Arrow-wielding DC Comics character Green Arrow is getting a pilot, courtesy of the CW. Entitled Arrow, if this pilot is successful, it could very well fill CW’s live-action superhero gap, created when Smallville vacated the air in 2011. But out of all the characters in the DC Universe catalog, why Green Arrow?
By day, Green Arrow is Oliver Queen, the other billionaire-turned-vigilante in the DC Comics universe. And like the Caped Crusader, Green Arrow is not super-powered.
I think this is important because it keeps the costs of effects down. A superhero who can fly? Green screens. A superhero with super strength? The props department would need a super-powered budget. A superhero who relies on an eagle eye, a steady hand, and a few CGI-worthy arrows? Now we’re talking.
(I’ve always suspected that one of the reasons for Smallville’s “no tights, no flights” policy wasn’t merely because producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar were focusing on Clark Kent’s emotional journey—they were also keeping the budget in check.)
Another reason to elevate Oliver Queen from the funny pages to the screen: Green Arrow isn’t as well read as the previous comic book character-turned-pilot, Wonder Woman. One of the (many) reasons the failed Wonder Woman pilot wasn’t successful was because producer David E. Kelley tinkered overmuch with Wonder Woman’s famed backstory, turning Diana, Princess of Themyscira, into a CEO. Oliver is more of a blank slate to television fans, one that writers/executive producers Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg can inscribe their own ideas without fear of fan outrage.
Still, this wouldn’t be the Green Arrow’s first foray into live-action television. Ollie was a major player in the last three seasons of Smallville, winningly portrayed by Justin Hartley.