The latest issue of Variety features a profile of super-producer Greg Berlanti — who will have six(!) different shows on three different networks next season. It’s a great profile about one of the most prolific producers in Hollywood. But what got the internet buzzing was the magazine’s cover, featuring Berlanti flanked by the stars of his most recent superhero offerings: The Flash’s Grant Gustin and Supergirl’s Melissa Benoist.
Because they’re both Glee alums, it got me thinking about the potential for not only a Flarrow/Supergirl crossover, but why that crossover needs to be a musical episode!
Berlanti and the networks have gone back and forth on whether or not his CW superhero shows would ever cross over with Supergirl (which will appear on sister network CBS) but in a separate Variety article, the producer gives a very decided “maybe.”
Of CBS’ hotly anticipated Supergirl, “The network has said publicly at this point they’re going to keep her to themselves,” says Berlanti. “I always approach the shows as a fan first, so I would love to see (a crossover). I think in success, all things are possible. But there’s a lot that would have to happen before everybody might say yes to that.”
Apart from the network red tape involved, there’s also the sticky situation regarding Kara’s cousin (that would be Superman) being such a big part of her show. Even if he’s never shown onscreen, the characters of Supergirl exist in a world where Superman does as well. Unless Berlanti and company have some as of yet unannounced tricks up their sleeve, Kal-El does not exist in the Flarrow universe. At least not yet.
So once that hurdle is cleared and we get our long-awaited multi-hero crossover, the producers of these shows need to make sure that the crossover is their stab at everyone’s favorite genre TV trope: the musical!
Buffy’s “Once More with Feeling” is probably the best known iteration of this, but other genre shows have done it as well. So why not introduce it into the DC Television Universe? I mean, there’s already a DC villain tailor made to be the antagonist. If you’re a fan of Batman: Brave and the Bold, you might remember the Music Meister who uses the power of music to control his enemies. How great would it be to get Neil Patrick Harris — who voiced him on the show, is a veteran of the trope, and has an established relationship with Berlanti after collaborating on this year’s Oscars telecast — to reprise the role?
I bring this up because aside from Grant and Melissa — whose Glee alum status is well known by all — the other CW superhero shows are actually packed to the brim with musical talent.
John Barrowman. That’s right. The man who plays Malcolm Merlyn isn’t just a Doctor Who and Torchwood alum, he’s also a well known song and dance man having appeared in London’s West End and on Broadway in musicals such as The Phantom of the Opera and Sunset Boulevard.
Katie Cassidy. The Canary Cry is not Black Canary’s only sonic gift. Cassidy is also the heir to pop music royalty being the daughter of ’70s teen idol David Cassidy of The Partridge Family. Though Katie is best known for her acting roles on Arrow and Supernatural, she also recorded a single in the early Aughts, covering her father’s hit “I Think I Love You.”
Colton Haynes. Though you wouldn’t have guessed it from watching the show, but an acoustic guitar is apparently part of Roy’s “arsenal.” A couple of years ago, Haynes joined the band New Heights on YouTube to show off his vocal chops for this cover of the country tune “19 You + Me.”
Grant Gustin. I already mentioned Grant’s connection to Glee, but he’s the only one on the list to have shown off the ability to warble in the superhero persona. On the episode “Crazy for You,” Barry and Caitlin get trashed at a karaoke club and flirt and sing songs from Grease and drive Christelle crazy.
Tom Cavanaugh. Before he was the is-he-or-is-he-not evil Dr. Wells on The Flash, Cavanaugh was best known for his starring roles on Ed and Scrubs. But did you know the actor actually got his start on Broadway? Appearing in such classic musicals as A Chorus Line and Grease, the Reverse Flash could give Grant some karaoke competition, in English or French. Here he is singing Britney (in French) on the Ellen show.
Rick Cosnett. Though the man who plays Eddie Thawne doesn’t have a recording career, he has been known to belt out a tune or two. Apart from harmonizing with his castmates on “The Ballad of Serenity” — more on that later — Cosnett also likes to serenade his fans at conventions.
Victor Garber. I guess I should slot him over to a Legends of Tomorrow grouping, but until we know more about that show, he’ll continue to be a Flash actor for the purpose of this list. Anyway, Garber got his start in show business as a folk singer in Canada and is a Tony-nominated stage performer in addition to being a film and TV star. Most folks probably know of his singing prowess as Daddy Warbucks in Disney’s Annie adaptation.
Jesse L. Martin. Aside from Grant, Martin is likely the most obvious reason Berlanti should consider a musical crossover — or hell, just a musical Flash episode period. Though he’s best known for his pre-Flash role on Law & Order, any Broadway fan wouldn’t need five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes to know that Jesse L. Martin is also the original Tom Collins from Rent.
Carlos Valdes. For everyone at this site, it’s safe to say Cisco is the NOC MVP of The Flash, quickly becoming everyone’s favorite character. When his casting was first announced, though, little was known about him except that he was in the Broadway adaptation of the film Once. If you scoured YouTube, though, you’d know Cisco Ramon can vibe like few others.
Melissa Benoist. Unless you were an avid Gleek, you might not have realized the future Supergirl was a student at McKinley High for a season and a half. Was she even invited back for the series finale? Who knows? Either way, she gets the last laugh because now she’s a superhero. Take that, Lea Michelle.
Laura Benanti. You know how much of a theater dork I am? I was more psyched about Benanti as Kara’s Kryptonian mother Alura than any other casting announcement. Benanti, a Broadway veteran, is probably best known as Frau Schrader on NBC’s Sound of Music Live starring Carrie Underwood. Say what you will about that production, but Benanti was the best part. Hell, she’s the reason my favorite songs on the soundtrack are about capitalism and Nazi sympathizing. Here she is doing a sexed up version of “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” at a benefit for the MCC Theater on Broadway from earlier this year.
Jeremy Jordan. In a role similar to Caitlin on The Flash, Jordan will be playing the hero’s techy sidekick who is destined to become a supervillain. In Jordan’s case, he will eventually become the Superman rogue Toyman. In the sizzle reel that was released online, it seems that the character will be a good guy — and probably have a crush on Kara — for the foreseeable future. Regardless, being yet another Broadway veteran means that Jordan can be a part of this eventual crossover musical too. It’s not like he hasn’t already sung on network television after starring on NBC’s Smash.
So there you have it. If we don’t see an Arrow, Flash, Supergirl musical crossover in our lifetimes, it will be such a missed opportunity. I mean, there’s got to be a reason why you cast so many talented singers across all of your shows, Berlanti. The people who populate the Berlanti-verse are practically begging to be a part of something musical. So make it happen already!
Either way, I’m sure it’ll be a ton more fun than whatever the movie version of The Flash has cooked up.