Comic-Con 2012: Things Are About to Get Real with Arrow


The CW has a potential new hit franchise in Arrow, a drama based on the DC Comics character that also appeared on the network's Smallville. The hero will share some backstory with the classic comic version, for instance, both washed up on an island after a shipwreck and that experience shapes their future. But the men behind the show want to make one thing clear: this is a very different take on a classic, and where the Green Arrow you're familiar with is more Peter Pan than Robin Hood, this Arrow is down and dirty and up to his neck in the real world.

"There are no superpowers, there are no aliens," said co-creator Andrew Kreisberg. "We really took a page out of Chris Nolan's The Dark Knight, you know giving a basis a reality for all of the characters, even Batman. We say that Oliver's only superpower is that he's not afraid to die. And if you're not afraid to die, you can do amazing things. We looked more to Jason Bourne and Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible as our template for the character more so than previous incarnations of The Green Arrow."

And like Nolan's Batman, Kreisberg hopes that their take is equally accepted by old fans and new fans alike. "[It's] like with what Chris Nolan and Joe Nolan did with Batman, taking familiar characters or characters that people have seen 100 times and putting a grittier realistic take on the characters. DC Comics has been amazing about letting us play in their playground, and we're going to have characters not just associated with The Green Arrow but other characters in the DC Universe appears but in a way that you've never seen them before. If you're [already] a fan, you're going to be excited, but if you're not a fan, you'll be coming into it fresh."

That difference comes from the characters' humanity. These won't be people bounding from building to building and putting their day-glo leotards and capes to the test with one-liners and fans gawking at their heroics. These will be real people doing extraordinary (but within the realm of reality) things, promises co-creator Marc Guggenheim. In fact, Oliver Queen will never be referred to as The Green Arrow or Arrow in Season 1, though police scanners might give him nicknames like "Hood" or that dude who keeps shooting bad guys with arrows. And any familiar character from the DC Universe will be treated similarly.

Each of the creators also told us about the flashback structure of the show. Guggenheim estimated that the show would be about 80 or 90 percent in real time and 20 or 10 percent flashing back. Ideally, the first season will cover Queen's time on the island until a particularly monumental moment, and Guggenheim was practically giddy about a five-year plan for the flashbacks. He also stressed the idea of the story on the island thematically matching what is happening in the present with Queen as the vigilante. I'm all on board for that!

And what of new uber-hunk Stephen Amell as the title character? I can confirm that he is indeed super-hunkish and chiseled out of the bedrock of Mount Olympus, as well as well spoken and intelligent in case you ladies actually hear the words that come out of your mouth. The Toronto-born actor was featured in Hung but couldn't wait to star in the show, turning other offers down because of Arrow's darker tone and the way it would push his physical limits. And in all but three scenes in the pilot, it's him doing the stunts (insurance issues limited him from doing everything, but he claims he can what his stunt doubles did). Yes, the man with the Tahoe Lake blue eyes and Tahoe mogul abs can also fire off insane amounts of pull-ups like a PX90 video on fast forward and jump off walls like a Parkour champ. He's a star in the making.

Look for Arrow this October on The CW.


Psst! Check out our complete Comic-Con coverage for the latest news, photos, and more.

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To be honest, when I first heard about Arrow way back in May-June, I was a little bit cautious about checking it out since it's on The CW and they have a track record with unfair and premature cancellations (RIP The Secret Circle and Veronica Mars). But after hearing and reading a lot of positive buzz surrounding the pilot at Comic-Con, I'm getting more and more excited about watching this. And I'm pretty confident that it has a better chance of succeeding than the other new Fall shows on the network so I might not have to worry about it being cancelled this Fall. Arrow has a good chance of having a long run but I have little trust in The CW nowadays after a series of stupid mistakes where they killed off great shows and kept shows on their line-up that have overstayed their welcome.
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No, I mean, it looks good from the trailer, I love the Bourne elements, and I like my superheroes gritty and reality-based. And I've watched the comic-con roundtable & the actor acquits himself very well. But I've seen the backstory, the reintroduction to society & his family, the character in a factory working out and makin' arrows ... but not really any threat. A hero is only as great as his villain(s) and I have no idea what he's fighting for. It won't be compelling unless they give us a conflict.
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Well we will see if the show is as good as Smallville and not keeping Justin Hartley as the Green Arrow was a mistake as Smallville for years showed Justin as the Green Arrow now its a different bloke so will be intersted to see if the bloke is as good as Justin playing the role....
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I'm looking forward to the show.



But i do wish they wouldn't rule out any appearance from a Supergirl or Zod-like character. It does share some mythology with Superman..being DC and all. Dont get me wrong I'm glad it's set in a world without every MoTW having powers of somekind...but to rule it out from ever happening seems kinda premature. Especially if they want this DC Comics TV show to air over the next decade like Smallville.
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Hm. Allow me to be sceptical. While I applaud their decision to try to make the show more gritty and "keeping it real" by not including Halloween costumes, I can't help but to think that throwing around big names like Nolan and Bourne is just a clever marketing ploy. In a way I am excited to see what the show is about, and super excited to see Katie Cassidy (the first time I saw her there was a Cupid's arrow involved), but I still can't help to wonder what this show can offer us. And the recent history of CW shows that pretty much anything they create is a big risk. Even though the show will probably attract a young male audience too, the odds of it surviving are still slim.

The guys behind the show do seem to have impressive resumes, though. Kreisberg has been a co-producer on several shows, for example Fringe, even writing a few episodes for that. Guggenheim also has a versatile list of titles. Berlanti, another producer, wrote Green Lantern, is a producer on the upcoming second instalment, and is writing an upcoming movie The Flash. OK, maybe I'll give Arrow the benefit of the doubt and check it out.
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looking forward to it.
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Wow, a huge gamble to say you're tearing out a page from Dark Knight. Particularly this time of the year.
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This was one of the few shows I was looking forward to, but reading stuff like this makes my anticipation even stronger. I love the fact that from what they're saying, it's going to be based in realism. And as Tim previously stated in his preview, it's apparently going to be pretty damn dark, which could be awesome.



Still... it is the CW... so I'm really trying hard not to get too excited about this.
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Ditto ... I liked Smallville alot and this hype reminds me of when it too teased fan boys over 10 years ago at Comic-Con around 2000, but the last season was just torture for fans.



BTW: Nice pic Dave.
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I like arrow
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I am really looking forward to this. I saw an interview saying there are a bunch of references to the comics and the DC universe on the show. Which hopefully means it is going to be less tween and more dark. Which I want. So great.
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