The Arrowverse progressed from the one-person show Arrow (2012) focused on a billionaire Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow, into a multiverse of Earths, each with its team of superheroes. This fantastic world sprung from the DC comic books. Its cinematic version grows increasingly complex because the Earths are interconnected.
Where does the Arrowverse go from the point when heroes of all Earths have played together? Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) teamed up with the Flash and Supergirl in a crossover event, “Invasion!” of Arrow season 5, episode 8. Oliver Queen (Justin Hartley) had a relationship with Lois, a future wife of Superman, in Smallville season 6. As if the Arrowverse was not confusing enough, two actors perform the same Green Arrow. Both Hartley and Amell are great choices, but… should they meet in the next sequel? The ever-growing complexity of the Arrowverse is its strength and its weakness. What will happen in the complicated Arrowworld in the future?
A Crossover Event to the 10th Anniversary of the Arrowverse?
The CW wove together many comic book narratives that seemed totally separate from each other. Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Smallville, Legends of Tomorrow, and a number of other TV series share characters and the idea of a multiplied Earth. As a result, The CW creates a crossover event once per year. On these occasions, the filmmakers produce a storyline that flows through several narratives. What kind of crossover is planned for the 10th anniversary of the Arrowverse?
The best crossover was the biggest event titled Crisis on Infinite Earths. This event aired in winter 2019-2020 and bridged across Supergirl, The Flash, Batwoman, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow. Unlike the earlier crossovers that mostly occurred in a single episode of one narrative, this event happened in each of these series. The massive event was based on a 1985 comic book created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez.
Reportedly, The CW created Crisis on Infinite Earths to improve the franchise’s standing with the public. No wonder the complexities of endless series and their multiplying superheroes wearied out many spectators. The 2019-2020 crossover is an epic sequence of battle films. The CW may have difficulties outdoing this feat in 2022.
The problem with creating an impressive crossover event in 2022 lies mainly with the unstable situation of The CW. This August, the enterprise was sold to Nexstar. While on sale, The CW suspended the preparations for the cinematic crossover. Instead, the event was partially substituted by the grandiose comic book crossover released in April-June 2022.
The future production of the Arrowverse depends on the new owners’ politics. The COO of Nexstar, Tom Carter, told The Hollywood Reporter:
“So, over time, we will be taking a different approach to our CW programming strategy and will leverage our experience in spending approximately $2 billion a year on programming, attracting and monetizing viewers….”
Let’s hope the new CW programming strategy includes equally epic but less confusing crossover events.
Releases and Cancellations
The sale of The CW also suspended the publication of renewals and cancellations within the Arrowverse. The chairman of Warner Bros. Television Group, Channing Dungey, only now announced a release of a new series The Winchesters this fall. With this show, the franchise continues the tradition of Supernatural that ceased its existence in 2020.
On the other hand, The CW trimmed off almost half of its old TV series. Among the fallen were such narratives of the Arrowverse as Legends of Tomorrow (LoT) and Batwoman. Both these shows can be rated as average at best. Still, the fans will miss the awkwardly funny Legends and the eerie characters of Batwoman.
However, there is a rumor that LoT may be continued in a different narrative. A Reddit member recently posted a message about a “legends comic that kinda explains what happened” after the cliffhanger ending of the series. This enigmatic comic book should reportedly continue the LoT storyline. Perhaps, there is hope for the Legends in a new spin-off.
Only a few of the series have been confirmed as renewed. CEO of the CW, Mark Pedowitz, announced the renewal of The Flash and Superman & Lois. Although Superman & Lois is not strictly speaking a part of the Arrowverse, their narratives are related. The fans will continue to enjoy these good old stories, even though not for long.
The executive producer of The Flash, Eric Wallace, confessed to Variety that the upcoming 9th season would end the show. So much for the happy renewal. The producers continued this TV series only to finalize its storyline. The CW starts filming the upcoming 13 episodes of season 9 in September 2022. The last of The Flash will be released in 2023.
The innate interconnectedness of different narratives is a specific attraction of the Arrowverse. Its Earths are linked, and the superheroes from distinct dimensions travel between them, team up to help each other, and fight especially tough villains or monsters together. This strength can become a weakness if the narrative becomes too complex. But the fans want to see more of the Arrowverse stories. Can The CW recover in time to release a crossover event for its anniversary?