Anyone who has read a comic book or watched latter episodes of Smallville knows about the DC Comics character Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow. Those who watched Smallville will easily identify actor Justin Hartley as this character, but in the new “reinvention” of the story of the Green Arrow, actor Steven Amell will be taking on the titular role of the iconic character in the highly anticipated new series, Arrow. After getting the opportunity to see the pilot twice at Comic Con 2012, I can say that Amell is owning the role.
This version of Arrow’s story is dark and gritty with Oliver Queen coming home after being stranded at sea and trapped on a rather brutal and scary-looking island for five years (and being presumed dead by his family and friends). The man who returns to his familial mansion is drastically different than the playboy that they all knew. Oliver Queen is not the super wealthy bad boy he was when he left on that fateful trip and is on a mission to fix the city that he always believed his father helped to build.
Without giving away a lot of details on the impressive pilot, directed by none other than David Nutter himself, this new version of the story will definitely capture the attention of the typical viewer of the CW and may even bring in a whole new group of viewers. It is certainly worth a look from anyone interested in intricate, quality storytelling.
During the brief Q&A that followed the screening at Comic Con 2012, cast members Steven Amell and Katie Cassidy (who plays Dinah “Laurel” Lance) were joined by the aforementioned David Nutter as well as Executive Producers Andrew Kreisburg and Marc Guggenheim to discuss the show.
The first interesting tidbit shared by Andrew and Marc was that the idea for the show came from Peter Roth, President of the network. Followed quickly on the heels of that news, they then shared that the DC Comics character China White will be played by actress Kelly Hu, who moviegoers will remember from X-Men 2.
When asked what it was about Steven and Katie that made the Executive Producers select them for their roles, they shared that Steven was actually “the first guy to come in to audition for the role” and they couldn’t believe that they found their Oliver Queen on the first try. As for Katie, they simply said “Katie is a star”.
For those interested in knowing who created the costume Steven will wear as Arrow, it comes from the talented mind of Oscar-winning costume design Colleen Atwood, who was given the simple instructions of just “start with a leather jacket and a hood.” And while Katie (as Laurel Lance) will not become a superhero right away, she will “become a woman of action sooner than you expect,” according to the Executive Producers.
Time was also taken to salute some of the supporting cast in the show, including Susanna Thompson (Once and Again), who plays Oliver’s mother; Willa Holland (The O.C.), who plays Oliver’s 17-year old sister; and Paul Blackthorne (The River), who plays Laurel’s father and the lead cop in Starling City.
Make sure to tune in to Arrow when it debuts on the CW on October 10 at 8/7c.