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Arrow: Marc Guggenheim on Casting Stephen Amell, Arrowverse Early Days

On The Aarthi and Sriram Show, Marc Guggenheim discussed the early days of the Arrowverse, casting Stephen Amell for Arrow, and more.

Heading into the series finale of The CW's Grant Gustin & Candice Patton-starring The Flash, we checked with a number of folks from across the Arrowverse as they shared their thoughts & feelings about television's shared DCU coming to an end (for now?) after a decade-plus run. In particular, we were curious to know how Stephen Amell was feeling – considering his Oliver Queen would be part of the "big bang" that would result in the Arrrowverse, Amell has a kind of "elder statesman" status. But now, Amell is in the spotlight – thanks in large part to tech power couple, Sriram Krishnan and Aarthi Ramamurthy, and their The Aarthi and Sriram Show audio/video podcast. In the latest episode, Krishnan & Ramamurthy speak with Marc Guggenheim (co-creator, "Arrowverse" & DC's Legends of Tomorrow), with the trio covering a wide range of topics – from what he learned from working on the Ryan Reynolds-starring Green Lantern and what goes into crafting a successful superhero television show to his thoughts on viewers having "spandex fatigue" and new roads that television can still travel when adapting comic book series.

Arrow -- "Burned" -- Image AR110b_7476b -- Pictured: Stephen Amell as Arrow -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW -- ©2012 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved
Arrow — "Burned" — Image AR110b_7476b — Pictured: Stephen Amell as Arrow — Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW — ©2012 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved

And when it comes to Amell, Guggenheim makes it clear that the actor was the only one they wanted for the role of the Emerald Archer. Though, after the disappoitment that was Green Lantern, he and Greg Berlanti were hesitant about moving forward with Arrow. "Greg and I had been talking about [creating 'Arrow'] together, but then 'Green Lantern' comes out and it bombs and we're sort of being excoriated in all the reviews and we're like, 'Do we really want to do another superhero? Do we really want to do another DC superhero? Do we really, really want to do a DC superhero with Green in the name?' Like, I mean, how stupid are we?…" Thankfully, the duo realized that their idea was one worth taking a chance on, just as long as they could see "our vision through to completion" by having "total control" over the character.

From there, Guggenheim discusses how the series came about and the grind of the auditioning process – and how Amell scored bug right out of the gate. "So the very first audition is Stephen Amell for Oliver [Queen]. We watch his audition. One of us runs down that hallway [and] knocks on Greg's [Berlanti] door…We're like, 'Greg, not only did we see someone good, we saw like it wasn't even a question'…To this day I still can't tell you who number two was because I mean, that poor, that poor bastard, whoever he was, had no chance," Guggenheim reveals, laughing toward the end.

About "The Aarthi & Sriram Show": The show ighlights optimistic conversations with people building and creating new products and technologies, hosted by veteran technologists Aarthi Ramamurthy and Sriram Krishnan. Past guests include Elon Musk, Virgil Abloh, Indra Nooyi, A.R.Rahman, and more. All new episodes drop weekly on the iHeartRadio app and wherever you listen to your podcasts (or just head on over here).

The Flash/Arrow: Stephen Amell on Grant Gustin; Arrowverse Memories

In an interview with EW from back in May, Amell discussed how it felt to witness the end of an era that he was key in helping create, what he thought of Gustin when he first met him, and what his biggest memories will be from his Arrowverse run. Here are some highlights (and you can check out the full interview here):

the flash
Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

"My first impression of Grant is actually, I think when I was at my most impressed with him, it was the table read for his introductory episode, and he had the majority of lines and a lot of the scientific jargon and a lot of the Barry Allen sort of chatter that we've all come to know that was very foreign to what we did on our show," Amell shared when asked what he first thought of Gustin ahead of their working together on the backdoor pilot storyline. "He's still a young guy now, certainly, and this is 10 years ago, so I can imagine that it would be very intimidating to come in there and basically be the star in the middle of a table read with a bunch of people that have just spent the past year and a half grinding together and are tired because it's almost Christmas break. But he was just great."

"I know I'm being effusive, but when he got on set, he just had that energy," Amell continued. "I think back to the very first time that Oliver and Barry interacted; I think that I found something in the character by working with Grant that I hadn't discovered before. When I go back, and I look at the first season of 'Arrow' specifically, it's a very difficult watch for me because they very much wanted Oliver to be this removed, suffering-from-PTSD figure, this solitary figure, and it wasn't until later seasons that I feel like I fully realized what I could do with the character. Whereas to me, it feels like Grant came in just fully formed, which is super impressive."

The Flash — "Crisis on Earth — X, Part 3 — Image Number: FLA408c_0292.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Grant Gustin as Barry Allen/The Flash and Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — © 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

As for what he will take away from his run in the Arrowverse and all of those wonderful crossovers, Amell has a few things already in mind. "I remember it for my first appearance on 'The Flash.' I remember it for the first time Oliver and Barry get to interact with Superman for the first time and Supergirl. I mean, come on. That's me feeling like a kid, dream come true. And then Grant and Melissa [Benoist]and I going to Chicago to shoot the scenes for the introduction of Ruby Rose as Batwoman was a pretty unique scenario. They flew us out there after a day of shooting on a private jet to Chicago, and we shot there for a couple of days. That was pretty cool," Amell shared.

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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