Monday, July 30, 2012

ARROW Cast and Creators Discuss Mythos Changes

Although not exactly a news flash, the cast and creators for the upcoming CW series Arrow, based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow, confirmed there will be some tweaking here and there to the Emerald Archer's established comics mythos.

The Hollywood Reporter posted several comments made today during the Television Critics Association press tour.  Executive producer Marc Guggenheim remarked that that the main source material for the series are Green Arrow: Year One by Andy Diggle and Jock and the classic Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters by Mike Grell.  "Green Arrow has an origin that's subject to a lot of interpretation," said Guggenheim.  "We always start with the comic as our source of inspiration."  The producers noted some obvious changes, such as keeping Oliver Queen's parents alive and giving him a sister.

The decision to go with star Stephen Amell instead of Smallville's Justin Hartley was also addressed, with Guggenheim explaining, "We certainly wanted to chart our own course and destiny.  Michael Keaton doesn't affect your love for Christian Bale and Christian Bale doesn't affect your love for Adam West.  Multiple iterations are possible."

Having read Superman, Lobo and Spawn comics as a kid, Amell was the first person to come in and audition for the role.  "After we met Stephen and he auditioned, everyone else paled by comparison," said executive producer Andrew Kreisberg.  "Every step of the way it was Stephen…He was always Oliver Queen to us."

Amell trained with Henry Cavill's Man of Steel stunt double on a course where American Ninja Warrior contestants work out, learning archery and the free running variation of parkour.  After ending his training, Amell and company sent executive producer Greg Berlanti footage of his capabilities, which led to the salmon ladder scene in the pilot.  "As a producer, it's a little frightening when your star is doing a quarter of his stunts," said Berlanti.  "It's a little daring but it's what makes the show unique."

As for the series' themes, Guggenheim remarked, "We're exploring the nature of vigilantism...and we'll get into those [moral] issues.  Arrow always gives the bad guy of the week the opportunity to do the right thing, that's one of moral guidelines we're allowing.  When he kills, it's for necessity.  It's not random violence.  He'll have characters come into the universe that question those."

Arrow apparently has a list of targets but the series isn't set up to be Villain of the Week.  "The list is the jumping off point," said Guggenheim.  "Circumstances aren't always the same.  Part of Oliver's evolution of a hero is moving from his mission of revenge to redemption and to help people and stop crimes and moving away from just the agenda of righting his father's wrongs to helping to save the city."

A touch of the character's traditional liberal nature will be brought into the series.  "The people that Oliver is targeting are the wealthy and corrupt," said Guggenheim.  "There are some echoes of the 1% and Occupy Wall Street...He's a man of the people and taking it back for the little guy."

Kreisberg revealed that Arrow is telling two stories, one set in the present day and the one set on the island where Oliver was marooned for five years and became Arrow.  "Every episode will be telling the chronological story of the island," he said.  "Ideally by the last episode of the series, the last shot will be the boat coming for Oliver and being rescued."

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