The CW’s Arrowverse of DC comics shows (Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl) is fully entrenched and steadily growing — Black Lightning is set for a 2018 debut with a 13-episode run! Beginning with The Flash Season 1, character and story crossovers have been commonplace on the network — as any DC fanboy or fangirl can tell you, crossovers and team-ups are a core staple of comics. Last fall, The CW took the premise a step further, debuting an a massive, time-traveling, alien invasion storyline that proved highly successful for the network, according to CW President Mark Pedowitz:
“Last year’s crossover was I believe the most successful week in CW’s history in terms of ratings.”
While fans thoroughly enjoyed the big event, the story felt a bit rushed, and perhaps wasn’t quite as epic as it was made out to be. That said, it was a fun experiment and a good first step toward something bigger and more satisfying. SlashFilm reports that the next crossover event will be a 2-part, mini-series beginning with Supergirl and Arrow on Monday, November 27 and conclude the next night with The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow.
So this is effectively a 4-hour movie spread over two nights (last year’s crossover spanned four days, which made for some choppy storytelling at times). Arrow, which normally airs on Wednesday’s, is shifted to Monday for this one week only. I doubt this temporary schedule change will confuse anyone, as The CW will undoubtedly market the hell out of this event. So what motivated The CW to take such an approach? Pedowitz explains:
“We felt in this particular case to have Flash and Legends paired, it would be better and tighter in terms of storytelling to do a two-part miniseries. We thought this was a tight concise way of doing it… Next year maybe we’ll go back to four nights.”
Arrow and Legends producer Mark Guggenheim related that the team, led by Greg Berlanti, is pitching the mini-series with the focus on characters, rather than just spectacle:
“At the beginning of the year when Greg, Andrew [Kreisberg] and I first started talking about [the crossover], we were like, ‘There’s just no way we can top aliens last year. Let’s up the emotional content. At the very least we know we can bring the emotion.'”
Given the number of characters in this crossover, a character-focused mini-series could be very cool, but it raises a lot of questions. Guggenheim continues:
“I’m not saying the emotion is romantic necessarily. We really start from a place of we wanted there to be some really big emotional turns for our characters. I think one of the differences about the crossover this year as opposed to years past, years past it was always a fun event that you could really lift out of each season. There weren’t any big character moves that were done. We’re going some big character moves that will affect all four of the shows.”
I think this makes a lot of sense. If you’re invested in any of these characters, you want to see how they interact with each other, as much or more than how they fight together. Each of the Arrowverse shows is known for their action, and last season’s crossover was certainly action-packed, so an emphasis on character sounds fantastic.
Guggenheim had more to share, and you know we love us some quotes here at LRM:
“We’re really approaching this as a big four-part event as two back to back two hour movies. I think when you look at it through that lens, it becomes less important for the Supergirl episode to feel like a Supergirl episode and the Arrow episode to feel like an Arrow episode, which was always our approach in the past. Last year, we intentionally added time travel to the crossover episode of Legends because it was the Legends episode. This year we’re really approaching it as one big event. We really are telling a story that’s agnostic as to which particular hour of television it happens to be airing.”
It certainly seems like Berlanti, Guggenheim, and their teams learned a lot from last season’s anti-alien throwdown. After six years, and a couple dozen major and minor heroes and villains, it’s extraordinary to step back and see what has been achieved on The CW. I can’t wait to see how this crossover turns out!
Are you excited about the next Arrowverse crossover event? Let us know in the comments down below!
The Arrowverse crossover airs Monday and Tuesday, November 27 and 28, on The CW.
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