Arrow EP Addresses How Final Season Sets Up Canaries Spinoff

Arrow is preparing to near its swan song, but it sounds like the world of the series could live on, with word that a spinoff is in development surrounding Mia Smoak (Katherine McNamara), Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), and Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy). The spinoff, which has been unofficially dubbed Green Arrow and the Canaries, is expected to have a backdoor pilot in the final season, but it sounds like its effect on the show doesn't really stretch beyond that. In a recent interview with TVLine, showrunner Beth Schwartz revealed that the potential spinoff "didn't really" affect how Season 8's 2040-set arc was crafted.

“We always knew what that story was going to be, and the pilot is its own kind of different beast,” Schwartz explained.

This week's season premiere featured the "Future Team Arrow" in an interesting way, as they began to investigate - and face off against - John Diggle Jr. (Charlie Barnett), the leader of the Deathstroke gang.

“They’re struggling with how to be a team for the first time,” Schwartz previously explained.

“There’s also the feeling that these kids are just kids and they’re flying without a net." consulting producer Marc Guggenheim added. "Future-Rene, Future-Dinah, and Future-Felicity are all gone, per the end of season 7, so they’re left to figure things out on their own.”

Meanwhile, much of the episode ended up taking place on Earth-2, where Laurel was operating as Starling City's main hero. That of course was blown up (both figuratively and literally) when Earth-2 was destroyed by anti-matter. This adds a whole new level to the idea of Laurel appearing in the Canaries spinoff -- as well as the larger Arrowverse going forward.

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"There’s always a chance." consulting producer Marc Guggenheim explained to ComicBook.com last month. "Especially since this has now become this huge universe. We have all these different places we can go, different ways we can tell stories. And the thing I always - and I’ve been saying this for a few years now, because it’s been a universe for a few years now - whenever an actor leaves the show, I always say ‘It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later.’ Because we have all these different avenues available to us, between time travel and parallel universes and animated — you name it, we’ve got all these different avenues, which is a nice thing to be able to explore."

Arrow airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.