Green Arrow and the Canaries: Beth Schwartz Talks Arrow Spinoff Status

Well before The CW's Arrow took its final bow in January, we knew there was a very good chance that Oliver Queen's legacy would live on. In September 2019, the network announced that it had given a pilot order for another Emerald Archer spinoff (remember The Flash?), this one focusing on Katherine McNamara's Mia Queen, and Canaries Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) and Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy) and called Green Arrow and the Canaries. If the title sounds familiar, the spinoff idea was given a pseudo-backdoor pilot episode during Arrow's final season. Since that time, things have been quiet on the news front as the coronavirus pandemic shuttered television productions across the globe, having a direct impact on pilots as well as returning and premiering series.

Dinah Drake aka Black Canary, Mia, and Laurel Lance aka Black Siren are Green Arrow and the Canaries, courtesy of The CW.
Dinah Drake aka Black Canary, Mia, and Laurel Lance aka Black Siren are Green Arrow and the Canaries, courtesy of The CW.

Arrow executive producer Beth Schwartz understands all too well that fans want to know where things stand with the pilot. Spearheading the project's efforts for a series greenlight, Schwartz tells ET that productions being shut down has left everything a question mark. Simply put, "I do not have an answer for you, unfortunately." That said, she appreciates the fans' excitement and that it lets them know that there's support for potential series: "I think the excitement helps and it makes us excited, so I definitely appreciate that."

For Schwartz, the spinoff series gives the writing team an opportunity to focus on the female characters of the Arrowverse, and first began coming together during Arrow's penultimate season: "The most exciting part was in season 7 of Arrow, we really had the time to explore our female characters and the relationships that they had with each other. And I remember at the time, I'm not sure who it was, if it was Emily [Bett Rickards], Katie [Cassidy] or Juliana [Harkavy], but one of them or all of them might have sent me a text saying that this is the first scene that they all had together without any of the guys. And I remember being very shocked by that and also being super excited about it, that in the seventh season we got to do something new and fresh. Then, when I watched those dailies, everything just had a different feel to it. I think that's what this spinoff is going to be, where we get to explore these female relationships between these characters that we have not really been able to do solely before."

While the possibilities of where Green Arrow could go is an open book, Schwartz has one subject (and character) she wants to focus on: "As we're still working on a spinoff and we're talking about those things is, Dinah Drake's background [is something I'd like to focus on]. We had so many stories about her family and what her life was before. We had the great story with her and [her late boyfriend] Vinny, but there was so much more to her character, which is why, in the backdoor pilot, she talks about getting married [young] and she's a singer. There were all these things [about her we didn't know]. And Laurel's like, 'Who are you?' Because it was kind of the joke that we had amongst ourselves because we've talked about all these stories and we just didn't have a chance to get them out."

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About 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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