The current seasons of both Arrow and Supernatural wrap up this month, and as fans get ready for a summer bereft of superhero and supernatural goodness, a familiar question comes to mind. Should these two incredible CW shows finally meet in a super-crossover?
It’s an idea that has been floating around for some time now, one that Arrow‘s Stephen Amell enthusiastically supports. More than once, the actor has said that he would love to see the Winchesters wander into the Arrowverse, and each time he says it he receives enthusiastic fan support. At the end of 2015, there was even some speculation that Amell could be appearing in Supernatural, in a wrestling-themed episode (although this didn’t pan out). Supernatural spin-offs have also been considered by the network, suggesting that the CW is looking to expand on the hugely popular show, and a crossover could be a perfect way to do so.
The Ultimate Fan-Service
It’s easy to see why Amell and so many fans, support an Arrow/SPN crossover. The shows have a similar tone, target audience, and are both genre shows that aren’t afraid to get into magic and monsters. Both are hugely popular on the CW, and it’s highly likely that the same viewers are tuning into both shows on a regular basis already – making a crossover a love letter to fans. The network is already known for catering to fan preferences (for good reason), and the decision to turn Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) into such a huge character in Arrow was driven at least in part by how popular she was with the viewers.
In addition, there are a wealth of ways to tie the plots of both shows together. Team Arrow and the Winchesters regularly deal with magic-wielders and unbelievable monsters, have brought people back from the dead, and try to fight the good fight. If a monster were to wander into Star City, the Winchesters could well chase it there and bump into the Green Arrow and his friends.
Justice League Dark Potential?
A crossover would also be the perfect place to bring back a fan-favorite character: John Constantine (Matt Ryan). Constantine has appeared on Arrow a handful of times since his standalone series was cancelled on NBC, and he would be a perfect match for the Winchesters. As the resident supernatural expert, Constantine has been contacted by Team Arrow whenever they have been dealing with occult bad guys, and he and the Winchesters would be a phenomenal match.
A crossover between Supernatural and Arrow could even act as a launch-pad for another spin-off, one that covers both shows: Justice League Dark. In the same way that Legends of Tomorrow was created out of The Flash and Arrow, a JLD series led by Constantine could be born from Arrow and Supernatural.
Behind The Scenes
As well as making sense from a storytelling perspective, a crossover would make perfect sense from a more practical perspective. The stars of both shows (Stephen Amell and Jared Padalecki) are great friends in real life, and often post photos and videos of themselves together on social media. (In fact, Amell has helped Padalecki to become more active on social media, and to launch his charity t-shirt campaign.) This friendship would translate to some amazing on-screen moments. In addition, both shows are filmed in Vancouver and run on the same schedule – and even air one day apart. It’s the perfect set-up for a crossover that would make people happy on both sides of the camera.
Of course, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. An Arrow/SPN crossover would have its fair share of problems, not least the issue of reconciling two entirely separate universes and their apocalyptic storylines.
Supernatural, for one thing, takes place firmly within our own world. Sam and Dean (Jensen Ackles) travel around the United States that exists, which is a United States without Star City, Central City, Keystone City, Coast City, or any of the other cities seen in the Arrowverse. That’s not something that would be easy to explain away. Similarly, there have been some pretty major apocalypses in both worlds… where were the Winchesters when the particle accelerator exploded? Why haven’t the metahumans shown up when they are looking for cases, or when the British Men of Letters have been scouring the country for monsters to eradicate? Similarly, where were Team Arrow and Team Flash when the Darkness started to roll over the country? Oliver may have been on the island and Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) a mere human for the earlier Supernatural apocalypses, but they wouldn’t have missed all of them. Combining these two universes would take some very interesting writing, and it may just be too complicated to try.
An Unmanageable Universe
There’s another big issue with combining these two universes, as well: that this would create a massive, unwieldy universe that isn’t totally necessary just for the sake of a fan-service episode. Keeping up with twelve seasons of Supernatural is one thing. Keeping up with that, and five seasons of Arrow, and three of The Flash, and two of Legends of Tomorrow, and two of Supergirl, and one of Constantine… it’s a lot to ask of the fandom. Keeping continuity and canon in order for the existing DC TV universe is hard enough (especially with characters time traveling all over the place!), and adding the enormous Supernatural universe on top could easily be too much.
There is already evidence that the CW is aware of this potential problem with having too many interconnected shows, as well. The upcoming Black Lightning, another DC superhero show launching on the CW this fall, will not be crossing over into the Arrowverse. It makes sense, too – at some point, it just becomes too complex to write multiple shows within a single world.
Will It Happen?
It’s very possible that Supernatural and Arrow will join forces at some point, but if that does happen, it’s likely that there will be some multi-verse action going on. In the same way that Supergirl was folded into the Arrowverse on another Earth, most of the problems with an Arrow/SPN crossover could be solved by revealing that the Winchesters exist in yet another parallel universe. One without superheroes, but with plenty of monsters.
The Winchesters have even dealt with alternate timelines and universes in the past. They actually bounced from alternate universe to alternate universe by ‘channel surfing’, they have wandered into a world where they are actors playing themselves, and even into a world where they aren’t hunters. Add in some trips to Purgatory, Heaven, and Hell, and the thought of a jaunt to Earth-1 seems positively prosaic. This would let the teams meet, give Constantine a chance to shine on screen again, and then send them home with the fans happy and no need for extensive explanations.
It’s not a guarantee, by any means, but it’s definitely not off the table. The cast supports the idea, and the writers are certainly not averse to a little fan-service fun. The Flash/Supergirl musical episode was certainly done for the sheer joy of it, and with the news that the Winchesters are about to meet the gang from Scooby Doo next season, it looks like the SPN writers room is also having a little fun. Who knows, Sam and Dean might suit up as early as next fall!