We might have to wait until 2016 to see the big screen comic book showdown that is Batman V Superman, but the upcoming crossover/fight between The Flash and Arrow is just a few weeks away. The CW’s version of Barry Allen was first introduced in an episode of Arrow and Stephen Amell made a brief appearance in the pilot episode of The Flash, but this two-hour crossover event will mark the first team-up/showdown between the two characters since Barry established himself as the superpowered hero of Central City.
While the fact that Barry has super-speed might make the idea of a fight between he and Oliver Queen seem ludicrously one-sided, last week’s episode of The Flash demonstrated that Barry still has a lot to learn about using his powers to fight people effectively, rather than just running very quickly.
The tone of the two shows has already started to diverge, with Arrow continuing a slightly more grounded and gritty approach and The Flash taking on fantastical elements and superpowered villains like Weather Wizard and Multiplex. What does the meeting of these two worlds mean for the fight scenes in the crossover? The Flash star Grant Gustin explained to IGN the differences between the way Arrow‘s fight scenes are shot and what happens on The Flash.
“When [Arrow] shoot action sequences, pretty much what you see is what you get and they’re really doing everything. We do a lot of plate shots that are empty shots of the area we’re going to be in and then they’re putting us in later in post. I do a lot of the fighting. I don’t have to do it full speed and then they ramp it up and a lot of people have to freeze and I keep moving. Then I have to clear frame and step back into frame. It’s really tedious stuff that we have to do. On theirs, they learn fight choreography and they shoot it from the perfect angles and what you see is what you get.”
Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg has revealed one of Barry’s lines from the crossover episode: “When I fight you, it is literally like you’re standing still.” So far The Flash‘s super-speed effects have alternated between showing Barry as a blur moving through the rest of the world, and showing what things look like from his perspective: as though everything else has frozen. For Amell, this meant that filming ‘Flash vs. Arrow’ included literally fighting in slow motion.
“I actually had to do a move [in the crossover] where I’m going to punch and I had to punch in slow motion and literally do slow motion faces and all that stuff. All the little things are… You can tell that the writers have been waiting for the opportunity to mix these worlds and mix certain characters for a long time.”
You can tune in to watch Stephen Amell’s slow motion faces when episode 1.08 of The Flash and 3.08 of Arrow air in a few weeks. Each episode will see the team from the other show visiting the host city (Starling City for Arow, Central City for The Flash), and both heroes will have to try and adjust to fighting crime outside of their comfort zone.
Arrow continues on Wednesday with “Corto Maltese” @8pm on The CW; The Flash continues on Tuesday with “Things You Can’t Outrun” @8pm on The CW.