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Why This Flash And Arrow Crossover Was Really Hard To Pull Off

Between Arrow, The Flash, and the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow, The CW has practically cornered the market on DC-based television properties. We're not discrediting the contributions of shows like Fox’s Gotham and CBS’ Supergirl, but The CW has essentially created the first ever live action DC cinematic universe far ahead of its silver screen equivalent. Creating a world of superheroes is difficult, but according to the creative team at The CW, crossing their worlds over with one another is something else entirely.

Speaking with THR, Executive Producer Greg Berlanti discussed the logistic nightmare of bringing together the continuities of Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow for this week’s crossover event:

We had already started to shoot the first couple of episodes of Legends before we shot these episodes. We also knew that there were characters who had been on Flash and Arrow that we were also shooting out of those respective shows before we went into shooting Legends to then have to come back and do the introduction of some of the characters here. So it was about as out of order as you can imagine and most of it happening concurrently.

Producing a high quality TV show is difficult enough, but producing three simultaneously in such a way that continuities are maintained is nearly impossible. Actors within this universe consistently pop up in multiple shows, and as such this means working out how to manage when and where each character might find themselves at any given time. Beyond simple production logistics is the matter of ensuring story cohesion between all of the shows. Berlanti and the rest of the creative team behind these shows have done this sort of thing before, but never on a scale as massive as this. Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen showed up in Starling City during Season 2 of Arrow to pave the way for his eventual role on The Flash, and the two series crossed over last year, but those episodes had little bearing over the longterm plot trajectories of either series. This crossover event is not only directly moving forward storylines for both The Flash and Arrow, but also serves as a way to get the audience up to speed on many of the heroes and villains that will feature prominently in Legends of Tomorrow; so yeah, there's a lot going on.

Of course, as Berlanti elaborated, it helped that everyone was willing to work together on the matter:

There were a lot of conference, logistical sessions of, how can we, on a basic, basic level, pull this off? Let alone make it interesting and entertaining and coherent

Arrow is set to continue the Flash/Arrow crossover event tonight with “Legends of Yesterday,” which should set the stage for Legends of Tomorrow to join the ranks of its sister shows. Check out a promo for the episode below:

The Flash airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. EST on The CW, and Arrow airs every Wednesday at 8 PM EST. Legends of Tomorrow will premiere at the end of the midseason break.

Conner Schwerdtfeger

Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.