Everything We Know About This Year’s CW Crossover
The Flash Will Kick Things Off
Usually, Supergirl airs on Sunday nights, Arrow on Mondays, and The Flash on Tuesdays. But during crossover week, Supergirl and The Flash will switch timeslots, with The Flash kicking things off on Sunday, December 9, at 8 p.m. ET, Arrow following on Monday, December 10, at 8 p.m. ET, and Supergirl wrapping it up on Tuesday, December 11, at 8 p.m. ET. Legends of Tomorrow has opted to bow out of this year’s crossover – though the showrunner promises they will be doing something extra special in that week's episode. Though officially a DCTV show, Black Lightning is not considered to be part of the Arrowverse and will not participate.
Iconic Comic Characters Will Be Introduced
The crossover will introduce Batwoman (played by Orange Is the New Black’s Ruby Rose) to the CW universe. (Don't expect Batman to appear, though; the crossover establishes that he's been missing for years, leading to a rise in criminal activity in Gotham.) Also new to this universe is Lois Lane (played by Grimm’s Elizabeth Tulloch), Mr. Freeze’s wife Nora Fries (played by Stephen Amell’s wife Cassandra Jean Amell), Mar Novu/The Monitor (played by LaMonica Garrett), and villains John Deegan (play by Lost’s LaMonica Garrett) and Psycho-Pirate (played by The 100's Bob Frazer). Tyler Hoechlin will reprise his role as Clark Kent/Superman.
What’s It About?
Arkham Asylum’s Dr. John Deegan’s machinations will rewrite reality and will draw Green Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl to Gotham City. The theme of this year’s crossover is “Elseworlds,” which takes inspiration from the classic comic run in which familiar characters were featured in stories outside their series’ regular continuity – which means pretty much anything can happen without lasting consequences for the shows. With that in mind, expect alternate universe shenanigans, as evidenced by the crossover event’s poster that sees Oliver and Barry switching superhero personas with the tagline “Destiny will be rewritten.” Arrow star Echo Kellum described the plot to Extra as "Stephen [Amell] and Grant [Gustin] having kind of a Freaky Friday/Quantum Leap aspect going on," while Supergirl's Mellisa Benoist told EW that her character is the only one who can see Oliver and Barry for who they really are: "She inevitably becomes kind of a middleman because ultimately there’s conflict between the two and they start butting heads."
Judging from social media posts, other storylines involve Oliver and Barry dressed as gang members with the emblem “Trigger Twins” on their backs, and Superman wearing an all-black costume. We're guessing the presence of Dr. Deegan's asylum patient Psycho-Pirate, a villain who can manipulate other people's emotions and make them believe anything, will play a role in all these character transformations. Interestingly, in the comics Psycho-Pirate also retains the memories of all the timelines and continuity changes.
#Elseworlds exclusive: @StephenAmell's Oliver Queen and Grant Gustin's Barry Allen have an identity crisis in a clip from this Sunday's @CW_TheFlash. https://t.co/pyn0ntlh2s pic.twitter.com/LU2RR3R47E— Brian Truitt (@briantruitt) December 7, 2018
One does not simply walk in The Flash Suit. pic.twitter.com/MZb9mZSVWJ— Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) October 22, 2018
Barry and Oliver have really gone next level friendship wise. pic.twitter.com/FpgLh73a7a— Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) October 16, 2018
Yup!— Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) October 16, 2018
Expect a Lighter Tone
From alien invasions to parallel timelines in which our beloved characters were reimagined as Nazis (yeah, we’re still trying to repress that one), the crossovers have historically told dark and gritty stories. But expect this year’s event to lighten up a bit. Arrow showrunner Beth Schwartz told EW, "This one doesn’t feel quite as dark as last season’s. I definitely think there’s a lot more fun to be had in the crossover this year."
Consulting producer Marc Guggenheim said in a recent interview, "What I love about this year's crossover is that the last two years, it was parallel Earths, Nazis, and it was alien invasions, and really huge big stuff. And for a variety of reasons, we intentionally decided to go a bit smaller. But there's more 'I can't believe they did this' for comic book fans, more wonderful stuff than we've had in the previous four years combined."
"It was the most fun that I've had maybe ever throughout the course of doing the show," Amell told TV Guide of shooting this year's crossover. He also revealed that he pitched the “very funny” opening scene which, according to the hilarious new promos, sees Oliver waking up as Barry Allen (complete with Iris as his loving wife). Another promo sees Barry coming to in the middle of a training session in the ARGUS bunker with Diggle, while Kara is stuck in a prison guarded by Alex.
Spoiler alert: This years crossover begins with Oliver eating pancakes.— Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) October 9, 2018
Today on the crossover the director asked me if I could laugh less hysterically.— Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) October 11, 2018
It’s smaller than the past two years — but with enough things for the fans that hopefully make up for it. https://t.co/RdIdNeU1pN— Marc Guggenheim (@mguggenheim) October 23, 2018
There Will Be Surprise Guest Stars
On Twitter, Amell teased a “surprise return guest.” Last year’s crossover featured an appearance by Arrow alum Colin Donnell, and a recent bts photo suggests he was on set during filming (though he may have just been visiting, as a portion of the crossover was filmed in Chicago, where Donnell shoots Chicago Med). John Barrowman (who played Malcolm Meryln), will return as an alt-world cop alongside Kirk Acevedo (Ricardo Diaz) and Liam Hall (Slade Wilson's son Joe).
The Lead Characters Will Shine
Unlike years past, where the multiple show’s supporting characters were integral to the crossover’s plot, this year’s focus will be on the leads. In a recent interview, Amell said, “The crossover in general — it sounds to me like what I’ve been hoping for for a while. We would get bigger and bigger and bigger, but at a certain point, we have to pare it down a little bit and do more of a character-driven story, so we’re really focusing this year on a core five [characters]: Oliver, Barry, Supergirl, Superman, and Batwoman. That’s more exciting for me, because it’s more of a character piece." The Flash's Danielle Panabaker echoed his sentiment: "I'm excited about this crossover because it feels a little bit more like the first one we did. It's going back to a much smaller cast of characters doing the crossovers this time, going from show to show. There’s really not that many of us. It's nice. It actually feels a little nostalgic."
Don’t Count Out the Supporting Characters, Though
Despite the focus being on the lead characters, supporting characters from each show will still appear. David Ramsey (who plays Arrow’s Diggle) is rumoured to have a particularly exciting moment. Emily Bett Rickards (Arrow’s Felicity) teased to TV Guide that the post-prison tension between Olicity will factor into the plot: “Felicity is very shocked as a character [in the crossover], and also, [she] and Oliver weren't necessarily in the best spot — they're not in the best part of their relationship in this season, so that played into where they sort of lie when all things go to sh*t." Meanwhile, Supergirl’s Mehcad Brooks (James) and Jesse Rath (Brainiac), and The Flash’s John Wesley Shipp (Henry Allen) and Carlos Valdes (Cisco) were among the supporting cast members spotted filming.
I can't get over what a cool day today was. Particularly excited for @david_ramsey --— Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) October 12, 2018
There's a slight element of similarity with all annual crossovers..after all, it's the same shows. But I can say with certainty, what happens in this crossover has never and will never be seen again. EVER.#arrowversecrossover2018— David Ramsey (@david_ramsey) October 12, 2018
Today’s crossover highlight was Diggle kicking the shit out of me. pic.twitter.com/K6APB4x9Ue— Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) October 30, 2018
The Post-Credit Teaser
In a clip that is airing as a tag at the end of the Supergirl, The Flash and Arrow episodes the week before the crossover, we see The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) on a ravaged Earth-90, where the charred ground is littered with the corpses of Firestorm, Captain Cold, Green Arrow (the Smallville version), Stargirl and more. An injured Flash (John Wesley Shipp) asks "Why are you doing this?" to which The Monitor replies, "You did this to yourself, and now all of you will perish." Amell told EW. "The whole essence of the crossover is that there is a giant threat coming. What you have is a character called the Monitor, who is basically testing universes to see which universe is going to best be able to withstand the incoming threat."
The Cast Had a Blast
Though the crossover events vary in success from year to year and show to show, the cast always seems to have a good time filming them (even if they appear exhausted from squeezing in the extra filming in the middle of their shows' regular production schedules). Judging from their enthusiastic social media posts, this year’s edition seems to be no exception.
This was the crossover I’ve always wanted & it wouldn’t have been possible without Melissa & Grant. As we each remarked on Thursday - staring at a drone ripping across downtown Chicago - we’re glad that it’s over, but holy shit was it fun. pic.twitter.com/nxNB1BVktV— Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) November 3, 2018
I’ll remember today on the crossover for working with my Wife (proud of her), working with Ruby, working with Danielle, GUSTIN!!!... and a room filled with more Easter eggs than you’ll know what to do with!— Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) October 17, 2018
That’s a wrap on #LoisLane for the DC/CW #Arrowverse crossover! Had so much fun playing with @tylerhoechlin @MelissaBenoist @StephenAmell #GrantGustin et al for the last 3 weeks. I’m going to miss everyone! #elseworlds pic.twitter.com/MEjd5GdnSU— Elizabeth Tulloch (@BitsieTulloch) October 31, 2018
Aaaaaand that's a crossover camera wrap for #TheMonitor. The Multiverse will never be the same... #Arrow #Flash #Supergirl #Batwoman #GothamCity #arrowversecrossover2018— LaMonica Garrett (@lamonicagarrett) November 2, 2018
Dec.9th-11th @TheCW pic.twitter.com/DRbClN6BgM
GRANT: Dammitt I can't believe this happened the FIRST day of crossover! DAMMITT!!!— David Ramsey (@david_ramsey) October 10, 2018
ME: I can...#arrowversecrossover2018
.@MelissaBenoist ripping perfect Kevin Bacon Footloose dance moves in the Supergirl suit is incredibly cool. Amazingly, it’s like the 11th coolest thing I’ve seen / done today.— Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) October 12, 2018
Week 2 of my crossover extravaganza ended the way that it should have: With Barry and Oliver staring lovingly at one another.— Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) October 13, 2018
I can’t believe I shot the scene I just shot. #Elseworlds— Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) October 31, 2018
The CW has released several photos from the three-night crossover. Check them out below to see all the identity-swapping madness that awaits, beginning Sunday, Dec. 9, with The Flash at 8 p.m. ET.