The Arrow-verse's annual crossover extravaganza is only weeks away, and this year's looks to be the most spectacular to date despite the absence of one superhero show from the three-night event. The "Elseworlds" crossover will see Oliver Queen and Barry Allen swap places against their will, and it will take the combined strength of some of the multiverse's greatest superheroes to figure out how to make things right.
Arrow star Stephen Amell, who will be wearing a red cowl rather than a green hood for this crossover, recently revealed how the 2018 crossover compares to years past:
I wouldn't call it the most rewarding, but it was the most fun that I've had maybe ever throughout the course of doing the show. I think that the crossovers this year, even if we don't have as many DC characters necessarily as we did last year, this feels like the first time or at the very least the best example of us just embracing the fun of it all and embracing all of the opportunities that we have because of all of the things that we've had a chance to do over the years.
Stephen Amell shared his feelings about the "Elseworlds" crossover with CinemaBlend and other outlets on a recent Arrow-verse set visit, and although he acknowledged that the absence of Legends of Tomorrow means fewer heroes running around than in last year's Earth-X invasion, it turns out that "Elseworlds" is more fun than all previous experiences. Interestingly, the crossover actually sounds a bit similar to Legends of Tomorrow, in a way.
In the last couple of years, Legends has really moved away from grim and grit to embrace some of the inherent ridiculousness and fun of a superhero universe. The "Elseworlds" will certainly not be a three-night event of endless laughs (not least because a member of the Bat-family is entering the mix), but it sounds like the crossover will embrace the Arrow-verse's potential for fun. How can it not be entertaining if Oliver has to be The Flash and Barry has to be the Green Arrow?
Of course, the crossover won't be lacking in DC characters just because the Legends will be dealing with their own special event episode. In addition to Barry, Oliver, and Supergirl, "Elseworlds" will showcase Batwoman, Superman, Lois Lane, Monitor, another Flash, and more. Given that only limited amounts of crossover footage have released so far, some fans may be wary of seeing Oliver and Barry swap places. As great of friends as they are, they are very different.
According to Stephen Amell, he and Grant Gustin worked on how to play each other's iconic superhero character. Here's how Amell put it:
Grant and I had a discussion very early on... that if this was going to work, that we really had to go for it, right? He has my learned abilities, and I have his superpowers, there are elements of each other's personality that each of us have to embrace in order to be successful at the mission that's in front of us. So every once in a while, I'm channeling my inner Barry Allen, and I'm looking at Grant after the take going [meekly] 'Is it too much?' But no, we had a blast.
The good news for fans who are nervous about the switcheroo is that trailers have already revealed that we won't just have Grant Gustin playing Oliver Queen or Stephen Amell playing Barry Allen. Oliver and Barry are the only two heroes aware that they've been swapped, and Oliver is in for a very awkward kiss with Iris. As for Barry... well, he'll just have to work with his learned abilities as he spars with another Arrow hero.
Tune in to The CW on Sunday, December 9 for the first installment of the "Elseworlds" crossover, which will actually be an episode of The Flash airing on a special night. Arrow will continue the action in its regular Monday time slot, and Supergirl will finish things up the next night. For more of what you can expect on the small screen in the not-too-distant future, swing by our midseason TV premiere guide.