During DC FanDome, Greg Berlanti confirmed the original Arrowverse plan didn’t feature the multiverse or Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Greg Berlanti confirms the original Arrowverse plan didn’t feature the multiverse or Crisis on Infinite Earths. In 2012, Berlanti created Arrow alongside Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg for the CW. Arrow starred Stephen Amell as playboy-turned-masked vigilante Oliver Queen and quickly became a hit for the network. Two years later, the CW sought to capitalize on this success by creating a spin-off show, The Flash. Of course, once one spin-off arrived, the world began to expand even more. Several more shows set within the Arrow universe premiered in the years following, including Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning, and Batwoman.
The Arrowverse reached its peak potential just last year with the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover, which stretched into January of this year. Crisis on Infinite Earths saw characters from all existing Arrowverse shows come together to face a massive threat in the form of the Anti-Monitor, but that wasn’t all. Characters all over the DC multiverse appeared, from DC Universe shows like Titans and Doom Patrol to past shows like Smallville and the 1966 Batman. The DCEU was even represented by an appearance from Ezra Miller (the Flash). Crisis on Infinite Earths was a massive undertaking, and not one that will likely ever be topped.
The Greg Berlanti of 2012 likely couldn’t have imagined the heights the Arrowverse would reach, especially since he never planned for it. During the “Multiverse 101” panel at DC FanDome on Saturday, Berlanti revealed plans for a greater multiverse developed following the pilot of The Flash. Berlanti said:
When we started out just with Arrow, eight – nine years ago now, it wasn’t our intention to replicate what everyone had done so brilliantly in comics. And it wasn’t until The Flash came along and we tried in the pilot of The Flash to put the two of them [Amell and Grant Gustin] on screen together, that I remember watching that first scene of the two of them together and thinking like, ‘Oh wow, this makes me feel like the DC books made me feel.’ Like one plus one equals three.
When looking at what the Arrowverse is now, it’s almost hard to believe the multiverse wasn’t planned from the beginning. On the other, this really shows how incredibly successful the Arrowverse has been. The entire multiverse wouldn’t be possible if audiences hadn’t taken to Arrow and The Flash with open arms. Though Arrow ended its run earlier this year, the Arrowverse as a whole is still growing. The next show in the franchise, Superman & Lois, will premiere next year alongside the new seasons of the other series.
While the next Arrowverse crossover won’t surpass Crisis on Infinite Earths, there is another one planned for next season. This one will be much smaller and will only take place between Batwoman and Superman & Lois. At DC FanDome, Berlanti confirmed the crossover will be adjusted due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it does still seem to be on track. The Arrowverse might not have been intended as this major multiverse, but it’s pretty amazing that it turned out that way.