As The CW's Arrowverse shows ramp up for their return in October, more information about this year's crossover event has been surfacing as well. In addition to introducing Batwoman into the DCTV mix, "Elseworlds" will also feature the villainous Monitor, who, in the comics, played a big role in perhaps the most important event in DC comics history: Crisis on Infinite Earths.
All of this, combined with the Nazi wedding madness of last year's Crisis on Earth-X, makes it clear that it's time for the Arrowverse to think bigger. And what's bigger than going to theaters?
Easy as it is to shoot the idea down, it also makes a certain sense. Each crossover draws the biggest ratings for each show, shows that have their own dedicated fanbases (even when the series themselves are inconsistent), and the crossovers in and of themselves have been largely very strong. Despite all odds and the fact that the Arrowverse very well shouldn't work, it's continued to survive and thrive, year after year. Some of the shows themselves have grown long in the tooth, but it can't be denied that Arrow and the shows the Stephen Amell-led drama has spawned have changed the way superheroes have been approached in media and the idea of what a shared universe can be.
It also probably doesn't hurt that right now, the Arrowverse has managed to build up a lot of goodwill by simply being more enjoyable than a majority of the DC Films universe. The last five years, a common (or rather, loud enough) suggestion has been to just make the Arrowverse actors the film versions of DC's slate of heroes and villains, and to import the parts people do like about the DCEU over there.
It seems that Warner Bros. has no solid idea of what it wants, with an absurd amount of movies in development. There would be no harm in The CW just staking to a claim a few days in December while the shows are on hiatus and putting the annual Arrowverse special on the big screen. We're basically seeing that happen right now with Funimation's My Hero Academia movie, which has already made 1.5 billion yen in Japan and about $2 million in the states before its opening weekend.
Much like how Funimation puts out a film for one of their many anime series in select theaters, a week-long, Fathom Events-run limited engagement for the Arrowverse crossover makes sense. And while many would likely throw out Marvel's failed attempt at this last year with the IMAX release of Inhumans, that's not really the deterrent it sounds like. Fact is, going to IMAX was at the bottom of the list of things wrong with that show. No one was really all that excited for Inhumans to begin with, in part because it was notably downgraded from a film to a TV series.
The Arrowverse would have the added benefit of this just being a somewhat strange, but also mostly natural, experimentation. Each of these things are going to get bigger and bigger each year, and maybe with some added money, the shows can iron out some kinks and have CG deserving of the budget.
Unlike the DCEU, the Arrowverse is a train that doesn't seem to show any signs of stopping, and deserves an opportunity to grow, even only for a little while. Stranger things have happened in entertainment, and if it doesn't work, it can simply be glossed over and never mentioned again. But if it does, it could help extend and expand the life of the Arrowverse in a major way.