The CW's 'Arrow' Has the Right Leading Man
Producer says star Stephen Amell is perfect choice
"Smallville" fans who are disappointed Justin Hartley isn't playing Oliver Queen on the CW's new action-packed series "Arrow," shouldn't worry, producers say. This is a new show with a new leading man, and Stephen Amell is right for the job.
"The audience is savvy enough to recognize that there's multiple iterations possible for any given character," said Marc Guggenheim, one of the series' executive producers at Monday's Television Critics Association's panel. "We certainly wanted to chart our own course and chart our own destiny. I mean, Justin's a terrific Arrow. But Michael Keaton doesn't affect your love for Christian Bale, and Christian Bale doesn't affect your love for Adam West."
Andrew Kreisberg said he and the other executive producers knew Amell (HBO's "Hung") was their guy shortly after he auditioned.
"Stephen was one the very first people who came in and auditioned," Kreisberg said. "And after we met Stephen and he auditioned, everyone else just paled by comparison. Usually when you go into the studio or the network, you bring multiple choices, and we didn't do that. Every step of the way was Stephen, because not just physically, but talent wise, emotionally, he was always Oliver Queen to us."
Amell, 31, said he's done everything he can to prepare for the role, including undergoing parkour training.
"The training became intensive, because there were all of these muscles that I didn't even know existed, let alone had used before," the Canadian actor said. "It was really fun too. As we saw in the preview, I did a Kong vault up on a rooftop, and that's sort of the essence of parkour, so to get that into the pilot right away was really cool."
Early reception of "Arrow" has been extremely positive. Critics at the TCAs have showered the comic-book drama with praise and fans at Comic-Con greeted the show with screams and cheers following two separate screenings.
"Arrow" premieres Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CW.