Whether it's introducing a new series like Legends of Tomorrow or bringing literally every single DC TV character together to stop an alien invasion, fans have come to expect some pretty serious drama in the annual Arrowverse crossover. But this year's Elseworlds Arrowverse crossover is boldly going where no other crossover has gone before: into the realm of comedy.
This year's crossover, which starts Sunday at 8 p.m. on The CW, begins when The Flash's Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Arrow's Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) wake up in each other's bodies … and no one, not even their family, friends and team mates, believes they're not who they appear to be. It's going to be the body swap heard 'round the multiverse as they enlist Supergirl's Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) for her help in figuring out what's happening and how to fix it.
When Bustle visited the Arrowverse sets earlier this fall in Vancouver, the stars emphasized the humor in the crossover's body swap shenanigans.
"Kara plays a really fun role in this dilemma that Barry and Oliver find themselves in. She's the only one that really recognizes them for who they are in this Freaky Friday situation," Melissa Benoist says on the set of Supergirl. "And it's really comedic, the whole thing. I think people will really get a kick out of it."
Standing on the red carpet at The Flash's 100th episode party, Gustin smiles as he thinks back to filming scenes as the Green Arrow — hood, bow and all. But what surprised him the most was just how difficult the archery was.
"I think I had, at one point, a 30-minute archery lesson before we started filming which was like, you know, not enough time to learn archery," Gustin says. "But thankfully there was someone with me on set to like, every time I was doing something wrong, she would run in and be like, yo, yo, yo, get your elbow down! Get your elbow down!"
He laughs as he mimes holding a bow incorrectly with his elbow all the way up by his ear. "She was constantly correcting me," he says. "It's very technical and that was the hardest part. You can't really think about what you're doing while you're acting. Hopefully I looked fine."
Amell had it a little easier, getting to don The Flash suit and mime running while taking on Barry's more lighthearted personality traits instead of Oliver's darker ones for once.
"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," he says, sitting on The Flash's CCPD set. "We had a blast. 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."
Having Barry and Oliver swap bodies means that the crossover is going to look very different, especially when it comes to their relationships. One extended sequence teased in promos so far features Oliver waking up in bed with Iris (Candice Patton) instead of Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), and major awkwardness ensues. But according to Patton, filming those scenes were anything but.
"It was amazing," she says. "Stephen has always been so generous and kind to me since I joined the universe. I have a lot of respect for him as an actor, as a man, as someone leading his own television show. He was very excited to play Barry Allen and his enthusiasm made me very excited so it was a great experience working with him as Iris' love interest. I would work with him again in a heartbeat. It was truly a joy and an honor to play that."
While Iris is only in The Flash episode out of all three crossover hours, Patton teases that her role is pretty important. "She is the one that kind of starts to believe that Barry Allen is who he's saying he is, which is really Oliver Queen," Patton says. "She's kind of the one who figures it out and trusts him."
While not everyone from The Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl is in the crossover, Carlos Valdes was proud to reveal that he definitely is … and potentially in more than one role.
"Something that I love about this show is that all the different universes and different realities we get to play around with, it gives me a chance to play around with my character," he says. "I think fans can definitely expect more of that play in this crossover [with another universe's version of Cisco.] Look, you said it. Not me. Okay?"
Danielle Panabaker was also eager to that reveal her role in the crossover might be more than what fans are expecting. "You're definitely going to see me in all of the crossovers," she says. "Obviously The Flash episode is first, and then in the Arrow episode Caitlin and Cisco go to help Barry as well and then the Supergirl episode, I'm in that as well. Yes, I would say that is safe to assume I'm [playing multiple roles]. It's going to be fun."
The Elseworlds crossover is also going to introduce Batwoman, played by Ruby Rose, into the Arrowverse. And depending on how well she's received, this crossover could pave the way for a Batwoman series to go into development at The CW. Benoist was extremely excited to act alongside Rose as two superpowered women sharing the screen.
"Ruby Rose just killed it," Benoist says. "She is so perfect for this role. I can't tell you how good it felt to … have another female presence there amongst the boys. Their scenes are really nice because of their similarities. Kate Kane is Bruce Wayne's cousin and all these things so they really relate on a lot of levels that I don't think Kara's found yet in another female superhero. There's a really deep understanding from the get-go between the two of them."
There's only a few more days to go before fans can see Supergirl and Batwoman onscreen together, and it sounds like it's going to be worth the wait.