It's the most wonderful time of the year! Yep, the Arrowverse crossover has hit our screens once again, and to celebrate we got to speak to the producers behind the DC extravaganza: Todd Helbing (The Flash), Robert Rovner (Supergirl), Caroline Dries (the in-development Batwoman series) and Beth Schwartz (Arrow). The crack team explained how they brought some of DC's most iconic heroes to the screen for the first time and reimagined some of the most definitive team-ups in DC Comics history.
So far, one of the most powerful moments in the crossover was when we returned to the Kent Farm as the Smallville theme plays. It's a sweet nod to the classic show, and for the producers it was the perfect place for the Kryptonian family to regroup, as well as introducing a vital new face.
"Kara is dealing with stuff in the aftermath of our mid-season finale and Clark has been on Argo City, so it felt like this great place for them to reconvene and figure out their problems together...and to meet Lois," Rovner explained. After all, the introduction of Lois Lane is a massive touchstone for the show, and Elizabeth “Bitsie” Tulloch is a wonderful addition to the cast as the roving reporter.
"For us on Supergirl, it was amazing to have Clark and Lois on our show,” Rovner enthused. “We've dreamed of having Lois Lane on our show since the beginning. And when I first saw them together, it felt like we were entering the canon in a new fresh way. It was really thrilling to see them unite for the first time on screen. It was thrilling to read their first scenes in The Flash and just think, 'This is amazing!' Bitsie Tulloch is great at embodying everything that's iconic about Lois, and we just love them together.”
Another massive moment for the event was the long-awaited introduction of Batwoman, played by Ruby Rose. For the producers, just getting to play in Gotham's sandbox was a huge win.
"It was just so exciting to see what DC would let us play with this time around!" Helbing exclaimed.
Batwoman plays a vital part in establishing The CW's very own World's Finest team-up, so for the production team, it was all about introducing her in just the right way.
"We knew who the character was, so our goal was trying to create a setup storywise where we could meet her, be intrigued by her, introduce Gotham a little bit, plant a few visual things that were curious, and have people wondering, 'What is this world she's in?'” Dries shared. “We realized that the best way to do that was if our guys went to Gotham and she helped with their story and then went on her way."
Placing the team of heroes in Gotham didn't just work for the narrative, it also opened up the opportunity for some hilarious character beats. Ever since the beginning of Arrow, it's been clear that Oliver was taking on a Batman-esque role, and the producers thought it would be a fun chance to make light of that side of the hero.
"We introduce him as being the first vigilante, so it was kind of poking fun at that,” Schwartz laughed. “Him being very defensive, because, of course, there was no Batman. Because he's the first Batman in his eyes.”
Getting to see Gotham on screen as part of the Arrowverse is such an exhilarating feeling, and establishing this universe’s own unique tone for the iconic city was vital, with the team utilizing Chicago's skyline for the home of Kate Kane and Bruce Wayne. Though Wayne has been gone for three years and the Batman with him, his cousin is a perfect introduction for Bat-lore and Bat-fans everywhere.
"She's such an interesting character, and there's so much Batman mythology out there for people, so our thought was to do something familiar, but also a little newer too,” Dries told us. “If you're a Batman person, you know who she is, but you've never really seen her have her own moment.”
For fans of the classic comics, there was also that huge payoff at the end of episode two—a moment shared between Kara and Kate, both in full superhero garb, that spoke to a vital connection between the two…and it referenced one of the iconic DC Golden Age team-up book, WORLD’S FINEST. While that book featured Batman and Superman on a series of adventures, the producers hinted that Kate and Kara could be taking on those roles in the Arrowverse. It’s an undeniably exciting prospect that’s also, according to the producers, a vital part of Kate's introduction and origin.
"It was important for us to humanize Kate in a way that made her relatable to other characters in the Arrowverse,” explained Dries. “Even though we're creating this enigmatic character, we wanted to sort of have an ‘in’ for her. In our minds, Kara fits because she has this cousin, she's sort of in his shadow, and her story was getting out of his shadow, and of course that's exactly Kate's story. It was important for us to find a moment for them to bond, and I thought 'Well, Kara has x-ray vision, and she can figure these things out pretty quickly,' so it just felt like the right moment."
We can’t speak for all of you, but after the first two chapters of “Elseworlds,” we're pretty obsessed with Lois and Clark, chilled by the unyielding pragmatism of the Monitor, and would love to see The CW embrace the World's Finest! And to think there’s still a chapter left to go…
"Elseworlds" concludes tonight on Supergirl at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on The CW.