This week, while the bulk of its programming is on an unexpected hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, The CW is re-broadcasting "Crisis on Infinite Earths". The five-part annual crossover event was perhaps the most eagerly-anticipated crossover the Arrowverse has done to date, not only adapting the iconic comic book storyline of the same name but making good on the tease in The Flash series premiere of a "red skies" crisis event that the speedster would vanish in. Following its initial broadcast, fans were not only thrilled by "Crisis" but they were left with a brand-new Arrowverse reality and one major question: how would they top this with the next crossover. Now, with the pandemic having wreaked havoc on the entertainment industry the question is a bit different: will there be a crossover this fall at all?
With things changing quite literally every day when it comes to the coronavirus and the efforts to slow and stop its spread, the reality is the most honest answer to that question is no one knows. Back in mid-March, just before things changed so dramatically for the entertainment industry and the world, Arrow co-creator Marc Guggenheim shared on social media that he already knew what the next crossover -- at that time expected to take place in late November or early December 2020 -- was going to be. However, soon after The CW halted production on The Flash due to risks associated with the coronavirus pandemic. The rest of the Arrowverse shows soon followed and what was thought by many to be a precautionary two-week delay is now an indefinite one.
It's that indefinite nature of the production halt that may be the determining factor for the next crossover. In terms of where each of the Arrowverse shows were in terms of production at the point of shutdown, we don't really know what each show had left to complete in their current seasons. If the shows have to forgo a proper season finale to wrap things up, that could prompt a bit of a retooling of things going into the new seasons when production does, eventually resume. That could have an impact on the crossover itself, in terms of story.
There's also the part of the situation in which we don't know when production will resume at all. There are a variety of opinions about when it will be safe for things to start returning to some semblance of "normal" in terms of the coronavirus, but there are also real concerns that there could be a new wave of infections later this year, prompting another round of quarantine and shutdowns. If things remained halted long enough or if there is another wave of shutdowns, it will almost certainly have an impact on production on the next season of Arrowverse shows. That creates its own issues as those involved the crossovers have been very open about just how challenging they are to make from a scheduling perspective.
To put it a bit more plainly, a protracted shutdown may not leave time for a crossover from a production standpoint.1comments
All of that said, even if a big crossover in the vein of what fans have become accustomed to over recent seasons, that doesn't mean that when the Arrowverse returns this fall there won't be some sort of crossover. It's easy to forget since fans have been spoiled with truly great, wide-ranging crossovers for the past few seasons, but the Arrowverse has long done small scale crossovers very well. It's possible they could, instead of having all five Arrowverse shows (we're including Black Lightning since it was formally brought in after "Crisis") come together, maybe do something more one-on-one. We'd instead see Batwoman and Supergirl get that World's Finest team up fans are craving or even get to see The Flash and Black Lightning work together for an episode or two.
So, will there be an Arrowverse crossover this fall? Probably. And whatever form it ultimately takes there is one thing that's certain and it's we'll all be glad to see our favorite heroes back on TV fighting for justice together.
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