Article by Chris Foti
Warning: Spoilers for Arrow ahead
Arrow debuted in 2012 on the CW. The show started out as a realistic depiction of what would happen if Green Arrow were a real hero and the show was clearly inspired by Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. Ironically, series producer Marc Guggenheim’s original idea for the Arrow series finale was to have Oliver Queen / Green Arrow inspire Bruce Wayne to become Batman.
Although Arrow started as a more realistic show, it certainly didn’t end that way. At first, Oliver’s arrows would kill people, he would experience knee soreness from jumping off rooftops and all his enemies were grounded in reality. That all changed when the series introduced the Flash, and the more fantastical elements of the DC Universe made their way in. Before you knew it, we had an entire Arrowverse consisting of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman where there was time travel, multiverses and cosmic threats.
Oliver Queen’s journey ended in the five-part event Crisis on Infinite Earths, which saw all the Arrowverse shows crossover. It also included crossovers with non-Arrowverse show Black Lightning. There was even an appearance from the DC Film’s Flash, played by Ezra Miller. Unfortunately, the hero that started it all died during the Crisis to save the multiverse.
“As A Symbol I Can Be Incorruptible. I Can Be Everlasting.”
Oliver Queen’s sacrifice changed the timeline causing crime to disappear from Star City. This led to Team Arrow parting ways in the series finale, since they were no longer needed to protect the city. This wasn’t always the original concept for the ending, however:
I kind of had a little bit of a fantasy that Oliver would die, and you’d end with some sort of news broadcast talking about his legacy and that would sort of become voice over, and then you would go to this rooftop in a whole other city and on the cuts a thug or some bad guy would come crashing through the frame, having been punched off screen. This pair of black boots would come down right in front of him, and there’d be a flutter of a scalloped cape, and the voice over would say something along the lines of “Oliver Queen inspired a whole new generation of vigilantes.” The implication of course being that he inspired Batman.
Guggenheim then explains:
(It) didn’t happen for a variety of different reasons, the least of which is Batwoman came along, but that was my original concept.
Where Is The Batman?
One of the missing pieces from the Arrowverse was Batman, especially with other Justice Leaguers Flash and Superman making regular appearances. It would’ve tied things up that Batman had never existed until Oliver’s sacrifice. Though, this would cause plot holes in Batwoman, where it’s explained that Batman is missing.
It just goes to show that TV shows don’t always go according to plan and are subject to change throughout their run. The show runners might go into the shows with ideas of where they want storylines to go, but things change throughout the process causing them to alter the story accordingly.
What would do you think of this original concept of the Arrow finale? While I do think it would’ve been poetic that the series inspired by Nolan’s Batman would inspire Batman in its own universe, it just opens too many plot holes for the rest of the Arrowverse.