The Elseworlds Crossover Finally Revealed Why The Flash And Arrow Swap Places

Barry Allen Oliver Queen Grant Gustin Stephen Amell The Flash Arrow The CW

After two bizarre trailers from The CW this week teasing the "Elseworlds" crossover, a lot of questions are being answered regarding the upcoming Arrow-verse special. Those who guessed that Earth 1's Barry Allen and Oliver Queen had swapped lives were correct, but there's so much more to the story than that. It turns out this whole scheme is the work of Arkham Asylum doc John Deegan, who kicks the story off by "rewriting reality."

The plot thickens as the mysterious Arkham Asylum doctor is revealed to be the cause of Barry and Oliver's switcharoo. How does he do that exactly? That much is unclear, although EW's reveal does show how Gotham City will work its way into the picture. It seems as though the flip-flopped heroes will have to go through Gotham to get to the bottom of what led to their switch.

Though Barry and Oliver swapped lives and powers, fans won't get to see the two men doing a bit of role-playing in each other's shoes. Grant Gustin confirmed he won't be emulating Stephen Amell's mannerisms or vice versa. That makes sense considering they're both their regular selves, although it is a bit disappointing to hear that fans may not get to see Gustin attempt the iconic salmon ladder routine.

The report also confirmed the heroes are the only two people on their Earth who seem to realize it, which is where Supergirl comes into the picture. For some reason, she's able to recognize them and understand that things aren't as they seem. This leads to some scenes between the three, which Marc Guggenheim mentioned was rare in last year's crossover.

The most fun aspect about really focusing on the leads is we really had a chance to tell a story about the troika that we've never really been able to do before. When you have Legends of Tomorrow part of it, and all of the other secondary and supporting characters, the amount of time we had Grant and Stephen and Melissa on screen together was actually pretty minimal in other crossovers compared to this year.

It's a positive side effect of the "Elseworlds" crossover's decision to exclude the Legends of Tomorrow. The series was left out of the fun this year, as Guggenheim added that the exclusion put less stress on creating and filming a fourth hour and a crossover with a larger cast. That said, Guggenheim revealed the show wasn't left entirely out of the loop and that hour three of the crossover will feature a Legends cameo.

It was also revealed that "Elseworlds" will feel more episodic than last year's "Crisis On Earth-X." Todd Helbing said each episode will feel like its respective show, meaning The Flash will feel like The Flash and so on and so forth. The result is a crossover Grant Gustin is especially proud of.

It feels like it's going to be our strongest crossover, our funniest crossover. I don't know what fans are excited for, but I'm excited just to see Superman, Flash, Supergirl, Green Arrow, and Batwoman all on screen togehter. It's pretty amazing.

For all that was revealed about the "Elseworlds" crossover, there's still a lot to learn. For example, how will the other heroes like Batwoman and Superman work their way into the adventure? Will The Monitor be in cahoots with John Deegan? Is Gotham City on Earth 1?

Arrow-verse fans still have some time to wait, as the "Elseworlds" crossover officially kicks off Sunday, December 9 at 8:00 p.m. ET with a special episode of The Flash. For a look at what else is happening on television around that time and beyond, visit our fall and midseason premiere guides.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.