Desperate times can call for desperate measures. In a world where COVID-19 is shutting down and/or delaying pretty much everything, what will happen to shows that have not wrapped production? Several shows the in the Arrowverse are faced with that very issue. Some other series have simply cut their seasons short, and decided to use their last produced episode as their finale. That doesn't seem like a luxury that The Flash, Supergirl or Batwoman can afford. So, what could happen?
You might think I'm crazy here, but give me a chance before you dismiss this entirely. What if each of those shows could finish their seasons with an animated episode? I know, I know...that would be weird. Keep in mind, DC's Legends of Tomorrow had almost an entire episode where every character was a puppet. Granted, that's Legends, but this doesn't seem like that much of a stretch to me.
Sure, you could wait it out. Ideally you get back to your set as early as possible, get your last episode or two finished and everything is fine. The major problem with that is, with these shows filming in Vancouver and the U.S./Canadian border closed to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no telling when they will be able to get back on set. Even if they could find a place inside the U.S. to shoot this, imagine how long it would take to rebuild entire set pieces. Not only that, everything would have to be shot with a cast and crew of 10 people or less in most locations. It just doesn't seem like it would be physically or financially possible.
Another option would be to just do what other shows are doing and use your final finished episode as your finale. That would make your intended finale the premiere for the upcoming season. The problem with that is, finales are written as finales for a reason. Think back to the penultimate episode of almost any season of the shows I mentioned (minus Batwoman which is in it's first season.) Could any of those episodes served as a TRUE finale? Plus I feel like then you'd have a second episode of a new season that is going to feel like a premiere, because a page will definitely have been turned. Canning the finales altogether, which I can only assume have already been written, could also lead to rewrites and changes in the story. There has to be a little bit of loss that goes along with that, in my opinion. These shows aren't episodic like some other shows that just decided to call it a season. Careful planning goes into crafting these seasons, so I don't see them being cut short.
That brings me to my idea of animation. You might not know this, but animation is one business in Hollywood that seems to still be going strong. It is a bit easier to continue with animation because the work can be done with a smaller crew. Talent can also record their sessions in isolation, or even at a home studio if possible. Sets wouldn't have to be rebuilt, they would only have to be animated. Since everyone is pretty much in a holding pattern right now, as far as actors go, you'd think they would be more than available right now.
I get it, animation also takes time. I can't say for sure how long it would take to put this all together. All I know is, some of these character designs have already been done for animated series on CW Seed like Vixen and Freedom Fighters: The Ray. Warner Bros. and DC also has character designer Phil Bourassa at their disposal, who has worked on character designs for Young Justice, several DC animated features and countless other projects. They also have a stable of incredible producers and directors that I believe could pull this off, if necessary.
Listen, I'm sure that no one WANTS to do this. We aren't exactly living in a world of ideal situations right now. At the same time, if this is something that can be done with the safety of the cast and crew in mind...why not? You're not setting a precedent here, you're doing what you have to do in uncertain times. Not only that, but it would certainly add something unique to the mix. Animation can look pretty stunning too, if done right, and DC knows how to present their product in animation quite well.
There are two series that will not have to worry about this. Marc Guggenheim confirmed recently that DC's Legends of Tomorrow has already wrapped filming on it's current season. See for yourself:
The other series that has already wrapped is DC's Stargirl. That show wrapped months ago, there was cake and everything. So when that show premieres in May on both DC Universe and The CW, it will be able to air it's entire season. So if you're looking for positives, those are a couple of good ones. It's just hard not to think about how we are just starting to scratch the surface of what will be the climax for these other shows.
I hope that we don't have to see production cut short, and stories left unfinished. I think we can all agree that safety is the #1 priority, and that anything in the entertainment world takes a backseat to stopping this pandemic and the horrible toll that it has already taken worldwide. What we have also seen is our entertainment world that we love continue to mold and adapt to these crazy times in order to bring some happiness into our hopes by any means possible. If an animated episode or two of a live action show can do that, just to give us the finales that we are itching to see, what fan wouldn't want that? If DC, Warner Bros. and The CW can act quickly, think of the possibilities. No matter what, I will look forward to whatever episodes I will be able to get.
Photo Credit: The CW/Warner Bros. TV