After Arrow came to an end back in January (yes, it was only in January), fans were left with a sense of closure and a celebratory panel from stars Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards. But like all things in the entertainment world, even the end of the Arrowverse's origins had many alternate possibilities — as should be expected from a show so intertwined with the multiverse. In fact, the finale as originally planned would've shown how Oliver Queen's journey wasn't just inspirational to a legion of TV watchers, but influential on one of the most famous superheroes of all time: Batman.
Speaking on the Fake Nerd Podcast, Arrow creator and finale co-writer Marc Guggenheim explained that his original vision for Queen's end tied into the greater DC world.
"I always saw the show ending with Oliver's death, but Oliver's death in the actual finale," Guggenheim said. "Then 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 the voice over." Obviously this isn't how things shook out considering that Queen didn't quite survive until his own finale. But that's not even the coolest part.
"And then you would go to this rooftop in a whole other city, and on the cut a thug or some bad guy would crash into the frame, having been punched off-screen," the writer said. "And these 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 being, of course, that he inspired Batman. So that, of course, didn't happen for a variety of different reasons - not the least of which is Batwoman came along - but that was my original conception."
Inspiring Batman is pretty hard to justify when Bruce Wayne has apparently already had such an inspiring career that his cousin has picked up the mantle. Instead, this inspiration was transferred to Queen's daughter, Mia — hence the “Green Arrow & the Canaries” backdoor pilot.
Guggenheim also commented on the inclusion of stock footage for the DC Universe shows during the Crisis on Infinite Earths event. "It's a delicate balance," the writer said of the situation, because those shows were created with an "expectation that they would never have to participate in The CW crossover" - in fact there were "creative assurances and assurances to actors" that they wouldn't have to commit to it.
"This is an Arrowverse event, it’s done on the Arrowverse shows," Guggenheim said, "and when we were breaking the story, we were always trying to find the right balance between, ‘OK, well, how many non-Arrowverse characters should we bring into this.'" That's a tricky needle to thread because serious DC fans want ALL the DC possible, while more casual TV watchers may be confused by characters they "wouldn’t know and understand." So don't expect the Titans to show up during the next big event.
Arrow's final season aims to have a home release on April 28.