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Arrow Is ‘Sophisticated and Edgy,’ and a Little Like the Bourne Series

Stephen Amell

The CW’s newly greenlit Arrow pilot, loosely based on DC Comics’ Green Arrow, may have more in common with The Bourne Identity than with Smallville.

“It’s very provocative and sophisticated and edgy,” Thom Sherman, the network’s head of development, tells “It’s not as comic book-y as Smallville or other [superhero projects] from other networks.”

Created by Green Lantern screenwriters Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim and Fringe co-executive producer Andrew Kreisberg, Arrow stars Hung alum Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, a wealthy bad boy turned vigilante — a description not too far removed from his comic-book roots.

However, Sherman suggests that in Arrow, the character may be more like Jason Bourne than his depictions in DC comics or on Smallville, where he was played for five seasons by Justin Hartley.

“He doesn’t have any superpowers, he’s a very grounded character like a Jason Bourne — we use the term ‘mambo,’” he said. “His skill-set is that he’s an archer, but he also have physical strength and prowess. He’s clever and able to devise ways of taking down a bad guy that are unique and fun to watch.”

By “mambo,” Sherman presumably isn’t referring to the Cuban musical form, but rather something akin to Rambo. Probably.


  • Anonymous

    Reminds me more a Hawkeye show or a show on Roy harper rather than Ollie.

  • Kidkapow

    This really just sounds to me like typical industry douchery, just like the way Smallville constantly apologized for being a comic-book tv show. All the man describes throughout this article is f&^%ing Green Arrow, but with his spin-tourettes stuck on “Jason Bourne”.

  • Jafleece

    I would love to see a show about Oliver Queen learning to Mambo.

  • Mr_Wayne

    Sounds watchable.

  • kalorama

    Being a comic book show was the least of what Smallville had to apologize for.

  • Paul

    Watch out whenever a TV executive praises something as “edgy”.

  • Anonymous

    Mambo?  Is he a Ronnie the Limo Driver fan?

  • Demoncat4

    sounds like they are tryng to make green arrow be bourne as a tv show instead of dcs resident archer.

  • sandwich eater

    Honestly if this show is just a Jason Bourne clone, then why are they even bothering to “adapt” Green Arrow?  Why don’t they just make the show they want with all new characters.  I really think that they need to embrace what makes comics fun when they translate them to TV, instead of hanging their heads in shame and promising no costumes.  Also this “edgy,” no costumes crap is counter intuitive.  Audiences don’t have a problem with costumes or superheroes; that’s why all these superhero movies that actually stay true to the source material make obscene amounts of money.

    I’m of the opinion that when it comes to adapting comics they should stay as true to the source material as possible.  Comic book characters and their stories have been optimized over decades, with various writers removing bad plot points and adding new twists to the characters.  Why throw out 70 years of story optimization and rip off a movie series based on some spy novels?