With the Arrowverse coming to a close, the creator behind it all has revealed that, in some respects, his time behind the wheel has felt like a waste of time.
The Arrowverse was once a thriving, interconnected onscreen universe, with story threads interweaving between multiple shows—Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, and Batwoman. Sadly, however, its days are coming to a close.
The signs were there long before it was official. Supergirl ended early with its sixth season and was followed by the cancelation of two other long-running DC Comics shows on The CW.
It turns out that after roughly a decade of having worked on this massive addition to the DC Comics legacy, the hard work was not bearing any fruit.
Arrowverse, a Waste of Time
In a new blog post on his personal site, Arrowverse creator Marc Guggenheim got candid about how he can't help but feel he wasted his time working on The CW's many superhero shows.
For those not familiar with his work, the writer and producer co-created Stephen Amell's Arrow, where he then acted as showrunner and writer for a handful of seasons and executive producer on the others.
On top of that, he also wrote for Arrowverse's Vixen, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl—all of which he was also credited as executive producer.
The piece starts out with Guggenheim sharing how, back when The CW's big crossover event, Crisis on Infinite Earths, was being made, a friend of his claimed that his "phone [was] going to ring off the hook."
Despite expectations, as he puts it, Guggenheim's "phone did not, in fact, ring."
The producer opened up, noting that the five-hour, six-show television event "was a labor in every respect," having used every resource and connection at his disposal:
"['Crisis On Infinite Earths'] made a significant impression on my psyche, was more than a labor of love — it was a labor in every respect and a project where I spent every ounce of capitol I’d amassed in developing DC Comics-related shows for Warner Bros. over an eight-year period. I called in every favor. I used every chit. I burned every bridge. I even spent $10,000 of my own money."
Guggenheim went on to point out how his big crossover even "mainstream[ed] the concept of an interconnected multiverse" before the MCU got around to it:
"Years before 'Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness' would mainstream the concept of an interconnected multiverse, 'Crisis' brought together characters from the 1966 'Batman' television show, the 1989 'Batman' feature, the 1990 'The Flash' series, the 'Smallville' series, 'Lucifer', 'Doom Patrol', 'Titans', 'Swamp Thing', the 'Green Lantern' movie, 'Superman Returns', 'Kingdom Come'… the list goes on and on. Ezra Miller even reprised their feature film role as Barry Allen to meet the Arrowverse incarnation played by Grant Gustin."
He then clarified his intention with these words isn't to "belittle [Crisis on Infinite Earths] in the slightest" and that he feels "deeply grateful" for the response from fans"
"Yes — and I don’t mean to belittle ['Crisis on Infinite Earths'] in the slightest — fans loved what we did. There were Tweets. There were posts. There were memes. There was much discussion. All of which I was — and remain — deeply grateful for. Working on these shows, we always reminded ourselves that the opposite of love was not hate, it was apathy, and no matter what, there was never any apathy."
Putting it bluntly, Guggenheim declared that "on a career level," he "really wasted [his] time" on the Arrowverse:
"And then there was some other stuff which basically boiled down to me lamenting that although working for DC had been creatively fulfilling, it involved a lot of adversity, challenges, and personal sacrifices — none of which seem to have accrued to any professional benefit. Simply put, the Arrowverse hasn’t led to any other gigs, so it feels — at least on a career level — that I really wasted my time."
The Final Days of the Arrowverse Are Here
For those who enjoyed Arrowverse's Crisis on Infinite Earth event, make sure to savor that experience—because nothing like it is going to be happening anytime soon.
While the reaction to the many CW shows has been mixed over the years, knowing it'll all be done is likely a strange feeling for many. It's one of those things that one expects to never actually come to an end—like the MCU or even Doctor Who.
It's certainly easy to understand why Marc Guggenheim feels this way. After ten years of grueling hard work, he feels like it's gotten him nowhere.
While his career might not have expanded thanks to the Arrowverse, some other creatives behind the scenes got work elsewhere. One of the most recent examples would be Jill Blankenship and Grainne Godfree, who are now both on Daredevil: Born Again.
On the other side of the coin, Guggenheim's fellow producer, Greg Berlanti, is supposedly done with his work on DC superhero shows.
To witness the final hours of the Arrowverse, as Barry Allen takes on Red Death, make sure to tune into The Flash's final season can be seen every Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.
There are definitely a few final surprises in store for fans.