The Arrowverse superhero universe is the dominant force on The CW when it comes to sheer numbers, with six shows to its name already and more on the way in 2021. Now, however, it turns out that the remaining shows of the Arrowverse won't be coming together for a multi-part crossover after all in the 2020-2021 TV season despite earlier plans. And that's not even all the bad news!
The previous plan for a multi-show crossover this season would have been for an event considerably smaller than the five-part "Crisis On Infinite Earths" crossover that brought Arrow to an end while adding Black Lightning to the Arrowverse last season. The goal was for a two-parter between Batwoman in its second season and Superman & Lois in its first season, with characters coming in from the other Arrowverse series without those series actually getting crossover episodes.
Unsurprisingly, the cancellation of the 2020-2021 crossover has everything to do with why production on all the Arrowverse series was late getting started: the COVID-19 pandemic. Even a crossover on such a small scale compared to last year's "Crisis" event isn't safe under pandemic protocols. Batwoman showrunner Caroline Dries explained why the absence of a crossover this year is even worse news that it may seem at first, telling TVLine:
We’re not really able to cross over because physically, we can’t cross crews due to the fear of exposure to COVID. So if Supergirl weren’t ending this year, I would say there would be more of a possibility. But I’m afraid that at least this year, we’re not going to be able to tap into that dynamic.
The cancellation of the crossover in the 2020-2021 TV season combined with the upcoming end of Supergirl presumably means that Javicia Leslie's new Batwoman will never cross paths with Melissa Benoist's Kara Danvers. The same is true for the heroes (and villains) of Black Lightning, which is also ending this season, with the only hope of a future coming from a potential spinoff.
The cancelled crossover was bad news for Arrowverse fans who love the multi-show events; the loss of Supergirl and Black Lightning from whenever crossovers are safe again surely doesn't help soften the blow. In fact, Javicia Leslie herself opened up about Batwoman losing the chance to cross over with Black Lightning due to the pandemic, saying:
I’m so heartbroken about the COVID situation because I know that it’s Black Lightning‘s last season, and I would have loved to do a crossover with them. Nafessa [Williams] and Jordan [Calloway] are really good friends of mine, and it would have been great to play with them and be superheroes all on the same show. That would have been epic.
Who could have known back in early 2020 that "Crisis On Infinite Earths" would not only be Arrow's final multi-part crossover, but also the last for Supergirl and Black Lightning? In fact, Black Lightning seems to have joined the Arrowverse just long enough for one crossover event before coming to a close. At least some Black Lightning characters could stick around if the spinoff gets a series order or if they migrate to one of the other series, and some Supergirl stars could find news homes as well, but we can only speculate at this point.
Fortunately for Arrowverse fans, the ongoing and new shows are on their way to The CW sooner rather than later. Batwoman will be the first Arrwoverse series to return in 2021 later this month, followed by Black Lightning, The Flash, and Superman & Lois in February. Legends of Tomorrow is expected to premiere in midseason, but only time will tell when. Check out our 2021 winter and spring premiere schedule for the exact dates for these superhero series to hit the airwaves, and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in superhero news.