After decades upon decades of appearances in DC Comics, Black Canary was thrown into the pop-culture conversation in a major way, with confirmation that a solo movie surrounding the character is currently in development for HBO Max. The film would see Jurnee Smollett returning to the role of Dinah Lance/Black Canary from 2020's Birds of Prey, with a script written by Lovecraft Country's Misha Green. Ever since word of the Black Canary film was first announced, fans of the character have begun to speculate about what its story could entail — and whether or not we could end up seeing an appearance from Oliver Queen/Green Arrow in the process.
While Black Canary and Green Arrow were created independently of each other in the Golden Age of Comics — Black Canary debuting in the pages of Flash Comics in 1947, and Green Arrow in More Fun Comics in 1941 — swaths of DC Comics history have revolved around their dynamic as a duo. After Black Canary moved from Earth-2 to Earth-1 to join the Justice League of America in the 1960s, a decision that was sparked by the death of her first husband, she and Green Arrow began to interact more, and eventually developed a romantic relationship for one another. The pair's bond — both as heroes and as romantic partners — played out in the iconic "Hard Traveling Heroes" era of Green Lantern/Green Arrow in the 1970s, countless appearances in World's Finest, and eventually, Green Arrow's lengthy solo series that began in the late 1980s. It wouldn't be until decades later, in 2007, that the pair would get married in their very own Wedding Special, only for them to break off their marriage just before the rebooted New 52 continuity took effect. Most recently, the pair have rekindled a romantic relationship in DC's Rebirth and Infinite Frontier comic initiatives, courting a number of new fans of their relationship along the way.
For a number of fans, Black Canary and Green Arrow's stories feel inseparable from each other, given how much of comics history the pair have spent either romantically involved or in each other's orbit. To an extent, a Black Canary film feels like the perfect opportunity to fold Green Arrow into the DC Extended Universe — for one thing, it could create an outlet for their romantic relationship in the comics to flourish, some thing that hasn't been the case when the pair shared the screen on Smallville and Arrow. And introducing Green Arrow through a Black Canary movie would subvert the expectations of some fans who see Dinah as Oliver's "sidekick" or second in command, instead establishing Oliver in a story that is squarely driven by Dinah. It's easy to imagine a version of the movie that does include Oliver as a supporting player, somewhere around where Steve Trevor was in Wonder Woman or Nick Fury was in Captain Marvel.
But at the same time, as much as Black Canary and Green Arrow's stories have been intertwined in the comics, there have been huge swaths of canon where the pair have stood on their own. That has been the case for several solo Black Canary comic miniseries, as well as essentially all of the duo's time in the New 52 continuity, which disregarded their previous romantic history. If comics — and Dinah's arc of "emancipation" in Birds of Prey — are any indication, there are a number of ways to tell her story without necessarily needing to have Oliver as a major player. Giving the movie that freedom would allow it to dive into elements of Black Canary canon that have yet to be explored in live-action, while also potentially peppering in references or hints to his existence in the DCEU.
While there's no telling at this point if Green Arrow could factor into the Black Canary movie, Green definitely hyped up fans' speculation shortly after the movie's announcement, tweeting a string of emojis hinting at the storyline — including a green heart. As work on the movie continues, it will be interesting to see if we get an answer sooner than later.
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