After the shocking death of Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), some fans of the comics were disheartened by the fact that Oliver (Stephen Amell) would not end up with the Black Canary — in the comics, Oliver married Dinah Laurel Lance, the character portrayed by Cassidy on Arrow. That all changed when Juliana Harkavy was added to the cast as Dinah Drake, otherwise known in the comics as the first Black Canary. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a Green Arrow-Black Canary romance, especially considering the show has never been beholden to the comics.
“The idea that Oliver would end up with the Black Canary being Katie Cassidy or any new iteration thereof? To me, it could happen, it could not, but it’s certainly not destined to happen or predesigned to happen,” Amell tells EW.
As for his reasoning, Amell harkens back to 2011, when Arrow was being developed. “Green Arrow was conceived as a show without superpowers and a show that was meant to be a little more grounded that was a specific reaction to an incredibly successful 10-year run of Smallville,” Amell says, quick to point out that if the show didn’t stray from the source material, viewers would’ve missed out on several now-beloved characters. “There have been feuding factions in the fan base — people that call upon the comics and people that have lived in the universe of the show,” Amell says. “I would say that we try to find a happy medium for both, try to live in the universe that the show has created where characters that weren’t a part of the Green Arrow mythos have become completely indispensable.”
“There are elements that you find in a TV show that make the show what they are,” Amell continues, “and that became Oliver’s relationship between Felicity [Emily Bett Rickards] and Diggle [David Ramsey] — one character that’s completely original in terms of John Diggle, an ode to Andy Diggle, who wrote Year One, and Felicity Smoak, who was plucked from the far reaches of the DC universe. Thea Queen [Willa Holland] also does not exist in the comics and I think that’s all stuff that’s important to remember.” (Amell shares his thoughts on Olicity’s future here.)
Over the course of five seasons, Arrow has also worked very closely with DC to stay true to the spirit of the comics. “We’ve always consistently had the creative team behind DC as a partner, and they sign off on stuff for us and they give us chances with characters like Barry Allen, who was introduced through our show before he went on to head his own show, and they do that because they have faith in us,” Amell says. “If they thought that we were destroying their comics’ mythos, I’m pretty sure they would have said something by now.”
Plus, Amell says, it’s not bad to stray from the beaten path, as we saw with HBO’s Game of Thrones last season. “If you want to talk about Game of Thrones now existing beyond the realm of the books, that was one of my favorite seasons of television ever,” Amell says. “I think that it would be a pretty two-dimensional world if you simply followed with what the comic said.”
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.
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