If you think Arrow on The CW is getting complacent with its sweet spot as the cornerstone of a whole television franchise, think again. Series star Stephen Amell says he told the writers of the upcoming seventh season of Arrow to write like it’s the series’ very last on the air.
In a new interview with Australian website The Music, Stephen Amell said the story in Season 7 is a result of a new showrunner — Beth Schwartz, an Arrow veteran taking over for departing producers Wendy Mericle and Marc Guggenheim — and Amell telling the show’s writers to write like they aren’t guaranteed another season to write Arrow.
“[The writers] have a very clear vision of what they want season seven to be, and what I asked them to do … what I asked of them is to not just assume that we have an eighth season,” Amell explained. “I wanted them to write like, ‘If you have a good idea, and you have something you’ve always wanted to do or see on the show, then just do it! Do it right now!’”
“We’re not writing like we’re guaranteed something beyond this, because we’re not. Nobody is,” he added. “I want them to really push forward and take the fact we have a certain license and a certain respect from the fans to take some chances.”
Since 2012, Arrow has told the story of billionaire playboy Oliver Queen, who spent five years on (and off) a remote island that hardened him into the bow-wielding superhero, the Green Arrow. The series is heavily based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow, but over time the show has taken major liberties with the character’s mythos. For example, Oliver isn’t in a relationship with fellow superheroine Black Canary, but is instead married to a computer hacker named Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards).
Amell says that he prefers to keep fans interested, even with unpopular creative decisions, than to make them indifferent.
“I think that making fans happy, clearly, is what you wanna do when you’re on a show in general because you want people to keep watching, as long as you’re not afraid to lean into things that may make them go, ‘But why would you do that? I hate that. That’s awful,’” he said, “because that’s not actually what they mean. If someone screams out on Twitter, ‘I’m gonna stop watching the show!’ they’re probably not gonna stop watching the show.”
It’s a bit far into the future to predict whether or not Arrow will get an eighth season after Season 7 premieres this fall, but it’s extremely likely if only for Warner Bros. to load up on content for its new streaming service, DC Universe. In the meantime, even if Season 7 isn’t the end of Arrow, expect things to get wild.
Arrow returns to The CW on October 8.