Smallville alum Justin Hartley has revealed that he would be open to guest starring on Arrow. Long before fans were introduced to Stephen Amell’s version of the character, Hartley portrayed Oliver Queen on the Superman origin series beginning in season 6. It turns out that the actor is willing to return to DC TV.
Smallville began airing on the WB in 2001 and lasted for 10 seasons, remaining a staple as the the network merged with UPN to form The CW. The series was controversial from its very inception from the “no tights, no flights” mandate to the divisive interpretations of DC characters. Even the decision to make Lex and Clark close friends was initially met with skepticism, although it would become the most engaging relationship on the show. Although superhero shows are commonplace these days, the television landscape of the early 2000s was quite different. Not only was Smallville ahead of its time, it also managed to make Superman relevant, as well as relatable.
Recently, Hartley sat down with Michael Rosenbaum - who played Lex Luthor on Smallville - for an episode of his podcast, Inside of You, and the subject of returning to DC’s television universe was raised. When asked “Would you ever do a guest spot on the current Arrow?” Hartley responded, “If it was the right part, yeah…I love interesting characters. Yeah, if it was something that I could get excited about, yeah, of course.”
The Man of Steel may have been Smallville’s primary focus, but Hartley’s Green Arrow quickly became a fan favorite. A spinoff centering on Ollie was considered, but never managed to take shape. Hartley was so popular that many fans hoped he would don the mantle once again for Arrow. This was not the case, as the writers hoped to create their own world, rather than incorporating any elements from an already established one. Undoubtedly, Amell was a great choice to play Oliver Queen and the newer take was far grittier than Hartley’s iteration of the character. While they are both superhero shows, Smallville and Arrow are very different tonally. It all worked out for the best, though, as Hartley has been doing excellent work as Kevin Pearson on This is Us.
Hartley has already proven himself capable of playing a believable hero and his more recent work has demonstrated major dramatic chops as well. He and Amell have met in real life and fans would no doubt be overjoyed if they wound up sharing time onscreen as well. It’s comforting that Hartley was clear on his desire to return only for the right role, but viewers would likely love to see him make an appearance regardless of the character he played. There is already talk of Ted Kord appearing in Arrow's upcoming seventh season and there are plenty of other DC characters that have yet to make their entrance into DC TV. Hopefully, the writers can find a role to entice Hartley into entering this world.
Source: Justin Hartley/Inside of You