Arrow didn’t have plans to namedrop Bruce Wayne until Oliver Queen himself Stephen Amell suggested it. Speaking to CBR and other reporters during a visit to the show’s Vancouver set, Amell explained how he convinced Warner Bros. to let him use Batman’s real name and what it could mean for the Arrowverse at large.
“The original version of that script, which came out right before Comic-Con, it was just Oliver referencing a famous name,” he revealed. “I can’t remember what the placeholder was. I think it might have been Justin Bieber. I looked at it, and I thought to myself, ‘This is a cool opportunity.’ I talked with Greg Berlanti about it, and Greg said, ‘You know, I think that it would behoove you to just go directly to Geoff Johns and just simply ask. You’ll probably have better luck than I would.'”
“So I was at the DC Comics party at Comic-Con. Geoff and I were supposed to meet and chat quickly,” he continued. “I couldn’t track him down, and the next thing that I knew, I ended up in a four-way conversation with Peter Roth, Diane Nelson and Kevin Tsujihara, all at the same time. I was like, ‘Guys, I have an idea! It will cost you nothing. I think it’d be really fun. It opens the door to a lot of possibilities.'”
“I’ve always thought that our iteration of Oliver Queen and the way that we built this character, obviously, has so many similarities to Bruce Wayne and Batman, and so much of the inspiration for the early parts of our show was taken from the Nolan Batmans. I’ve always thought that Bruce Wayne would be an interesting ally on the show and an even more interesting villain — to Oliver, which doesn’t mean that he’s the villain. It just means that they don’t like each other,” he added.
“So anyway, I have this holy trinity of DC and Warner Bros. Television and Warner Bros. overall in front of me, and I pitched this idea. I’ve got all my follow-up points, and Kevin Tsujihara just goes, ‘Yeah, sure.’ I said, ‘Really?’ He said, ‘Yeah, that sounds fun. Do that.’ So we did it. I didn’t actually believe that it would make it until I actually saw it in the locked cut. But that’d be fun. That’d be really fun,” he concluded.
Starring Stephen Amell as the Emerald Archer (well, not currently), Arrow airs Thursdays at 9pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Emily Bett Rickards, David Ramsey, Willa Holland and more.
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