Marc Guggenheim Shares Original ‘Arrow’ Pitch as Series Finale Approaches

     November 13, 2019

arrow-season-6-sliceThe end of Arrow is nigh. The CW’s longest-running DC Comics show officially set its series finale date for January 28, 2020, so all that’s left to do is get in some last moments with Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and Co. (Plus, uh, that massive dimension-hopping event Crisis on Infinite Earths. There is also that.) Getting in on all the melancholy is Marc Guggenheim—one of Arrow‘s creators along with Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg—who shared notes from the original pitch that resulted in the series.


Image via The CW

“This morning, I took a little stroll down memory lane and looked at [Greg Berlanti’s] and my notes for our original pitch,” Guggenheim wrote. “So interesting to see what changed. And what didn’t.” 

It is interesting to see just how much survived the pitch and made it to the finished product, down to the introduction of Oliver as a billionaire bad boy broken both physically and mentally by a five-year stay on a remote island. (Although the pitch doesn’t include the name “Lian Yu”.) The character descriptions are all basically spot-on, except for an entry for a man named “Stanley Dover”:

Brilliant but a bit eccentric. Our computer and technology savant. We’ll learn that Stanley has a history with Oliver’s father, which explains why he’s the first person Oliver recruits for his crusade.

It seems like the creative team took the original Dover pitch and split it into two characters: John Diggle (David Ramsey), the former special-ops agent who was around for the first days of Team Arrow, and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards), the team’s tech wizard who also eventually married Oliver. Stanley Dover did appear in season 7, played by Brendan Fletcher, but instead of “a bit eccentric” he’s a straight-up serial killer.

Check out all the pitch notes below. Arrow season 8 airs Tuesdays on The CW. For more on the series, here is David Ramsey talking about the Green Lantern connection and the latest news on Emily Bett Rickards’ return.