Television is getting even more exciting for those who are into the superhero genre, with both Marvel and DC offering a lineup of comic book adaptations on the small screen this season – including shows that are linked together in one shared universe, and may (or may not) be tied to the movies as well.
On the DC side, we have fan-favorite Arrow returning for season 3, with new companion series The Flash kicking off this week as well. Naturally, fans are excited about the prospect of seeing Green Arrow and Flash onscreen together – and producers of both shows have already confirmed that crossovers (plural) will be happening; they could be happening semi-frequently (in various capacities); and they could even lead to something as big as a TV Justice League (that would be separate from the upcoming Justice League movie).
In speaking with Arrow producer Marc Guggenheim about season 3, Collider inquired about further details of the Arrow/Flash crossover to help whet fans’ appetites. Here’s how Guggenheim feels about it:
It’s so freakin’ awesome! It really is. I’ve never had so much fun writing a script before, maybe in my life. It was such a blast to work on. We’re filming the Arrow episode right now, and it’s just so much fun. I keep telling everyone that we should try for Avengers. It’s these two heroes together with a big production value. We’re blowing out the doors on this. There’s the opportunity for inside jokes, and seeing all of the characters together. What happens when Cisco gets his eyes on Thea? There are moments like that, that you just can’t do in a normal episode. It’s just so much fun. It’s really going to be a blast.
Marvel has already tackled TV series crossovers thanks to an appearance by Agent Carter (star of her own upcoming TV show) in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2 premiere. While those Marvel shows also have the (arguable) advantage of also linking back to the movies, it’s a pretty safe bet to say that most comic book fans will be hyped at the thought of seeing two superheroes (both given proper development in their own respective series) actually sharing the screen, possibly battling, and going on missions.
It’s not something that’s been done before (crossovers of fully developed superhero characters) and it’s definitely going to get fans’ attention. This TV universe could arguably even jump networks from The CW and incorporate something like TNT’s upcoming Teen Titans show, Titans (it’s all under the WB umbrella, show it’s all possible).
We learned at SDCC 2014 that the 8th episodes of Arrow season 3 and Flash season 1 will each be two-hour crossover event episodes – pretty much backing up what executive producer Greg Berlanti meant when he said that the DC TV universe can arguably do more than the movies. We’re already looking at four hours of superhero team-up – with characters like The Atom (Brandon Routh) and Firestorm also on the way.
The Arrow/Flash crossover is currently being shot, and Guggenheim shared how things are shaping up on set as they film part two of the Flash/Arrow crossover, which is titled “The Brave and the Bold” :
Jesse Warren is directing it, and he is just crushing it. Those dailies are really, really insane. Nick Tarabay plays Boomerang/Digger Harkness, and he’s amazing. And that weapon is a whole new visual language in the show, and a whole new visual language for our stunt guys to work with. And watching Grant [Gustin] and Stephen [Amell] together is just magic.
As Guggenheim pointed out, the second crossover episode will involve Digger Harkness/Boomerang, one of the usual villains from Flash’s rogues gallery who will now plague Arrow as well. Guggenheim has shared a couple of story boards from “Brave and the Bold”, showing off Flash in action against Boomerang:
Hard to confirm in black and white, but it at least looks like Boomerang’s weapons will be a bit more tech-enhanced than your usual Australian throwing stick. That would play to the character’s new origin as a former ARGUS agent looking for payback.
As for what the crossover possibilities mean for both series? As Guggenheim pointed out: having a more grounded hero (Arrow) and a more fantastical hero (Flash) allows them to keep each respective series true to itself, while allowing for the gradual and fully developed intro of new heroes. Take, for example, Ray Palmer (played by Brandon Routh) who will eventually become the DC hero, The Atom:
GUGGENHEIM: …My instinct is that, if Ray Palmer is going to shrink, he’ll probably shrink on another show. With The Flash in existence, there’s no real compelling reason for us to do superpowers on Arrow. We can bring characters to The Flash, to have superpowers. We have plans for Ray that don’t involve shrinking, but our plans for Ray are actually really cool.
That’s really a ‘best of both worlds’ scenario that many fans will be able to get behind; for those who like the dark, gritty and grounded, there’s Arrow; those who like it more “comic bookish” can enjoy Flash; and those who like the buffet style can revel in it all! And as something separate from the movie universe, we can even get new interpretations of big screen characters (like Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable), a big bad of Arrow season 3)
Finally, Guggenheim had this to say about season 3 of Arrow as a whole:
MARC GUGGENHEIM: I feel like this … is a really good jumping on point for new viewers. We closed a chapter at the end of Season 2, and this is a brand new opening. I don’t really think there’s anything you need to know, coming into it. It’s pretty new viewer friendly. And that wasn’t necessarily by design. It just happened to work out that way with the story that we’re telling.
That jumping on point (the Arrow season 3 premiere) will even give new viewers a new version of a villain already explored in the show: Count Vertigo, now played by Peter Stormare. Which Vertigo and Arrow battle it out:
The Flash premieres Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 @8pm on The CW.
Arrow Season 3 premieres October 8th, 2014 @8pm on The CW.