In an interview on Zap2It, executive producers Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim of The CW's debuting "Arrow" series discussed their vision of the Oliver Queen character and the influence of the Christopher Nolan "Batman" films on what looks to be a much more visceral universe.
When the series was initially announced, comparisons were bound to be drawn between the Oliver Queen as portrayed by Justin Hartley on The CW's "Smallville" series and the new creators' take, embodied by Stephen Amell. The producers even brought on board David Nutter, director of the "Smallville" pilot, to helm the "Arrow" pilot.
Kreisberg is quick to point out that a shared film crew is where the similarities between the two series end. "I mean, we talk about it in the sense that like, 'Oh, it would be fun to have Justin Hartley do a cameo on the show,' but that's pretty much the extent of the conversation. We'd love to nod to the original, but I think, honestly, the biggest nod is David and Glenn [Winter, Director of Photography for the "Smallville" pilot] being involved the way they were involved in the pilot of Smallville. That's the biggest nod I can think of."
The difference in tone becomes apparent as Kleinberg and Guggenheim elaborate on two key differences between "Smallville" and "Arrow." First, morality exists more in a gray area in the latter series, with the Queen character snapping a man's neck in order to protect his secret identity in the pilot. Second, no one has superpowers, allowing the showrunners and writers the opportunity to put new spins on classic DC Universe characters.
"What it does is it creates an opportunity for us to reinvent some characters and present them in a non-powers, grounded way," Kreisberg explains.
Guggenheim cites the Nolan "Batman" trilogy as an inspirational model for their reimagining of Star City and its denizens. "Chris Nolan took Ra's al Ghul, somebody who in the comic books literally is immortal and has supernatural elements to his character, and presented him in a more grounded, realistic manner -- took his immortality and gave it a sort of real world twist in 'Batman Begins'. Same with Bane, who has superpowers in the comic books, is presented as just a man."
Will this dark take on the Green Arrow character hit a bullseye or miss the mark? The series, starring Stephen Amell, premieres Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.