The CW’s Arrow will end after eight seasons and a final ten-episode run in late 2019, star Stephen Amell confirmed Wednesday, prompting speculation the bolt-slinging superhero could live on in the DC Films universe.
Warner Bros. previously expressed interest in bringing Green Arrow to the big screen in the never-made Green Arrow: Escape From Super Max, penned by Batman Begins and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice scribe David Goyer and Justin Marks (The Jungle Book).
The script centered around wrongfully imprisoned vigilante Oliver Queen, who was forced to team with multiple supervillains — including enemies he helped capture — to win his freedom from the high-security prison populated by high-profile and B-list rogues alike. In 2008, Marks said the film would feature famed Superman archfoe Lex Luthor and Batman enemies the Riddler and the Joker in cameo appearances.
In 2015, ahead of the studio’s bad guy-centric Suicide Squad, Goyer said the defunct Escape From Super Max was “absolutely ahead of its time.”
“You know, Marvel was considering doing the Sinister Six and at the time, God, I think this was eight or nine years ago that we wrote a couple of drafts, but it certainly was like this oddball project at Warner Bros at the time, they were like — even though the script was good — ‘Why would we make a movie about a bunch of villains? That makes no sense,’” Goyer told Den of Geek.
“The executive on it was really visionary, but the higher-ups, none of whom are at Warner Bros anymore, just thought at the time, you know, ‘We just want to make Batman and Superman movies. We don’t want to make any other characters.’”
Goyer added the ahead-of-its-time Green Arrow movie was developed before rival Marvel Studios launched its interconnected franchise on the backs of then lower-tier characters like Iron Man and Captain America, resulting in powerhouse franchises like Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy.
“But this is before Marvel had really taken off, before more obscure projects like Guardians of the Galaxy or Ant-Man or things like that had huge success, before the current gold rush I guess, if you will,” Goyer said.
“It’s natural that eventually someone was going to make a villain movie, so that’s just what happened!”
Now that #Arrow is ending, we can finally get a faithful adaption of Green Arrow with a movie starring Charlie Hunnam.— Ty Dingess (@TyDingess) March 6, 2019
Even as Warner Bros., who has since launched the interconnected DCEU, retools its Suicide Squad sequel-slash-reboot under former Guardians of the Galaxy writer-director James Gunn, the studio is said to be turning its eye away from superhero crossovers like Batman v Superman and the anemic Justice League.
Instead of bringing its biggest players together for ambitious Avengers-like crossovers, Warners will move away from the shared universe and instead highlight heroes like Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and Aquaman (Jason Moma) — the undersea king who won the DCEU its first billion-plus grosser, the first DC Comics movie to reach the milestone since 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises — in their mostly unconnected solo projects, paving the path for Shazam (Zachary Levi), Supergirl, Zatanna, Blue Beetle, and Plastic Man.
Put simply: following Ben Affleck’s exit from the cowl and the reported benching of Superman, the studio has moved past its “only Batman and Superman movies” mentality, encouraged by the blockbuster success of Wonder Woman and Aquaman.
As Warner Bros. mines its catalogue for lesser-known heroes to takeover the big screen, it could be time for Green Arrow to make that leap. The studio is already at work developing a Justice League spinoff starring the Flash (Ezra Miller), whose television counterpart (Grant Gustin) races around the Arrowverse with no signs of slowing.
Amell seemed to hint at the potential of an Arrow movie in 2018, when he told an inquiring fan there wouldn’t be an Arrow movie because “we’re still shooting the show.”
Then, Amell added, “I will say, though, that... no, I won’t say that,” appearing to ponder if an Arrow movie could happen once the show reached its end.
Should Warner Bros. pursue a Green Arrow movie set in the DCEU — once home to Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel and Ben Affleck’s Dark Knight — the character would likely stand separate from his CW counterpart, as evidenced by the differing Miller and Gustin Barry Allens.
Though the studio has yet to so much as hint it’s taking aim at a Green Arrow movie, longtime comic book lover Black Canary makes the jump to the big screen as played by Jurnee Smollett-Bell in Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey — an ensemble piece set to introduce other lesser-known superheroines to the ever-expanding DCEU.
In that sense, and with the show no longer able to cause any character usage conflicts on the movie side of the franchise, a Green Arrow movie would be right on target.
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