By Hunter Camp
Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 at 8:00 pm
The CW has ordered a pilot entitled Arrow about DC Comics character Green Arrow and now, they’ve found their Oliver Queen in Stephen Amell.
Stephen Amell is a TV actor who has been in several shows ranging from a starring role in Hung to guest spots in shows like 90210 (2008), Heartland, Blue Mountain State, and Private Practice.
I have not seen any of his performances in those shows or any other shows on his IMDB page, other than his role as doorman on Degrassi: The Next Generation. So, do I know whether or not he’ll make a good Oliver Queen in Arrow? No, I do not. But I do know some things. The 30-year-old actor has been announced to play the lead character in Arrow, which is sure to be confusing to many a Smallville fan. Sure, I could go into specifics about the show and who’s going to be directing and writing the pilot, and I will still do that, but instead, first I’d like to go into a different direction for a moment.
There are, in fact, three key things to note about this announcement. Firstly, let’s take into account that Amell has been cast and not Justin Hartley, who played the character on Smallville. For a minute there, and I’m sure I wasn’t alone, I thought that since this pilot was ordered by the CW that we may in fact be seeing a spin off from Smallville, which was a long time rumor amongst fans. Sure, while most were expecting a Superman story, a show based around the character of Justin Hartley as Oliver Queen would make just as much sense since you could build off the already established world, but the casting of Amell has lead me to believe differently. Sure, they could still use Smallville as a launching board, but considering the creators of the show and the lack of Hartley, it’s certainly less believable at this point.
Also, the age is a key factor here, so I don’t entirely expect the origin story here, which is fantastic. Sure, networks and The CW in particular have had several older actors playing younger roles (Tom Welling was 24 when he starred as high school student Clark Kent in Smallville), but with a much older looking 30-year-old playing the role, I honestly don’t see that happening, which, again, is fantastic. It’s very likely that we’ll see a flashback origin, but it would be a nice breath of fresh air to see an already established hero doing heroic things on a weekly basis. I fully expect this show to take a more serious look at the character, and I’m absolutely embracing the idea.
The third bit that we can take from this announcement is that they’ve actually cast an actor to play a role in the pilot! We’ve been hearing so much about several DC Comics-related TV shows including Deadman, Booster Gold, and so many more (please give me Gotham Central, okay?), but we have seen absolutely zero movement on those titles. So, with the fact that an actor was named in a relatively short amount of time suggests, to me at least, that The CW really wants to get this property moving, which means that we’ll likely actually get to see a finished product. Again, this is just hoping as we’ve seen Powers get halted and the whole Wonder Woman disaster, but the fact that they’re actually moving on this title gives me hope that something could really happen.
Now let’s get to the specifics. I’m not going to insult you by telling you that Green Arrow was created by Mort Weisenger and George Papp in 1941 as a pseudo-Batman-light/pseudo-Robin Hood that got incredibly interesting as a liberal fighter for social justice under the guidance of Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams in the 1970s, because I’m sure that as a Geeks of Doom reader, you already know that. Instead, I’ll just tell you the basics of the actual show: The pilot for Arrow will be directed by David Nutter and written and produced by Andrew Kreisberg, Greg Berlanti, and Marc Guggenheim. And that’s it. So far.