Stephen Amell Reflects on the Legacy of Arrow

TV

This October will mark the 10th anniversary of the premiere of Arrow, the superhero TV series that ended up kickstarting one of the most important corners of superhero media in history. It’s not an overstatement to point this out. Arrow ran for eight seasons and has spawned more than half a dozen spinoffs, many of which are still running to this day. It tackled the most ambitious comic book storyline of all time in live action years before its chief competitor in the shared universe sweepstakes, the MCU, would even consider the possibilities of the multiverse. And it made a star of its lead, Stephen Amell.

Amell is now the star of Starz’s Heels, a drama about the ups and downs of an independent professional wrestling company. I spoke to the actor back in September 2021 as that show was preparing to wrap its first season, and the subject of Arrow inevitably came up. And while we’ve yet to officially celebrate ten years of Arrow on TV, we’ve just hit the decade mark since Amell was cast as Oliver Queen. And when this interview was conducted in 2021, DC was celebrating the 80th anniversary of Green Arrow. When I mentioned all this to Amell he brought up a fun fact from the pilot episode of the series…

“In the pilot episode when I threaten Adam Hunt and I tell him to transfer something to Starling City Bank…it was bank account 1141,” Amell says. “That is November 1941, in honor of [the first comic book appearance of] Green Arrow…10 years, that’s 1/8 of the time that this character has been around. So I think of myself as a I’m an ambassador for the character. I got to wear the hat with the feather, so to speak, but not done the goatee for a short period of time, and that makes me very proud.” 

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Not only did Amell play Oliver Queen through eight seasons of Arrow, plus assorted guest appearances, he was able to do what only an elite handful of superhero actors have ever been given the opportunity for: he got to finish his character’s story. And in appropriately heroic fashion, no less. It was fitting that the Green Arrow’s story ended with Crisis on Infinite Earths, and that the character who started it all ended up being the key to saving the multiverse.

“What means a great deal to me is we did get to control the ending,” he says. “That happens so rarely. To have that conversation with Greg Berlanti during the sixth season, and to decide that seven and then a truncated version of the eighth season would wrap up the story, it’s just such a blessing, because we got to do it the right way. We got to say goodbye to people in the right way. In my opinion, the way it should end for any superhero without superpowers is in the ground. Although I think Oliver just turned into energy. So you know, never say never.”

Of course, after that “never say never” quote, I had to ask if he could ever see himself picking up Oliver’s bow again.

“Oh, sure. I owe so much to the people of DC, The CW, and Warner Bros. Television. I love the character so much and only love it more now that it’s coming up on two years since we wrapped the show….But having a little space now, I saw that I miss it. I do look back very, very, very fondly on it….Listen, I’m the namesake. So if I can ever be of any any help, if I can be of service to the Arrowverse in any way, shape or form, or better still take it to a new place, which I think would be the more interesting route to go, be that in a limited capacity or on a different platform, maybe one where we could show blood, that’d be really cool.”

You can next see Stephen Amell in Heels on Starz, which is currently filming its second season. You’ve still got time to catch up on the first season on the Starz Play app.

You can listen to the full interview with Stephen Amell where he talks in detail about his love of professional wrestling, his work on Heels, and much more on the latest episode of DC Standom!

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