Why Stephen Amell and Robbie Amell are returning to Code 8 for Quibi spin-off
It was announced Tuesday that he and cousin Robbie Amell’s upcoming feature film Code 8 is getting a Quibi spin-off series. Both Stephen and Robbie will star in the short-form series, which serves as a sequel to their independent sci-fi thriller.
Code 8 is set in a world where 4 percent of the population is born with supernatural abilities. But instead of being billionaires or superheroes, these power-enabled people face discrimination and live in poverty, often resorting to crime. The film was born from a 2016 short and a successful crowdfunding campaign.
“We’ve known that the Quibi deal has been coming down for weeks,” Stephen tells EW with a laugh. “And everyone’s been asking us, ‘What do you think about a sequel or a spin-off?’ And we’re like, ‘Uh, hmm… No comment.’”
“It’s fun to finally get to be able to announce it,” Robbie adds. “When we made the project, it was great world-building, but we didn’t feel like we were done telling the story. Quibi is a really exciting place for it.”
And while Stephen jokes that “our director will kill us if we say anything” about the spin-off series, we do know some details already. Code 8 director Jeff Chan will serve as showrunner and write it with Chris Paré. The series will take place years after the film, following ex-con Connor Reed (Robbie) and telekinetic drug dealer Garrett (Stephen) as they’re forced to work together to bring down a dangerous trafficking ring run by corrupt cops and the city’s elite.
Stephen filmed the Code 8 film while on hiatus from Arrow, but now that production has wrapped on the final season of the CW superhero series, the actor has two new screen projects lined up with the Quibi series and Heels, an eight-episode Starz wrestling drama. As for why he’s already padding out his future after eight years starring on a time-consuming and high-energy series like Arrow, Stephen laughs.
“In fairness, I am taking a break,” he says. “I’ve been off since the 15th of November, when we wrapped Arrow. I don’t start on Heels until mid-March-ish. Right now I’m at my daughter’s tennis lesson. [Laughs] This is my life now. I did want to take a little bit of a break and a little bit of a reset, but I love acting so much and I love being on a film set. The reason why I wanted to stop doing Arrow is that I wanted to be a little bit more in control of my schedule, and I’m electively deciding that I want to do Heels and that I want to be involved in the spin-off to Code 8.”
Code 8 opens Dec. 13 in select theaters and on VOD.