DC/The CW Crossover Postmortem: Wrapping Up ‘Invasion!’ With CW Superhero Execs Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg

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And with that, the massive four-part “Invasion!” crossover is complete. From Barry and Cisco traveling worlds to recruit Kara on Supergirl, through the alien mind-control gambit on The Flash, the Matrix reality on Arrow, and transmuting the metahuman bomb on Legends of Tomorrow, the CW superhero shows continue to redefine what is possible with comic book TV shows.

Marc Guggenheim, executive producer of Arrow and Legends, and Andrew Kreisberg, executive producer of Supergirl and The Flash, spoke to reporters about the technical challenges of these episodes as well as story repercussions and where their shows are heading for the rest of the season.

The Flash

There is “another one of the husk villains that was created by Alchemy” coming up. But for the most part, the main arc of Flashpoint is finished, said Kreisberg, “The midseason finale — Episode 9 — creates a new problem for our heroes that they weren’t anticipating. Something they’ve never faced before.” It’s not completely gone, though: That future message from Barry will tie in to both Flashpoint and “something else coming up.”

Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon, Melissa Benoist as Supergirl and Grant Gustin as Barry Allen (Credit: The CW)
Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon, Melissa Benoist as Supergirl and Grant Gustin as Barry Allen (Credit: The CW)

Arrow

“Oliver has a new sense of purpose” going into the midseason finale, said Guggenheim. There’s also “a reaffirmation of his bond with Thea because they basically chose each other” at his false wedding reception. As for the rest of the team, “The crossover outed Flashpoint to the Arrow characters,” and they will be trying to wrap their heads around it next week in some serious — and not so serious — ways. For example, “Curtis is concerned that maybe he was straight” before the universe changed.

Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance, Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, and David Ramsey as John Diggle (Credit: Bettina Strauss/The CW)
Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance, Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, and David Ramsey as John Diggle (Credit: Bettina Strauss/The CW)

Related: Catch Up on ‘Arrow’ With Our Recaps

Legends of Tomorrow

Stein’s daughter will continue to play a role in the team’s lives, said Guggenheim. “We haven’t seen the last of her.” Also, “Ray’s got his suit back. I think he’s very, very happy to be a superhero again.”

Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon and Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer (Credit: The CW)
Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon and Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer (Credit: The CW)

Supergirl

Often, when a character doesn’t appear when it seems like a good idea, the reason is availability — for instance, the actor was shooting something else when it was time to film. In the case of Linda Carter, though, having her be president on Earth-1 (where Arrow and The Flash take place) as she is on Earth-38 (where Supergirl is) proved too confusing.

“In the original draft of the Legends episode, she was the vice president who became the president,” said Guggenheim. But they agreed with The CW’s notes that “in the midst of time-travel and aliens, it was, as Oliver would put it, ‘One sci-fi problem too much.’”

Related: Catch Up on ‘Supergirl’ With Our Recaps

Unlike the rest of the shows, there isn’t much of an emotional change for Kara as a result of the crossover. “It was really Barry and Oliver who had to go on a journey,” explained Kreisberg. “She brought the charm and the fun and the kickassness. So she just continues on her way.” Also, because the Supergirl episode was the midseason finale, there was no chance to deal with any fallout in a follow-up episode like the others.

Melissa Benoist as Supergirl and Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells (Credit: The CW)
Melissa Benoist as Supergirl and Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells (Credit: The CW)

What Didn’t Make It?

So many small interactions between characters who would never otherwise meet were left on the cutting-room floor. Among them, “There was a little exchange between Sara and Kara,” said Kreisberg, “I don’t think we even filmed it — where Sara says ‘Hey, do you want to get a drink?’ and Kara says ‘I think you want to meet my sister.’ Just the idea of starting the Sara/Alex shippers going…” he said with a laugh.

Another one from Kreisberg: “There was a funny scene between Speedy and HR where she says, ‘So, what are you doing here? What value do you bring?’ and he’s like, ‘Well, I’m writing a book,’ and she’s like, ‘That’ll be a big help’ and walks away.’”

Guggenheim says there were scenes with Colton Haynes and Colin Donnell that were, obviously, cut because neither actor was available for shooting. “Roy was going to be Thea’s boyfriend; that hadn’t changed. They met when he stole her purse, and that also hadn’t changed.” He also mentioned a scene with Heat Wave and Kara on the bridge of the Waverider that he was unwilling to reveal more about because, he said, “We may do it next year.”

Favorite Moments

Kreisberg’s enjoys the quiet moments that are sprinkled throughout “Invasion!” He says, “My favorite part of all three hours is [Barry and Oliver] having a beer together.” They only get together in crisis times, so he likes when they get to be themselves. “They do care about each other, and they are brothers; they’re brothers-in-arms. It’s those little quiet moments in between the fights that are most interesting to me as a writer and as a viewer.”

Grant Gustin as The Flash and Stephen Amell as Green Arrow (Credit: The CW)
Grant Gustin as The Flash and Stephen Amell as Green Arrow (Credit: The CW)

Guggenheim’s favorite thing about the crossover was the reveal of what S.T.A.R. Labs looks like in this post-Flashpoint universe. “There’s this building in Cincinnati that was the basis for the Hall of Justice in Super Friends,” he recalls. The effects house tracked down the stock footage and altered it to look like the classic building from the ’70s cartoon, he says. “I was so giddily happy.”

Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow air Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, respectively on The CW.