The CW sets its sights on a Green Arrow pilot

For years, Smallville seemed like the show that wouldn’t die for The CW, a primetime only network whose schedule is devoted mostly to teen dramas and youth oriented genre series.

Not that it was a bad show; quite the opposite, it’s just that the show’s writers kept trying to end it, and the network kept announcing the ‘final season’ only to change their minds. The original plan had the series ending after four years, covering the protagonist’s high school years, then it was 6 years, then 7, then 9, and finally the series came to a definitive end after 10 seasons – though fans still want more.

In the summer of 2011, CW execs promised  they were looking at the other super hero properties that Warner Bros. (the network’s parent company) currently has screenplay rights to, in an attempt to find something just as good as Smallville to appease the clamoring for more super hero drama.

Now it looks like the decision has been made, as Deadlinereports that The CW is in the final stages of clinching a deal to bring a Green Arrow pilot to the network.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the series is tentatively named Arrow – and at this point may or may not be connected to the Green Arrow character depicted in the sub-plots of Smallville.

In any event, the actor who played Oliver Queen in Smallville, Justin Hartley, is not attached to the project. Nor, for that matter, do we know if the character will be based more on the classic Green Arrow or the New 52 Green Arrow, who is younger, and brasher.

The Green Arrow is Oliver Queen, a hero who, like Batman, uses his vast wealth to fund a side-job hunting down criminals. With his only superpower being perfect aim, Green Arrow’s crime-fighting toys are all arrow-based gadgets, net arrows, glue arrows, flash-bang arrows, concussive arrows, etc.

He rarely fires regular arrows, and when he does, he doesn’t shoot them at people (occasionally he’ll pin a sleeve to the wall or some such feat, but, like other DC heroes, he’s not in the killing business). The themes of his comics are often very political, with Oliver/Arrow talking to his friends or enemies about the politics and ethics of crime and society, while simultaneously taking out the baddies. 

One often one gets the sense that Green Arrow’s crime-fighting antics are secondary to his diatribe. Much of his discourse revolves around the innate unfairness of society. Despite being a rich man himself, he often rails against the mistreatment of the common man by the very wealthy. His robin-hood-esque costume completes the message squarely, making him the perfect hero for our post-Occupy social climate – if these aspects of him are retained.

When asked about a favorite DC super hero, my answer is usually Green Arrow. He’s not a social pansy like Superman, he’s not all mopey like Batman, and his continuity hasn’t been completely screwed up like Green Lantern. Thus, I’m apprehensive about what they might do with the character I love, but am also really looking forward to seeing where they go with it.

Fortunately, there are a lot of great names on-board the production already, like Andrew Kriesberg (who has actually written some Green Arrow stories for DC in the past) and Greg Berlanti (who co-wrote the Green Lantern film), and if Smallville is any indication of what The CW wants from Arrow, it’s bound to be great.

The order for Arrow is not quite finalized yet, and premier dates are only guesses at this point, but assuming it goes forward, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the pilot hit TV screens in Fall 2012.