of the series and ramshackle cast, which Klemmer also teased would give way to interpersonal drama, and a number of side-ventures through time to alter portions of their own timeline. The CW hasn’t quite revealed how we’ll see Legends interacting with Arrow or Flash (or which night to air, but Thursday seems like a fair guess), but it’s a comfort to know that Klemmer and other are considering the series’ future, treating it more as an open-ended anthology.

So reads the Legends of Tomorrow description:

When heroes alone are not enough… the world needs legends. Having seen the future, one he will desperately try to prevent from happening, time-traveling rogue Rip Hunter is tasked with assembling a disparate group of both heroes and villains to confront an unstoppable threat – one in which not only is the planet at stake, but all of time itself. Can this ragtag team defeat an immortal threat unlike anything they have ever known?

Set for 15 episodes (to start), thus far we know Legends of Tomorrow will include among its cast Dr. Martin Stein (Victor Garber), Jay Jackson (Franz Drameh), Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh), Hawkgirl (Ciara Renee), Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller), Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell), Caity Lotz, and time-traveler Rip Hunter (Doctor Who alum Arthur Darvill).

Well, will the great Legends of Tomorrow experiment pay off? How should a second season potentially unfold, should the first prove as self-contained as showrunners say?

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