When it debuted in 2012, The CW's Arrow was a game-changer when it came to superhero television, launching the network's Arrowverse, the shared universe of connected DC Comics inspired series that now includes The Flash, Supergirl, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, and Black Lightning. But according to Arrow co-creator Marc Guggenheim, Arrow itself owes its existence to another DC project -- 2011's Green Lantern movie.
Speaking with the Fake Nerd Podcast, Guggenheim spoke a bit about the exciting -- and surprising -- inclusion of the Green Lantern film in the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover and as he spoke about how that came about, he revealed the important connection between Arrow and the film that extends far beyond just that crossover reference.
"Oh, that was my decision," Guggenheim said about the cameo. "I was like, 'I've got to get Green Lantern in there somewhere.'"
"There's only one Green Lantern movie, so it just seemed obvious to me to do that," he continued. "I just had to, because Greg Berlanti and I, we co-wrote the movie, for better or for worse. To me, the experience of doing Green Lantern is a huge connective tissue with Arrow."
Released in 2011, Green Lantern starred Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, a test pilot selected to become the first human member of the Green Lantern Corps. The film, which also starred Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Angela Bassett, and Tim Robbins was widely panned by critics who cited the film's CGI, inconsistent tone and more. The film also underperformed at the box office, leading to the cancelation of any plans for a sequel. Still, despite the disappointment of that film, it still had a large influence, of sorts, on Arrow, making that brief Arrowverse cameo in "Crisis on Infinite Earths" -- the world of the Green Lantern film is shown to take place on Earth-12 in the Arrowverse -- a positive, somewhat full-circle moment.
"We wouldn't have done Arrow but for Green Lantern," Guggenheim said. "And we almost didn't do Arrow because of Green Lantern. So, it looms large, and it tickled me. It made me happy."
Of course, "Crisis" wasn't the only Green Lantern-related moment in the Arrowverse. In the series finale for Arrow, John Diggle (David Ramsey) is knocked back when something crashes into the ground near him and, when he finds a small box with a green glow coming from whatever is inside -- something fans believe is a Green Lantern ring.
"This was something that was worked out over a year ahead with DC Entertainment," Guggenheim said earlier this year. "We very specifically negotiated and discussed the parameters and I feel like to say anything beyond what we have showed you would violate our agreement with DC."
The CW will re-air "Crisis on Infinite Earths" in its entirety beginning Tuesday, April 7.