‘The Flash’: Showrunner Explains No Big ‘Arrowverse’ Crossover This Year Was Due to COVID-19

COVID-19 has affected several aspects of life, including the production of big blockbuster movies and TV shows, and The Flash hasn’t been spared either. The popular series went on hiatus, having ended its sixth season prematurely due to the restrictions and lockdown that resulted from the coronavirus.

The CW introduced crossover episodes in 2016 featuring four superhero shows, Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow. Due to the popularity of the episode, the network decided to make it a yearly thing. However, this year, fans didn’t get to witness their annual crossover event, which left some feeling bummed out. But as the showrunner explains, the lack of the big crossover this year was due to the ongoing pandemic.

‘The Flash’ returns with its 8th season

Tom Cavanagh, Grant Gustin and Candice Patton
Tom Cavanagh, Grant Gustin and Candice Patton | Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Following the coronavirus pandemic, shows had to adopt rigid methods of production that ranged from shutting down entirely or practicing social distancing and conducting rigorous testing protocols. Unfortunately, in one of the routine checkups on the set of The Flash, one team member tested positive, resulting in a halt in production as WB decided on what to do.

Season 6 ended prematurely as the Mirrorverse storyline didn’t exactly wrap up, leaving viewers aching for more. Season 7 dedicated three episodes to concluding the Mirrorverse arc, and with the defeat of the Mirror Mistress came a rather underwhelming storyline of the Forces. However, what saved the season was the introduction of Barry and Iris’ future children, Nora and Bart West Allen.

The Godspeed arc also gave life to the series and steered it in an exciting direction. The season wrapped up with several speedsters joining forces to defeat Godspeed and leaving some leftover storylines set to be addressed in season 8.

The CW renewed The Flash for another season in February 2021, one month before its season 7 premiere. The 8th season is scheduled to begin production in mid-August and is set to conclude in March 2022. The total number of episodes it will have remains a mystery, but it will likely have at least the same amount as season 7.

There won’t be a big crossover event this year

Fans have gotten accustomed to the big crossover episodes every year featuring some of their favorite characters from the major superhero shows in The CW. However, this year, The Flash has chosen to go with the next big thing, a five-part event scheduled to kickstart the show’s 8th season.

Talking to Deadline, showrunner Eric Wallace responded to a question regarding the crossover, saying, “No. At least, not at this point. There are still a lot of COVID protocols in place, which limit a lot of the things we can do as a production. However, with this five-part event, we want to deliver the same feeling to the audience that you would get with a crossover kind of story.”

Wallace continued saying, “that’s really the goal here, to give them something that’s not just an ordinary season premiere-something special, (in terms of) the guest stars that will be joining us, but also in the story that we’re telling.” Wallace stated that the five-part event is meant to give fans the same crossover feeling without necessarily requiring to fit 20 characters together in one scene.

Other CW shows that got delayed due to the pandemic

Aside from one team member testing positive to the coronavirus on The Flash set, other CW superhero shows also delayed production for various reasons. Some shows that had to take an unexpected hiatus include Batwoman, Supergirl, Black Lightning, and Legends of Tomorrow. For most of these shows, the delay occurred because of a backlog at lab processing centers which led to uncertainty about the results, thus prompting a hiatus until results were out.

Meanwhile, you can stream The Flash season 7 on Netflix to catch up with the scarlet speedster.

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