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While The CW’s new superhero drama Arrow will invariably be compared to the long-running Smallville, star Stephen Amell insists the two DC Comics-based series are worlds apart.
“Nobody in our universe has superpowers, so that’s a big jumping off point,” he told Zap2It. “I think we find Oliver Queen more injured than we saw him before. Other than in name, there are virtually no similarities between [Justin Hartley’s version and the new version]. It’s not to say that one’s better than the other, it’s just that they’re so different, it’s almost weird to compare them.”
Created by Green Lantern screenwriters Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim and Fringe co-executive producer Andrew Kreisberg, Arrow centers on Oliver Queen, a wealthy young bad boy who, after spending five years shipwrecked on an island, returns to Starling City with a mastery of the bow and a determination to make a difference.
“We tried to make him as real as possible,” Amell elaborated to IGN.com at the network’s upfront presentation. “The character doesn’t have any superpowers. Nobody on the show has any superpowers. [Pilot director] David Nutter — I think he said this when a picture of the costume was released — when he made Smallville, he wanted to find the humanity in Clark Kent. We’re looking for the humanity in Oliver Queen, too. He’s gone through a ton to get to where he is, and we’re going to explore how he got there. But we wanted to make sure that he was really properly weighted and real.”
Asked whether viewers might see villains or other characters from DC Comics appear on the series, the Hung alum teased, “Stay tuned,” and revealed that DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns might write an episode (he penned three episodes of Smallville). “It would be unfortunate if, being a comic book show, we didn’t draw from all the characters in the DC Universe,” Amell said. “I hope we do.”
The series also stars Colin Donnell as Tommy Merlyn, Katie Cassidy (Supernatural, Melrose Place) as Laurel Lance, David Ramsey (Dexter, Blue Bloods) as John Diggle, Willa Holland (The O.C.) as Thea Queen, with Susanna Thompson (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Kings) as Moira Queen and Paul Blackthorne (The Dresden Files, 24) as Detective Quentin Lance.
Arrow will air Wednesdays this fall at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.