[UPDATED! Katie Cassidy is “Black Canary”] CW’s Green Arrow Pilot: Script is Good, Not Great, And Ollie’s Mother Cast
DC and Warner Bros. are desperately seeking their next live-action television hit to fill the hole left by Smallville, and at the moment it seems the CW‘s Arrow, a pilot for a series about DC’s emerald archer, Green Arrow, has the best shot. Lately DC’s had several different attempts at a successful show from their Wonder Woman pilot with Adrianne Palicki which bombed to rumors of a Deadman and Raven series in development. None of these have seen the light of day, will Arrow be any different?
So far people seem not disappointed in the casting of Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, but I haven’t heard anybody really excited by it either. Susanna Thompson has also been cast as his mother, and David Ramsey is signed on for the pilot playing an ex-military operative and security expert, John Diggle.
[UPDATE! Deadline is reporting Supernatural‘s Katie Cassidy has been cast as Ollie’s love interest, Laurel, known to most comic book fans as Dinah Laurel Lance, the Black Canary. Sadly, it doesn’t really sound like this is the same Dinah, sorry, Laurel we know from the comics. It seems unlikely she’ll be screeching any sonic screams or kickin’ ass in fishnets.
Cassidy will play Laurel, a young legal clinic attorney who shares a romantic past with Oliver.
I guess it doesn’t say she won’t be her own crime-fighting vigilante either, but I wouldn’t count on it. Which is a shame because Black Canary could do with a good, live-action adaption. Her roles in Birds of Prey and Smallville were, to put it nicely, underwhelming.
What do you think of the casting of Arrow‘s leading lady?]
This casting doesn’t mean much until we see them in action, and that depends on the quality if the script. It’s been written by Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim, based off an idea pitched by Guggenheim and Greg Berlanti. Gugegenheim and Berlanti were the fellas behind the recent Green Lantern flick, and Kreisberg wrote that disappointing Green Arrow/Black Canary comic book series, so none of this fills me with a lot of hope.
We’ve been given some insight into the pilot script thanks to Marc Berman. He runs the site, Travis Yanan Watches TV, and he reviews pilot scripts on a pretty regular basis. He’s given the Arrow script a rundown and here are some choice quotes from his review. The basic premise,
Oliver Queen is a spoiled rich kid who got lost at sea with his massively wealthy CEO father, their head of security, and the girl Oliver was banging. Five years later, Oliver is rescued from an island in the South China Sea. Somehow, he survived (none of the others on the boat did). And he’s been changed. He’s strong, wily, and is on a mission to clean up Starling City (something we later learn is basically his father’s dying wish).
Starling City? It’s either a typo or some really weird renaming, but anyways. Once back home,
He and his best friend are kidnapped – ooh, conspiracy! – and he rescues himself while his best friend (Tommy) is supposedly but probably not unconscious.
And Oliver gets a taste of the hero’s life. We’ll also meet Oliver’s stepfather who now runs Queen Industries and some deep, dark secret he’s hiding. There’s also a complicated love triangle involving Ollie, his dead girlfriend’s sister who is also his ex, and his best friend. I’ve got the feeling that’s only here because this show is on the CW. Teens crave romantic drama!
It sounds like the pilot’s only real issue is the villain,
Adam Hunt is a terrible villain. Not terrible like terrifying. Terrible like… pathetic. We’re made aware of him through Laurel’s legal story, a class action against him for fraud and predatory lending. It isn’t going her way because, from the get-go, we’re told what he did was deplorable but technically legal.
So Oliver, on the outs with Laurel but hearing her plight, goes outside the justice system to rectify the situation by scaring the bejesus out of Hunt, telling him to wire $40M to an account by such and such a time, or else. Hunt doesn’t do it, of course, but surrounds himself with guards and calls in the cops, and Oliver is still able to get inside the supposed stronghold and hack his way into Hunt’s computers / accounts, and escape largely-unscathed (there’s a close call with Hunt tossing a grenade – both a laughable action villain line and an actual grenade – as he runs into a panic room), then anonymously transfer $50K each to the people in Laurel’s class action law suit. So, fear not, there’s very much the expected Robin Hood aspect to the story.
All in all, Berman seems to think Arrow has a decent shot at being picked up. What I’ve read here doesn’t sound terrible, I’m not having any flashbacks to all the crap I read about the Wonder Woman pilot, so maybe this won’t suck.
I think it works emotionally, even if it’s not breaking any new ground. It’s solid, broad-audience popcorn entertainment (action! suspense! love triangles! family secrets! conspiracies!) and unless there’s some epic fail in rest of the process, I have to think this gets picked up.
What are your thoughts on this initial review of Arrow?