The Arrowverse has turned into something beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. If someone told us five years ago that Arrow would spawn three spin-offs and inspire the development of Supergirl on a whole other network, we’d have a hard time believing it. Not because Arrow wasn’t good enough — if anything it was even better back then — but because we wouldn’t dare to believe that a time would come when superhero shows would be so widely popular. Smallville may have been the first broadly successful superhero TV show, but it was Arrow that opened the floodgates for so many other amazing series we now have and will have in the future.
While these shows certainly aren’t flawless works of absolute perfection, they do a lot of things right. For starters, they are all part of one universe and actually interact with each other, culminating every season in an amazing crossover. The characters are well-written for the most part, the shows contain a balanced dose of humor and drama, and the actors are almost generally outstanding. Still, despite their boundless talent, some Arrowverse stars have tried and failed to make it on the big screen. Keep reading if you want to find out who they are.
15. STEPHEN AMELL
Stephen Amell is best known for playing Oliver Queen on The CW’s Arrow, however, in 2016 Amell appeared in a different comic book role on the big screen. Amell hung up his Emerald Archer suit and put on a hockey mask for the part of Casey Jones in the live-action movie about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows was released in April to mixed reviews and mild financial success.
Although many considered it an improvement over its predecessors, it still lacked that wit and anarchic energy that made the comics so successful. For Amell, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie was a possible breakthrough that could have led to bigger movie roles. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out as he had undoubtedly hoped.
14. CAITY LOTZ
Caity Lotz is an extremely versatile and talented woman. She started her career as a dancer and toured with artists such as Avril Lavigne and Lady Gaga. Lotz has also spent some time modeling. Plus, she’s trained in various forms of martial arts. When she got into acting, Lotz did a moderately successful horror movie titled The Pact. For reasons still unknown to the general public, a sequel to The Pact was made and it wasn’t nearly as good.
The 2014 The Pact 2 was mostly criticized for not improving on the original and basically just going overboard with everything that made the first movie work. For the time being, Lotz seems to have found her place in the Arrowverse. Although, we’d love to see her in more movies at some point.
13. DANIELLE PANABAKER
Alright, we’re going to talk about Piranha 3DD for a moment. If that’s something you’d rather avoid — and we can hardly blame you if that’s the case — you can just skip this entry. You’ve been warned. Now, as you may or may not know Piranha 3DD is one of those particularly extreme cases of horrible horror comedies that make you weep for humanity. The 2012 sequel to Piranha 3D, the remake of the 1973 movie Piranha, was roasted by the critics and currently holds an approval rating of 14% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The movie is utter trash and the only reason we’re discussing it is because it starred none other than Danielle Panabaker, aka Caitlin Snow.
12. ROBBIE AMELL
Robbie Amell is mostly known for his TV roles. Starting with his run on Life with Derek, then the short-lived reboot of The Tomorrow People, and most importantly his role as Ronnie Raymond on The Flash. However, unlike his cousin Stephen Amell, Robbie has yet to find a regular gig. Of course, in his search, Robbie didn’t stop at TV and he did a number of movies as well.
In 2016, Robbie Amell starred alongside Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Garner in the comedy Nine Lives. A movie in which Kevin Spacey ends up in the body of a cat. We’re not even kidding. The movie was far from being considered a success. In fact, the critics urged audiences not to waste the one life they had on this movie. We’re willing to bet Robbie Amell wishes he hadn’t wasted his by starring in it.
11. KATIE MCGRATH
Most of us are familiar with Katie McGrath from her previous work on television. The Supergirl actress starred in the BBC fantasy series Merlin, as well as NBC’s short-lived horror drama Dracula. However, McGrath had also ventured into the world of motion picture. In 2017, McGrath appeared in a minor role in King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword. The star-studded cast did nothing to save the movie form utter failure.
In the end, King Arthur received overwhelmingly negative reviews and failed to even earn back its budget at the box office.
As for McGrath, she’s also had a supporting role in Jurassic World — a movie that broke box office records — however, she still hasn’t gotten her big break. At the moment, it looks like she’s got her work cut out for her with various television series.
10. WENTWORTH MILLER
In 2005, Wentworth Miller’s handsome tattooed body first graced our small screens in FOX’s prison drama Prison Break. Miller portrayed Michael Scofield, a role that quite literally made him a star. The series has gotten mostly positive reviews and has been nominated for various awards.
After Prison Break ended, Miller tried his luck with movies. In 2010, Wentworth Miller appeared in Resident Evil: Afterlife. Although the movie was a box office success, the critics panned it in every possible way. The film was dubbed dim-witted, lifeless and unnecessary. Miller has only done one other movie after Resident Evil: Afterlife, which also failed to impress the critics. Clearly the video game adaptation didn’t quite launch Miller’s movie career. Hopefully, though, this won’t stop him from trying again.
9. RICK GONZALEZ
Rick Gonzalez is a relative newcomer to the Arrowverse. He made his debut in season five of Arrow, and to be honest, most people weren’t all that familiar with Gonzalez from before. Prior to becoming Wild Dog, Gonzalez was best known for the critically acclaimed Coach Carter. However, his subsequent movies weren’t such glowing successes. On the contrary, most failed to both earn money and impress the critics.
A particularly bad one that immediately comes to mind is the 2006 horror flick Pulse.
The film was widely panned by the critics and holds an incredibly low approval rating of 10% on Rotten Tomatoes. Rick Gonzalez appeared in a number of other movies, but none of those movies managed to make him a movie star either.
8. BRANDON ROUTH
Way before he became atom-sized and boarded a timeship, Brandon Routh had a different superhero job. In 2006, Routh starred in Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns as the titular Kryptonian. While the reviews for the movie were initially positive, to say that it hasn’t aged well would be an understatement. After Superman Returns, Brandon Routh did a few less-than-stellar movies including the box office bomb that was Dylan Dog: Dead of Night and the critically panned comedy Table for Three.
Eventually, Routh found his way on television and got roles in TV series such as Chuck and now Legends of Tomorrow. Considering the success of the Arrowverse and the love Routh’s been getting from the fans for his portrayal of the Atom, he shouldn’t be in any hurry to get back to the big screen.
7. WILLA HOLLAND
Before she got to put on the red hood and join her on-screen brother on the streets of Star City, Willa Holland was best known for playing The O.C.‘s Kaitlin Cooper. In the meantime, Holland tried her luck on the big screen.
In 2008, she starred in the ambitious but ultimately disappointing drama Garden Party – movie about teenagers trying to find their place in L.A.
The film holds an approval rating of 15% on Rotten Tomatoes, which speaks volumes in and of itself. Needless to say, this did not open many doors for Holland. In 2010, she gave it another shot with Legion. A movie that, despite having a solid cast and an intriguing premise, suffered from poor pacing and a confused plot among other things. Once again, Holland’s hopes for a movie career ended.
6. MEHCAD BROOKS
Despite the initial skepticism, Mehcad Brooks turned out to be a very interesting and suitable choice for James Olsen. Brooks’ fresh take on the character gave the show a chance to do something new with Superman’s best bud. But before Brooks joined the Arrowverse, he had attempted to make it on the big screen.
In 2011, Mehcad Brooks starred in the horror movie Creatures which made headlines for its incredibly low gross. The monster horror flick grossed merely $533,235 against a $3 million budget. On top of that the critical reception for the movie was overwhelmingly negative, with Rotten Tomatoes awarding Creatures an 11% approval score. Needless to say, the movie did not launch Brooks’ movie career. More recently, Brooks starred in yet another unsuccessful movie titled Adulterers.
5. DOMINIC PURCELL
Dominic Purcell is best-known as Heat Wave in the Arrowverse, as well as Lincoln Burrows from Prison Break. Although, Purcell’s greatest achievements happened on television, the actor is also working on making a name for himself on the big screen. Over the years, Purcell starred in a number of action thriller flicks, such as Assault on Wall Street, The Bag Man, and Gridlocked, among many.
Unlike Purcell’s television series, his movies received mostly mixed to negative reviews.
And despite the overwhelming number of films Purcell has done, he has yet to star in a mildly successful one. Purcell certainly has what it takes to be an action star, as he has demonstrated on both Legends of Tomorrow and Prison Break, and we’re hoping he finally gets his big break.
4. TOM CAVANAGH
It takes a fine actor to be able to portray countless different versions of the same character and get the audience to love every single one of them. Tom Cavanagh is one such actor. Over the course of four seasons, he’s delivered amazing performances as the many version of Harrison Wells and in turn became a fan-favorite.
However, before he got the part of Harrison Wells on The Flash, Cavanagh made some rather questionable career choices. For example, in 2010, he starred in the live-action/computer animated comedy movie Yogi Bear. The best thing to come out of this movie are memes about Barry screwing up the timeline and making Wells a ranger. Needless to say, Yogi Bear wasn’t Cavanagh’s big break and he went back to television.
3. CHYLER LEIGH
Back in the early ’00s, Supergirl’s Chyler Leigh was still trying to find her place in Hollywood. In 2001, she got a starring role in the parody film Not Another Teen Movie. The movie parodied teenage flicks such as 10 Things I Hate About You, The Breakfast Club, Grease — and that’s just to name a few.
Although, it did relatively well at the box office, the crass parody received largely negative reviews.
The critics mostly criticized its overuse of toilet humor, pointing out how the supposed satire was done in poor taste. Following the failure of Not Another Teen Movie, Leigh returned to television roles and had a successful run on Grey’s Anatomy before landing a starring role on Supergirl. Nowadays, Leigh doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to get away from the small screen.
2. KEIYNAN LONSDALE
Keiynan Lonsdale is currnetly making himself at home aboard the Waverider and we’re excited to have him working with the Legends. Kid Flash never quite found his place on The Flash and transferring him to Legends of Tomorrow could be the answer. As for Lonsdale, when he wasn’t occupied on The Flash, he was busy elsewhere.
The Australian actor appeared in the Divergent movies, Insurgent and Allegiant. But the series proved to be just your average run of the mill YA book-to-movie adaptation with nothing fresh to offer. Both movies received mixed to negative reviews. Over all, it was not the big break Lonsdale probably hoped for. However, this year’s critically acclaimed Love, Simon, directed by Arrowverse’s Greg Berlanti, might just be Lonsdale’s ticket to movie success.
1. KATIE CASSIDY
One year before her Arrow debut, Katie Cassidy played a very different role in the teenage rom-com Monte Carlo. Cassidy, singer Selena Gomez and Gossip Girl actress Leighton Meester co-starred as three best friends posing as wealthy socialites in Monte Carlo. The movie received mixed to negative reviews, with the consensus being that it was too formulaic and predictable.
Cassidy then stepped away from rom-coms and in 2014 she starred in the bold but relatively unsuccessful comic book adaptation The Scribbler.
A gritty movie about a young woman who struggles to rid herself of her destructive multiple personalities. Although Cassidy’s performance was praised, the audience just didn’t bite. While The Scribbler does have its fans, it appears that it was just a bit too edgy for a wider audience. As for Cassidy, she’s still waiting for her big Hollywood break.
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