ARROW EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg

Anyone expecting Smallville’s Green Arrow on this fall’s Arrow will be disappointed. What they WILL be getting, instead, is a grittier take on the character. In this exclusive interview, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg discusses the approach being taken.

Interview conducted by and copyright Edward Gross

COMIC BOOK MOVIE: One big difference I notice about this show is that in the old comics and cartoons, Green Arrow used to shoot arrows with little boxing gloves on them, but in here you’ve got sequences where there are corpses laying there with arrows protruding from out of them. Is that risky at all? Normally your hero is not going to, even with bad guys, leave them with arrows sticking out of their dead bodies.

ANDREW KREISBRERG: We were just talking in the writer’s room yesterday that that’s another difference between Green Arrow and Batman. The Dark Knight movies make it really clear that there is a line that Batman will not cross, and that is to take a life. We very clearly and very early on establish that our version of Green Arrow doesn’t have such limitations. Is it risky? I don’t know. Honestly we don’t think, “Hey, this is risky, let’s do this” or, “Hey, this is risky, let’s not do this.” I think that’s very dangerous. I think the goal should always be tell the best story you can, be true to that story and don’t think about the risk or the reward, because that just gets in the way of you telling the best story possible. Is it risky? Maybe, but it’s not something that we’re factoring in to our creative decision making. We’re trying to do right by the property and the character.

COMIC BOOK MOVIE: Let’s face it, when you have a guy shooting arrows at people, there are going to be corpses with arrows sticking out of them, so I applaud it.

ANDREW KREISBERG: We don’t think of this as a superhero show, we think of this as a show about a hero and we think about it as a crime drama. A lot of our touchstones for the character were more Jason Bourne and Ethan Hunt from Mission Impossible; those characters that kill when necessary. Oliver is not a murderer, but if deadly force is called for, he will use it.

COMIC BOOK MOVIE: Stephen Amell did this great job of showing two versions of Oliver Queen, but in your mind who is Oliver Queen/Green Arrow? What kind of character is this man?

ANDREW KREISBERG: Honestly that’s the answer we don’t want to give. To us that’s the engine of the show. One of the things we said from the beginning was the show is kind of a mystery; it’s a procedural and the mystery happens to be Oliver Queen. We don’t want to spoil the answer to all those questions in an interview, because that’s really what the series is about, and our hope is that people will tune in to the series to get the answers on who exactly is this guy and what makes him tick. In the first episode we give you a hint, sort of the first chapter of a much larger story in the evolution of how this male Paris Hilton evolves into this cold-blooded fighting crusader. The series will continue the flashbacks that we leave off in the pilot, which is approaching the island; we want people tuning in to see how that transformation takes place. Even in the second episode, we start to deal directly with the question of who is Oliver Queen and of the four different iterations of Oliver Queen you see in the pilot, which is the real one? Who is the true man? We want to let the series answer that question rather than us doing it with a sound bite.




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