"Arrow" is an action-oriented superhero show, but there are a lot of interesting psychological dimensions to the character of playboy/crime-fighter Oliver Queen.
When the wealthy scion returns from the island where he survived on his own after a boat crash, "he clearly has post-traumatic stress disorder," star Stephen Amell said at a Television Critics Association panel on the show, which premieres on The CW Oct. 10. "That's a serious subject and that's something we're going to get into."
Of course Queen, who secretly fights bad guys as the Green Arrow, will meet his share of villains and nemeses, but "I think that the most imminent danger to Oliver right now is himself," Amell said.
One critic asked if the Green Arrow, who is often presented as a liberal superhero in comic books, would have a similar agenda on the TV show.
"The people Oliver targets are the wealthy and the corrupted," which "gives it that man-of-the-people, taking-back-for-the-little-guy" theme that mirrors Occupy Wall Street, executive producer Andrew Kriesberg said. "It's something we're looking into, as far as the series is concerned."
The producers said that, especially in light of the events in Aurora, they would do their best to be responsible when it came to depictions of violence.
"I think this show has the opportunity to explore the consequences of violence in ways that other shows cannot," executive producer Marc Guggenheim said. After all, Queen's quest revolves around ideas of "vigilantism" and "taking the law into your own hands," as he noted.
"'Arrow' always gives the bad guy of the week an opportunity to do the right thing, that's one of the moral guidelines we're establishing," Guggenheim said. The character will kill, but only when it's "necessary -- it's not random violence. And we'll also have characters come into the universe who question his moral judgment. We'll face the issues of his morality head-on."
Another question that came up repeatedly, but only got vague answers: Would Katie Cassidy's character, lawyer Dinah "Laurel" Lance, turn into Black Canary?
"Maybe" was the almost universal response from the "Arrow" panelists.
Producers have taken a few liberties with the lead character, in any event. In the comic, Queen's parents are dead, but his mother is alive on the show, and he also has a sister, which isn't true in the comics.
But as Guggenheim pointed out, even in the comics, Green Arrow's origin story has, over the years, been "subject to a lot of interpretation. There's not much canon that is precious, we can play around."
At least we can be fairly certain that Amell will be depicted doing archery accurately. Before starting his instruction in the sport, his archery trainer had the actor watch a 45-minute video of archery being done wrong on TV and in films. Now Amell enjoys shooting arrows so much he does it in his rare time off.
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