Kevin Smith doesn't think he will be allowed to direct Arrow. The filmmaker has always let his love of geek culture influence his work. Even though he sold his personal comic book collection to finance his first film Clerks, he has continued to reference comic books throughout his movies. From Stan Lee's cameo in Mallrats to the main characters all creating indie comics in Chasing Amy to the joke about the Batmobile between father and daughter in Jersey Girl, Smith has frequently made his love of comics known in his work.
And it has not stopped with his movies. Smith owns a comic book store, where the reality show Comic Book Men is filmed. He has written a number of comic books for DC and Marvel, including Batman, Green Arrow, Daredevil, and Spider-Man. And in recent years, Smith has gotten the opportunity to direct episodes of two Arrowverse shows - The Flash and Supergirl.
Smith has already been scheduled to return to both series this season. He's the director on the fifth episode of Supergirl season 3 and will later return to Vancouver to direct his episode of The Flash. But in spite of the good reviews Smith's episodes have garnered, Smith revealed during an exclusive interview with Screen Rant during NYCC that he does not think he will ever be allowed to direct an episode of Arrow.
Screen Rant: I’m really stoked about that. Something else that I loved that you’ve done is your work in the Arrowverse, the CW’s Arrowverse.
Kevin Smith: Well, let’s use that term “work” very loosely. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t do much on those shows. It’s a privilege and an honor to get to go up there, because I love Supergirl, I love Flash, those are my two faves. So I’ve worked on three episodes of each, “directed”, they gave me credit for directing three episodes—well, two of Flash and one more in January, I’m gonna shoot one in January.
Screen Rant: You are coming back?
Kevin Smith: Going back to Flash. The slowest, fattest man alive directing the fastest man alive.
Screen Rant: You know what? I’d love to see Onomatopoeia. Just saying.
Kevin Smith: You and me both, and I’ve been saying it for years, but Arrow, they don’t care. [laughs] I guess it’s Marc Guggenheim, he doesn’t care. I talked to him once after a panel at the Paley Center, I was the moderator for the Paley Center CW panel at the Hollywood and Highland complex. And so afterwards, I was talking to Marc, and I was like, “hey man, fans keep saying they want me to direct an episode of [Arrow], I would love that, I wrote Green Arrow.” He knows that. And he goes, “yeah, you know, Arrow is very dark. Legends [of Tomorrow] would be good for you.” [laughs] So, I don’t think they’re ever gonna let me near Arrow, which is totally fine. I love doing Flash and Supergirl, and even though they say I direct, I’ll be honest with you—I’ve said this a zillion times, but I always wanna make it clear because maybe there’s kids in the audience going, “oh, I’ll never be able to direct Supergirl”—yes you can. Oh my God—I don’t know if you will be able to, but you can do it, it’s insanely simple.
Smith has stated before that he would love to direct an episode of Arrow, largely due to his hope to introduce the character Onomatopoeia, who Smith created in the Green Arrow comic books.
As both a screenwriter and a director, Smith is probably best known for his comedies. His first six films were all pretty funny. And while there may have been some heartfelt moments, especially during Chasing Amy and Jersey Girl, his early work was never dark. Not that Smith has not tried to tell darker stories before. He's also made a handful of horror films. And while some of his trademark humor remains in all of them, both Red State and Tusk feature some very dark storytelling and imagery. Both movies have mixed reviews from critics, so maybe there is something to the idea that Smith should stick to the lighter and more upbeat shows in the Arrowverse.
Guggenheim's idea that Smith might be better suited to Legends of Tomorrow is not without merit. Aside from also being a more upbeat and funny show than Arrow, it's also a show that does a lot for fans. The characters are based on comic book characters but the story is totally unique. Combined with the time travel element - and the series' current story about time being broken - and Smith's zany humor and love of comic books would fit in perfectly.
Arrow season 6 continues with ‘Tribute’ this Thursday at 9pm on The CW.