The attempt to free fans from those bland, nerveless superheroes of yesteryear continues, with edgy adaptations of DC Comics' stable of characters leading the way. Further details surrounding Arrow – the Green Arrow television series currently in consideration at The CW – have emerged, and they feature underused terms like: "edgy, provocative and sophisticated."
Thom Sherman, executive vice president of development at The CW, discussed the upcoming television adaptation loosely based on DC's emerald archer in such a way as to suggest that the network - along with series executive producers and writers Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim (Green Lantern) - were stepping away from the character's comic book roots and planting him in a more real-world scenario.
Sherman didn't just suggest the shift away from the comics books - he flat out said it: “It’s very provocative and sophisticated and edgy. It’s not as comic book-y as Smallville or other [superhero projects] from other networks.”
While we can appreciate Sherman's Whedon-esque modification of the word "comic book," the comment likely won't earn Arrow an abundance of early supporters amongst comic fans. However, the remark does help to explain the decision to set Green Arrow outside the Smallville universe, and why Stephen Amell was cast in the role instead of Justin Hartley – who began portraying the character in 2006.
In Arrow, Amell's Oliver Queen is described by The CW as:
"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."
Sherman goes on to distinguish Queen from comic book superheroes by comparing him to, well, movie superheroes. Sherman states:
“He doesn’t have any superpowers, he’s a very grounded character like a Jason Bourne — we use the term ‘Rambo.' His skill-set is that he’s an archer, but he also has physical strength and prowess. He’s clever and able to devise ways of taking down a bad guy that are unique and fun to watch.”
Translation: Oliver Queen will be punching people. A lot. Possibly with rolled up magazines and ballpoint pens.
You've got to hand it to the Bourne franchise; it has arguably been a major influence on a number of box office hits like Casino Royale, Salt and Taken, as well as television programs such as Nikita – which also airs on The CW. However, with so many "heroes" adopting a Bourne-like angle, it's beginning to feel the opposite of edgy, provocative and sophisticated.
Perhaps when the Arrow pilot finally roles around we'll be able to judge whether or not Oliver Queen is able to distinguish himself from the competition. Maybe an easy to remember, superhero-y title would be helpful.
Screen Rant will be sure to update you with the latest news on Arrow as it becomes available.
Source: Entertainment Weekly