Arrow star Stephen Amell is looking to challenge The Flash actor Tom Cavanagh for the number of different versions of the same character he can play, apparently.
Having just wrapped production on the show's 97th overall episode, Amell teased fans on Twitter, saying that he plays three different versions of Oliver in that story, rather than the two he usually plays.
Wrapped episode 97 last night. Most times I get to play two versions of Oliver. This time? Three. pic.twitter.com/D7ri72K235— Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) September 1, 2016
There are two ways you could take this. One -- the more likely one -- is that "Island Oliver" and the modern day "Team Arrow" Oliver are different people, and that for some reason Episode 97 gave Amell the opportunity to explore a third time period in Oliver's life -- perhaps by way of a flashback to some year during the show's run, or a flash-forward to later in Oliver Queen's life, like he did in DC's Legends of Tomorrow last year.
The other -- less likely but more sexy -- is that "Oliver Queen" and "Green Arrow" are the versions he's talking about, and that a third would be Oliver taking on another costumed identity for one reason or another.
Yet another possibility is that in either of those previously-mentioned pairs, the third, new Oliver he's playing could be the Flashpoint Green Arrow. This one might seem like a longshot, since The Flash will be finished with the Flashpoint timeline by this point in Arrow's season, but since producers have said that Flashpoint will have an impact on Arrow (and in particular, Diggle), it's a possibility.
In the comics, Flashpoint was an event series in which The Flash inadvertently created a dark, alternate timeline after traveling to the past to prevent his mother's murder. The Flash had to get his powers back, figure out how time had been broken, and then repair it to avoid the war-torn Flashpoint Universe from replacing the DC Universe proper. Following the events of Flashpoint, at least two beings (a cosmic figure known as Pandora and the Watchmen character Doctor Manhattan) interfered with DC's history, resulting in the creation of the 2011 reboot known as The New 52.
In the world of Flashpoint, Oliver Queen is the head of Green Arrow Industries, a major military contracting company, who steals steals advanced gadgets from super-villains for military use. Batman, meanwhile, is Thomas Wayne, whose son was gunned down in front of him in Crime Alley and whose wife cracked under the strain and became The Joker. It's been theorized by a number of fans that the comparisons between Arrow's Oliver Queen and Batman might mean that rather than exploring the weapons-manufacturer Oliver, they might have Oliver be gone entirely in the Flashpoint timeline and replace Stephen Amell with Jamey Sheridan, who played Robert Queen in the Arrow pilot.
Early in the TV off-season, Amell told fans during a recent Facebook Live event that Flashpoint "certainly could" impact Arrow. Later, he would walk those comments back, but later still, producers confirmed that Flashpoint would have an impact on other CW shows besides The Flash.
Arrow returns to the airwaves for its fifth season on October 5 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.