During an interview today on the set of Arrow, Amell told reporters that the decision to name-check the Dark Knight's alter ego came from Amell himself. It was an idea that struck him just before Comic-Con this summer, and it was at the event's big DC party that he managed to get the okay from management.
"That was really funny; the original version of that script, which came out just before Comic-Con, was just Oliver referencing a famous name," Amell recalled. "I can't even remember what the placeholder was; I think it might have been Justin Bieber. And I looked at it and thought to myself, 'This is a cool opportunity.' I talked to Greg Berlanti about it, and Greg said 'I think it would behoove you to go straight to Geoff Johns and just simply ask. You'll probably have better luck than I would.' So I was at the DC Comics party at Comic Con -- Geoff and I were supposed to meet and chat quickly. I couldn't track him down, but the next thing I knew, I ended up in a four-way conversation with Peter Roth, Diane Nelson, and Kevin Tsujihara all at the same time. I was like, 'Guys! I have an idea. I think it would be fun, I think it would open the door to a lot of possibilities.'"
Amell noted that the Dark Knight Trilogy has always been a big influence on Arrow, and that he saw the parallels fans have always noted between Bruce Wayne and the TV version of Oliver Queen.
He stopped short of saying that he thought Bruce Wayne would show up on Arrow, but acknowledged that those possibilities are things he has thought about a lot.
"I've always thought that Bruce Wayne would be an interesting ally on the show, and an even more interesting villain to Oliver," Amell said. "Which doesn't mean that he's the villain, it just means that they don't like each other. I had this holy trinity of Warner Bros. Television and DC and Warner Bros. overall in front of me, and I pitched this idea, and I've got all my follow-up points, and Kevin Tsujihara just goes, 'Yeah, sure.' It's like, 'Really?' and he said, 'Yeah, that sounds fun. Do that.' So we did it, and I didn't actually believe that it would make it until I actually saw it in the locked cut."
Arrow airs on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT, following new episodes of Supernatural on The CW.