Crisis On Earth-X - the historic, four-part crossover event between Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow - almost saw release as a feature-length film. Originally airing across two evenings on The CW, Crisis on Earth-X was an ambitious production in several respects. It not only united the main characters from four separate superhero series but also told a dimension-spanning story that required a level of special effects and stunt work that would be daunting for a theatrical release, let alone a television production.
The story of Crisis On Earth-X saw the protagonists from all four series gathering to celebrate the wedding of Barry Allen and Iris West. Tragedy struck as the wedding was attacked by soldiers in Nazi uniforms, whom it was discovered had come from Earth-X - a parallel world where Germany won World War II and had taken control of the United States. The story saw the heroes of multiple worlds - including The Resistance of Earth X - joining forces to thwart an Nazi invasion of Earth One led by evil versions of Supergirl, Green Arrow and a rejuvenated Reverse Flash. The crossover event was praised by critics and fans alike, with many saying Crisis on Earth X was a better Justice League movie than Justice League.
Marc Guggenheim revealed (via his Twitter account) that Crisis On Earth X almost was released as a seamless film. In fact, there was only one thing that prevented it from happening - union regulations!
I tried to get this released as a single, seamless -- no act breaks -- "movie." Maybe even with new material. What stopped us? Ironically, union rules regarding credit. https://t.co/FaYGkvwGxk— Marc Guggenheim (@mguggenheim) January 12, 2018
Guggenheim did not go into detail about which union was to blame, be it The Screen Actors' Guild or one of the unions devoted to the many technical craftsmen that work on television series behind the scenes. All Guggenheim would say is that there was an issue regarding how credit was given. This seems like an unfortunate occurrence, even ignoring Guggenheim's claim that a "seamless" Crisis On Earth-X movie might have included bonus footage that had to be cut for time. It has been a frequent complaint of DC Comics fans for some time that the way in which the crossover events are released makes viewing them difficult after the initial viewing.
To watch all four parts of last year's "Invasion!" crossover event, for instance, requires that one own Supergirl: Season 2, The Flash: Season 3, Arrow: Season 5 and Legends of Tomorrow: Season 2. Even picking through the listings on a streaming service to locate the proper episodes is tricky, given that the episode numbers don't line-up exactly due to Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow's shorter episode runs. Similar complaints were made about last year's "Duet" crossover between Supergirl and The Flash, with the episode only being available as part of The Flash: Season Three collection.
Thankfully, all four parts of the Crisis On Earth X crossover event can still be streamed for free on The CW website at the moment. Hopefully The CW will be able to negotiate some manner of compromise with the unions that will see a Crisis on Earth X feature-length cut in the future. For now, fans will have to either learn patience, master time-travel or take a journey to an alternate Earth if they want to see a seamless Crisis On Earth-X.
Source: Marc Guggenheim