Stephen Amell Is the Reason Arrow Finally Got to Name Drop Batman This Season

Image: The CW.
Image: The CW.

Last month, Arrow got to say two words it has desperately wanted to say since it first began its long process of turning the Emerald Archer into “Batman with trick arrows.” But what was the straw that broke the camel’s bat-back? Turns out, it was Stephen Amell himself.


Speaking to Nerdist, Amell revealed that he actually kickstarted the suggestion to use Bruce Wayne—in a scene where Oliver, being questioned as to why an image of him in the Green Arrow costume was being circulated on the news, suggest it was photoshopped and any other famous billionaire playboy’s face could have been there—when he first got the episode’s script before San Diego Comic-Con this past year:

The original version of that script, which came out right before Comic-Con, it was just Oliver referencing a famous name. I looked at it and I thought to myself, ‘This is a cool opportunity.’ I spoke with Greg Berlanti about it, and Greg said, ‘You know, I think it would behoove you to just go directly to Geoff Johns and just simply ask. You’ll probably have better luck than I would.’

And so, Amell went forth, but he couldn’t find DC Entertainment president Johns at Comic-Con... but he found himself in the next-best situation. Surrounded by Warner Bros. executives at DC’s convention party, and took the opportunity to pitch the idea to some of the most powerful people involved with DC’s TV ventures... and it worked?

Geoff and I were supposed to meet and chat quickly, I couldn’t track him down, and the next thing that I knew I ended up in a four-way conversation with Peter Roth, Diane Nelson, and Kevin Tsujihara, all at the same time. I was like, ‘Guys, I have an idea! It’ll cost you nothing. I think it’d be really fun. It opens the door to a lot of possibilities.

So anyway, I have this holy trinity of DC and Warner Bros TV and Warner Bros overall in front of me, and I pitched this idea. I’ve got all my follow-up points, and Kevin Tsujihara just goes, ‘Yeah, sure.’ I said, ‘Really?’ He said, ‘Yeah, that sounds fun. Do that.’ So we did it! I didn’t actually believe it would make it until I actually saw it in the locked cut.

Considering how much weight Arrow had put into using elements of the Batman canon before this, how Amell got the reference to happen is almost rather anti-climatic in comparison. But hey, it worked, and we finally got an acknowledgment that somewhere out there, beyond Star City, there is an Arrow-verse version of the Dark Knight himself. Maybe Amell should’ve pushed his luck and asked for a team-up while he was at it.



James is a News Editor at io9, where you can find him delivering your morning spoilers, writing about superheroes, and having many feelings about Star Wars. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!


To be fair, he named dropped Bruce Wayne, not Batman. It’s possible (and likely) there is no Batman on CWverse Earth-1.