By: Adam Basciano
As production inches ever closer, casting announcements for the CW pilot “Arrow” are hitting the internet at speeds that would make the Flash jealous. Every superhero has the love of their life. For Oliver Queen, that is Dinah “Laurel” Lance. Katie Cassidy has been cast in the role. Katie has appeared on both the big and small screen. Her credits include the CW television series “Supernatural”, and the feature film “Taken” starring Liam Neeson. The actress definitely looks the part, and with a solid script can definitely handle herself in this role. In addition to a significant other, Oliver Queen’s familial unit has been chosen. Actress Susanna Thompson will assume the role of Moira Queen, Oliver’s mother, while Willa Holland will play Thea Queen, Oliver’s troubled younger sister. Susanna Thompson has some sci-fi street cred for appearing in “Star Trek : Voyager.” Willa Holland is prominently known for her role on “The O.C.” David Ramsey of “Dexter” and Blue Bloods” fame has been cast in the role of John Diggle.
Looking at how this cast is shaping up, it seems to have a more experienced cast then “Smallville” did when it premiered a decade ago. That’s not counting John Glover, John Schneider, and Anette O’Toole of course. Mostly every comic book adaptation diverts from the comics. “Arrow” is no exception. Oliver’s mother doesn’t die in this version. Also the show has created a younger sister for Oliver, as well as altering Dinah’s day job. Of course, this has the “basement dwellers” panties in bunches, some of which have already declared the show a failure. Let’s look at this rationally for a second. “Smallville” created new characters in Chloe Sullivan and Lionel Luthor. Both of whom were two of the best characters on the show and added to the Superman mythology. Bruce Wayne didn’t train with Ra’s Al Ghul before starting out as Batman, but he did in Batman Begins. Look how well that served the story. Sometimes change is actually for the better!
The whiners that are a fixture on two websites in particular, which I will not name have also taken a quote out of context. An executive at The CW has described “Arrow” as more realistic and gritty, rather than more “comic booky” like “Smallville”. Some have taken this to mean that Oliver Queen will not wear a costume. That was never stated. The CW executive was referring to tone. In that context, I agree with him. Green Arrow has always been more of a street level hero. He’s a lot more Jason Bourne than Superman at any rate. I’m not saying that “Arrow” is guaranteed to be a great show. If it isn’t my reviews will reflect that. Call me crazy, but I’m pulling for this show. I want it to be successful, and will watch it before passing judgement. If you’re a fan of the character, or comic book adaptations in general, maybe you should consider doing the same.