Charlie Barnett, who played John Diggle, Jr. in the eighth season of Arrow (including the backdoor pilot episode "Green Arrow and the Canaries") has been cast in Ordinary Joe, a new pilot for NBC. Barnett, who has also appeared on shows like Russian Doll,Valor, and Chicago Fire, joins a cast that also includes James Wolk and Natalie Martinez. The series centers on three parallel lives of Joe Kimbrough (Wolk) coming to a major turning point in his life. Each of the three stories will be based on one decision he might make -- boiled down in the series description as "love, loyalty or passion."
Barnett's John Diggle, Jr. was the leader of the Deathstroke gang in Arrow's flash-forwards -- a role that he was relieved of following the events of "Crisis on Infinite Earths." Thanks to Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) rewriting the universe and Team Arrow knowing to avoid the mistakes they made between 2020 and 2040, John Jr. was instead a well-adjusted and happy young man set to marry Mia Smoak-Queen (Katherine McNamara) in "Green Arrow and the Canaries."
The episode ended on a cliffhanger, with John Jr.'s pre-"Crisis" memories restored and his villainous personality along with them, while Mia's half-brother William (Ben Lewis) abducted by baddies. With Barnett set to play double duty as Mia's love interest and big bad, it seems unlikely Barnett would have time to recur on another show if Green Arrow and the Canaries were to go to series.
So far, there have been rumors that the show had been picked up, and rumors that it was dead, but nothing concrete coming from anyone who could credibly claim to know what was up. It seems likely that Barnett signing onto another pilot is a sign that Green Arrow and the Canaries will not go forward, but there are other possibilities as well. It could be that Ordinary Joe is in second position and Canaries has priority in his contract, and there is the outside chance, too, that Green Arrow and the Canaries and Ordinary Joe could both be picked up and one of the two could simply recast Barnett for episodes after the pilot.
Marc Guggenheim, who co-created Arrow and would serve as a consulting producer on Green Arrow and the Canaries, recently told fans that they would hear something officially in May. It's possible that an actor as in-demand as Barnett is felt obligated to cover his bases and get a backup plan in place in case the show did not go forward.2comments
Green Arrow and the Canaries is a planned spinoff starring Katherine McNamara (Shadowhunters) as Mia Queen, the daughter of Arrow's Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak. The series would be set in 2040, twenty years after Oliver Queen gave his life to save Star City and the universe from the threat of the Anti-Monitor during the Crisis. Besides McNamara, the series would star Katie Cassidy, Juliana Harkavy, Charlie Barnett, Joseph David-Jones, and Ben Lewis. Keep your eyes on ComicBook.com for more on the future (literally) of the Arrowverse.
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