At the midway point in Arrow’s final season, it is becoming even more clear that the story of the characters might not end with the show. One newer character that will be getting some shine in a new backdoor pilot is John "JJ" Diggle Jr./Deathstroke (Charlie Barnett). TVLine reported on the actor's inclusion for the new pilot this week. The CW is bringing in four other series for Crisis on Infinite Earths and developing a spinoff show with a focus on the Team Arrow of the future. That team includes Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy), and Mia Smoak (Katherine McNamara). Green Arrow and the Canaries is a backdoor pilot in the second to last episode of the series. Detail around that outing are still a mystery, but now another cast member has been revealed.
As with most of the final season of Arrow, the choices on display with a lot of the creative decisions have been fascinating. The run has been strong heading towards the end, and this week’s episode united the future version of Team Arrow with some of the modern day members. It didn’t feel clunky and the interactions were very entertaining. Grant Wilson’s version of Deathstroke was beginning an attack on Star City and it was up to the combined forces of both teams to step up and defend their home. As a result of a successful mission, Deathstroke was hauled off to Gotham and JJ might not have been radicalized by the events. Maybe the future for the younger Deathstroke will take a turn for the better?
JJ’s relationship with his adoptive brother Connor Hawke has come into focus in a couple of the episodes to start out this season of Arrow. His presence in Green Arrow and the Canaries would seem to indicate that the story has more room to grow. That dynamic is still worth exploring heading into another era of the Arrowverse.
“[They] have this really fraught childhood that we’ll explain more in the upcoming episodes,” showrunner Beth Schwartz said in a previous interview. “[We’ll see] how they got to this place where … JJ is willing to kill his own brother, and how he went down this path."
It remains unclear at this point if the Green Arrown and the Canaries spinoff will get picked up to begin it’s own series. Though the prospect of a creative outlet for the Arrowverse to explore some future developments is something that really intrigues some fans.
"It was definitely meant to grow the world that we had already built and to see the next generation of what Oliver and Felicity and our present-day team have worked so hard for, and sort of see what happens in the future," Schwartz said in an interview earlier this year. "We love those characters and would love to see them go on in some capacity after the show's over."
Arrow airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.