When the upcoming live-action series adaptation of Green Arrow, called simply Arrow, was announced by Warner Bros. and CBS for their primetime, young adult network The CW, the biggest question on the lips of fans was "Will this be the same Arrow/Queen that was developed for the Smallville series?"
The ten-year Superman origin story depicted some of Superman’s future Justice League as the series grew, including Green Arrow and Aquaman.
Television news magazine, The TV Addict, has managed to secure a casting sheet for the show's pilot, which reveals some details, while making it abundantly clear that there is no connection to Smallville.
This is an entirely new story which begins with a fresh origin for the playboy turned crime-fighting archer.
Here’s what they uncovered:
- Oliver Queen: A 27-year-old reformed bad boy, who after having spent five years shipwrecked on a tiny, brutally dangerous island in the South China Sea returns to town a different man. Or to be more specific, a tortured, thoughtful master of the bow with a ferocious determination to make a difference.
- Dinah "Laurel" Lance: 28 years old, smart sexy, Laurel is a legal aid attorney determined to use her life as a one-woman war against the 1% following the death of her younger sister Sara. A sister, who as luck would have it, just so happened to have died aboard Oliver’s yacht.
- Tommy Merlyn: 28 years old and devil-smooth, Tommy is a trustafarian like Oliver, a spectacularly rich young man whose life revolves around parties, clubs, liquor and lots of anonymous sex. Unlike Oliver, he can’t seem to understand his former best friend’s sudden change of lifestyle and direction.
- Moira Queen: 48 years old, a beautiful woman, Oliver’s mother Moira is a very wealthy woman who is not used to being shaken. Having remarried during the five years that former husband Robert and Oliver were both presumed dead, Moira has had free rein over the Queen billions. Not surprisingly, she’s deeply interested in learning whether or not Robert will also return unexpectedly, to ruin her present marriage and go over the books with a fine-tooth comb.
- John Diggle: 35 years old, African-American, Diggle is really, really big, a former military man who served with the Army Rangers in Afghanistan, and has been a bodyguard for hire for the last four years. Hired by Moira to be Oliver’s chauffeur and protector, Diggle soon finds he is trapped in a battle of wits, as Oliver repeatedly eludes his protection. But in fact, Diggle’s primary conflict is one of loyalty — he has to show that he’s working for Oliver, not Moira, before Oliver will give him a smidgen of trust.
- Thea Queen: 17 years old (suggest 17-22 years), Oliver’s Lolita-esque sister, Thea was a 12 year old girl when he went on his infamous yachting voyage — but now she’s a celebutante who’s testing the boundaries of acceptable behavior. Thea loved her big brother with all her heart, and is delighted to have him back in her life — but she’s spreading her wings, and is unprepared for Oliver to become the Bad Cop in the family, restricting her access to boys and drugs.
Sounds like lots of focus on family intrigue and drama. Notably missing is any description of an arch-rival or villain for the Arrow to combat, suggesting that the show will follow a new miscreant each week to mix with the primary focus of the family politics.
Also interesting to note the specific mention of "the 1%" in the description of the female lead (and eventual crime-fighting partner and love interest for Oliver), which is a slight change to the political message of the comics.
Green Arrow has always had a bit of political overtone. He rails against the mistreatment of the lower-class by the upper class, but typically his message is that this is a major cause for crime, and that if only rich people would give more to the poor, crime could be dramatically lessened. This is a bit more socialist that the current Occupy movement which most people associate the phrase "the 1%." It’s close enough for me, however, and I’m glad the essential robinhoodness of Green Arrow has been kept intact, even if slightly modernized.
As much as this show already sounds like it’s going to be melodramatic and angsty (it’s on The CW after all), I’m already really looking forward to it, and wait impatiently for the casting news which should come over the next few months. If they get some decent talent on this project, it could really become something great.
No production or release details have yet been announced for Arrow.