Green Arrow and the Canaries is adding another familiar Arrow face to its backdoor pilot in J.J. Diggle (Charlie Barnett). The final season of the Arrowverse drama is in the middle of its run as Stephen Amell's Oliver Queen gets ready to bid farewell after eight years. While the DC series, which launched Greg Berlanti's massive comic book universe, is coming to an end, Arrow's presence isn't going away completely. The CW previously revealed that a female team-up spinoff series is in the works. The project would star Katherine McNamara, Katie Cassidy, and Juliana Harkavy as they reprise the roles of Mia Smoak, Laurel Lance, and Dinah Drake respectively. But unlike some of the other DC shows on The CW, this spinoff is getting a backdoor pilot that will be part of the final season.
Marc Guggenheim, one of the spinoff's executive producers, has more or less implied that Green Arrow and the Canaries will be the show's title. Production on the backdoor pilot took place a few weeks ago before shooting began on the series finale. With the ninth episode being the backdoor pilot, it will be right after the highly anticipated Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover. Story details are being kept strictly under wrap, given its placement in the season. Other than McNamara, Cassidy, and Harkavy, it has yet to be determined who else is appearing in it. Due to the episode following the crossover, this is where viewers will also see what the Arrowverse will look like post-Crisis.
According to TV Line, the backdoor pilot officially has another returning Arrow character in it. Barnett, who joined the new season as the adult J.J., Diggle's (David Ramsey) son, is set to appear in the ninth episode. J.J. made his debut in the season premiere "Starling City" as part of the 2040 flashforwards, in which fans discovered that he is the Deathstroke gang's leader. TV Line didn't reveal any specifics about J.J's role in the backdoor pilot. Given that the 2040 team has traveled back in time to 2019, season 8 has yet to reveal if adult J.J. is also in the present.
With this episode being after Crisis on Infinite Earths, there's no telling if J.J. will still be evil or if his history gets rewritten. The latest episode "Present Tense" had the present and future Arrow characters change a big piece of the Deathstroke gang's legacy. With time travel being part of it, it could mean that Barnett's character will be affected by anything that gets changed in the past. TV Line's report didn't state whether or not Barnett's appearance means he'll be part of Green Arrow and the Canaries' main cast.
The project is being executive produced/written by Arrow showrunner Beth Schwartz as well as Guggenheim, Jill Blankenship, and Oscar Balderrama. While official story details are limited, it has been confirmed that Mia will be the new Green Arrow as she takes on the mantle from her father. The female team-up off-shoot is one of two DC shows The CW is developing as a Superman and Lois series is also in the works. With Arrow season 8 getting closer to the end, fans will soon get a taste of Green Arrow and the Canaries that will air its backdoor pilot on Tuesday, January 21, 2020.
Source: TV Line