There’s this thing called Fan Expo Canada up in Toronto, which is devoted to sci-fi, comics, video games, anime, and horror. The 2014 edition wrapped up at the end of August, counting Matt Smith, Arthur Darvill, Nathan Fillion, Dave Bautista, Patrick Stewart, Ian Somerhalder, Stan Lee, Elijah Wood, and Stephen Amell among its big gets. In fact, this was Amell’s third year in a row attending to promote Arrow. It’s probably hard for him to turn them down since Toronto is actually his home town. I’d love to say that he was a gosh darn delight, but I can’t actually say that for sure …. because I wasn’t there. However, ComicBookResources was, and they recently posted a nice recap of Amell’s appearance. Yes, he seems like a gosh darn delight. Beyond being an all around swell guy, he offered some interesting insight into how season 3 of the show is shaping up.
Here are the some highlights:
What kind of effect will Malcolm Merlyn and Slade Wilson’s wide-scale destruction of parts of Starling City in consecutive years have on the city’s tourism going forward?
“It is a big story point in season three. We don’t gloss over the fact that there was an earthquake and a siege, in consecutive Mays, in a major, fictional metropolitan place. We go over that. That’s actually a focal point for Brandon Routh’s character, Ray Palmer. We talk a lot about how nobody wants to live in Starling City anymore, despite the fact that we have criminals on the run at the beginning of season three.”
Would Amell be a fan of Arrow following Agents of Shield’s lead and take the Winter off for a spin-off/bridge show ala Agent Carter?
“Instead of doing 23 episodes of Arrow, I’d love to do 17. Then, in the middle of the year, we could do six episodes of the Suicide Squad. Then I could go on vacation.”
On the probability scale, this seems pretty low, and this was but one of several times Amell jokingly referenced his desire for relief from his grueling work schedule on the show.
Get to Olicity already!
“We learn a lot about Oliver and his relationship with Felicity and the feelings — or lack thereof — for one another in the season premiere.
Or lack thereof? Olicity fans must be so confused right now.
As for Felicity’s big flashback episode coming early in the season, Amell was ecstatic about that because when they filmed it he got four out of eight days off for the first time on the show.
What’s Oliver’s relationship with Roy going to be like this season?
“That is my favorite part about season three so far. The relationship between Colton Haynes’ character and my character, we’re in a really good spot. We’re in a big brother/little brother spot. We have been trying to find little moments where I do everything short of giving him a noogie.”
John Barrowman is exactly as awesome as you would guess
“[Barrowman’s] Captain Jack. He’s had a show [Torchwood]. He has taught so much about using all of the energy you guys give us and harnessing that when it’s 4 a.m. and it’s raining and you’re on a rooftop and you’re shooting a scene you’ve been shooting for eight hours. He’s taught me so much. Working with him…it’s usually very cold and wet. No. My wife sent me a text the other day of him holding my daughter with the evilest grin. And she couldn’t have been happier. For being on a show together now for three seasons, we’ve had precious few moments together. There was a quick moment in our sixth episode, our ninth episode and then the end of the year, 22 and 23. Then we didn’t see each other all last year. This year, we see each other. I’ve never been so fired up as I was to shoot the first scene between Oliver and Malcolm. We had 275 extras there for the scene. Big stuff.”
How early do the producers give Amell the heads-up on the upcoming storylines?
Amell kind of addressed this in an anecdote about his cousin Robbie being cast to play Ronnie “Firestorm” Raymond in The Flash.
“I had dinner with Greg Berlanti, who created our show and is also the creator of ‘The Flash’ television show. He told me about Robbie and Firestorm about two months before Robbie knew about it. Robbie texts me and goes, ‘I GOT A JOB ON ‘THE FLASH!” All capitals and exclamation marks. I wrote back, ‘I know,’ and then welcomed him to the Justice League of America. Robbie and I, for being in the same business, the only time we’ve ever teamed up is in beer pong. We’ve never actually teamed up on screen together. I think eventually there’s a chance that Oliver Queen and Mr. Firestorm may cross paths.”
What’s the tone of season 3 so far?
“Actually, season three opens on a much lighter note. I’m enjoying playing Oliver this year because he’s a little bit closer to a proxy of me. I’m not serious. I’m not a brooder. We find Oliver in that position at the beginning of season three.”
Arrow’s producers make no secret of their love for Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, and Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen has thus far very much so been a brooding, loner hero in the vein of David Boreanaz’ Angel. However, Angel was often a very funny show, with several purely comedic episodes. I’ve always wondered if Arrow would ever do a lighter, perhaps even genre-bending, Whedon-esque episode, and I just can’t see them doing it.
Give it up – Arrow is not going to cross over with the new cinematic universe being established by Zack Snyder in Batman Vs. Superman:
“We are creating a Justice League on TV for us. I don’t think there is a logistical reality to us participating in the feature side. That being said, I never wanted to have to feel like the show was justified, just because we participated in the movie. I don’t think my character would participate on the cinematic side. What’s that saying? Is it six seasons and a movie? Our show right now has me, Arsenal, Flash. There’s going to be Firestorm and Atom. The Justice League elements of it are very present on our shows [‘Arrow’ and ‘The Flash’] already.”
What? Did people simply stop failing Starling City?
The “you have failed this city” line is coming back this year. I give the credit for that to you guys because it was an intricate element for the show in season one. Then we stopped saying it in season two. People would come up and say, ‘Why aren’t you saying it anymore?’ So, I went to the producers and said, ‘Why aren’t we saying this anymore?’ They said, ‘We always thought of that as a season-one thing.’ And I said, ‘Really?’ And here it is. It’s back.”
Amell also acknowledged the obvious (switching the flashbacks to Hong Kong this season will change things up) and revealed which DC character he’d love to see on the show (Green Lantern). He also repeated his oft-used line that the thing he most wants in the new season is for Oliver to finally get his own place, which is interesting since there was a brief period during season 2 where if you stopped and thought about it you realized we had no idea where Oliver was actually sleeping (it turned out to either be on a cot in the Arrow Cave or in expensive hotel rooms).
Amell always comes off as a likable guy, and it certainly seems as if he is wielding more and more influence on the direction of the show, often times using his interactions with fans through his Facebook page to inspire his suggestions to the producers, such as resurrecting the “You have failed this city” line this season. It is interesting that for as much press as the Oliver/Felicity relationship is getting Amell admitted that his favorite part of season 3 so far has been what they’re doing with Oliver and Roy.
Season 3 of Arrow kicks off on The CW on October 8