PaleyFest and the Dolby Center were taken over by superheroes on Saturday.
Stars and producers of the four shows that make up the CW’s “Arrowverse” — “Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Supergirl,” and “Legends of Tomorrow” — hit the stage in front of fans in a panel moderated by uber-fan Kevin Smith.
Smith, who has directed episodes of both “The Flash” and “Supergirl,” took a moment to acknowledge that him being onstage at the panel would be the closest he’d get to the Oscars, which are held at the Dolby Theatre, before explaining how comic books set his morality.
“It’s appropriate that we gather to honor these shows on Saturday — my morality was built on Saturdays,” Smith said. “Saturday morning cartoons taught me to be a better person and also Saturday mornings reading comic books taught me to be a better person. It was up to Saturdays to build my morality and they did that. I used to watch people in garish and colorful costumes that always strived to do the right thing.”
Once the massive panel started in full, talk eventually came to the show’s annual crossover events and whether there would be a true four-episode crossover next year rather than the four-show-three-episode “Invasion!” story that happened this year.
“We’re going to try to do a real, true, four-way crossover,” “The Flash” and “Supergirl” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg said to cheers.
“The producers always say at the end of the crossovers, ‘We’re not doing it again next year,’ ” “Arrow” star Stephen Amell added. “I was having dinner with [CW president] Mark Pedowitz, and I said, ‘Mark, we’re going to do a crossover every year right?’ and he goes ‘You’re f—ing right we are!’ “
There has been a lot to celebrate this year when it comes to the CW shows, chief among them being “Arrow” reaching 100 episodes.
“It was really easing playing the emotional moments of that episode because so many of them were true,” Amell said. “I’m very, very proud, in this day and age, to make it to 100 episodes. I feel like the path to 200 will be easier.”
With “The Flash,” the conversation turned quickly to the upcoming and highly anticipated musical crossover with “Supergirl” this week.
“I don’t mean this pejoratively, but it’s a gimmick episode and the person who did those episodes best was Joss Whedon,” Kreisberg said. “What was so great about those episodes was that they didn’t stop the ongoing narrative of the season. Those episodes really spoke to what the characters were going through. We set it up so both Barry and Kara would be at a romantic crossroads, so in the musical episode, they’re both in this same place and can go on this journey together.”
Kreisberg also casually dropped that — after three seasons — the show’s fourth season would feature a main villain that isn’t a speedster.
Supergirl herself, Melissa Benoist, later talked about how the character has been affecting and helping people, or as Smith put it, “playing a role that has a role.”
“I was overwhelmed by it at first,” Benoist admitted. “But now, especially with what’s happening around the world, and being at the Women’s March in D.C., it felt like what we do and what we stand for playing superheroes with superpowers — especially Supergirl, whose motto is hope, help, and compassion — I think that that’s a really important message to spread.”
“Legends of Tomorrow” executive producer Phil Klemmer took the time to talk about the show finding it’s groove this season.
“Everybody always talks about how crazy the show is, but we never set out to try to blow anyone’s mind,” he said. “We’re just telling stories that appeal to us. It’s kind of like being in jam band, we start out the season where somebody has a little riff and then 17 episodes later we’re like ‘How did we get here?'”
“Legends” star later commented that — just like the group of time-travelling misfits — the show itself feels like the misfit of the four.
“‘Legends’ is like the misfit. You’ve got ‘Flash,’ ‘Arrow,’ ‘Supergirl,’ and I’m like ‘There’s another show,’ and people are like ‘Oh yeah, I don’t know that one.”
Other panelists in attendance were “Arrow” executive producer Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle and star David Ramsey, “The Flash” executive producers Todd and Aaron Helbing and stars Grant Gustin and Candice Patton, “Supergirl” star David Harewood, and “Legends of Tomorrow” star Brandon Routh.