News | Arrow at San Diego Comic-Con – costumes, China White, and Justin Hartley

We’re not lucky enough to be in San Diego right now, but we’ve been scouring the internet for information from those who are. With new shows and old favourites alike giving away their secrets, here’s what we’ve learnt about the CW’s new take on superheroes Arrow.

Discussing other DC characters that might pop up during the show, a la Smallville’s Justice League, they said, “one of our concepts for this project was Green Arrow Year One, and those of you familiar with that will know that the villain was China White.” They then announced the casting of Kelly Hu, known on the network for her role in The Vampire Diaries.

With casting the two central characters, the producers were keen to praise both choices, revealing that Stephen Amell was their first choice for Oliver Queen.

“Stephen was the first person we saw for Oliver and as soon as he finished his audition we asked he would mind waiting outside for one minute. We all looked at each other and thought we’d found him on our first try. Katie is a star and we were so thrilled that she’s on the show.”

And Amell seemed equally thrilled to have won such a high-profile and potentially iconic role, asking “who doesn’t want to play a superhero on TV? I always want to play the villain, but this will do for now,” he joked. Having read ‘everything’ since winning the role, starting with Year One, he added “I was sold on the suit.”

And the suit seems to have been at the forefront of everyone’s minds: “[we started] with the leather jacket and a hood. It should be so realistic that you can walk down the street in [it] and no one would look twice. Then we started to enhance but it’s all a part of the grounded, real philosophy. Oliver’s not wearing a costume, he’s wearing something that gives him a predatory advantage and puts him back in the hunter mindset. It’s not all about form; it’s about function.”

But what of Justin Hartley’s almost definitive screen incarnation of Oliver/Green Arrow? “Justin Hartley’s version of Green Arrow was absolutely terrific but was very much a function of Smallville,” producer Marc Guggenheim insists. “That character wasn’t designed to carry an entire TV show; he was designed to be part of the world.

“With a vigilante character, you want to do a dark, conflicted story because that’s the nature of taking the law into your own hands. I don’t think that the tone that was established on Smallville could have gotten us as dark as we wanted.”

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