Stephen & Robbie Amell Break Down the Making of ‘Code 8’, Their Superpowered Sci-Fi Film

     December 12, 2019

As stars of The CW’s Arrow and The Flash, Stephen Amell and Robbie Amell are no strangers to the world of superheroes. But outside of a brief exchange in an Arrowverse crossover, the cousins have never shared that world together. That is, until Code 8, the feature film directed by Jeff Chan and written by Chris Pare that began as a self-financed short film. In addition to starring, both Amells served as executive producers on the feature, which takes place in a near-future where the 4% of the population born with superpowers scrape by under the poverty line.


Image via Elevation Pictures

Stephen and Robbie stopped by the Collider studio to talk about how Code 8 came to be. During our chat, we discussed the old-school approach to getting the film made, shooting the feature “guerilla-style”, the importance of original ideas in the superhero genre, how the themes of the film only resonated more and more as production went on, and a whole lot more. Plus, Stephen offered a tease for Arrow‘s final episode coming up in January, including the “action sequence to end all action sequences.”

Check out what they had to say in the player above, and below is exactly what we talked about. Code 8 is in theaters and on-demand Friday, December 13.

  • Why Code 8 was the project they decided to make as their first feature film together.
  • The old-school way the film got made, including a self-financed proof-of-concept followed by fundraising.
  • code-8-stephen-amell

    Image via Elevation Pictures

    Why Stephen is credited as “G-109” in the short.

  • Filming the feature “guerilla-style”, which included Stephen actually driving in all the car scenes.
  • How they managed to make superpowers look unpleasant, and how actors have to trust the visual effects department to “not make me look dumb.”
  • How they noticed the themes of oppression and class structure in the film only resonated more and more while they were shooting the feature.
  • How they worked with their relatively small budget to create an atmosphere that looks like it was made for far more money.
  • The importance of original ideas in filmmaking, especially in the superhero genre.
  • What to expect from the Arrow series finale, including the “action sequence to end all action sequences”.

Here is the Code 8 short film, to give you an idea of the world:

Here is the official synopsis for Code 8:

Code 8 is set in a world where 4% of the population is born with varying supernatural abilities, but instead of being billionaires or superheroes, they face discrimination and live in poverty, often resorting to crime. Connor Reed (Robbie Amell), a power-enabled young man, is struggling to pay for his ailing mother’s (Kari Matchett) health treatment. Fighting to earn enough money as a day laborer, Connor is lured into a lucrative criminal world by Garrett (Stephen Amell) who works for Lincoln City’s reigning drug lord, Marcus Sutcliffe (Greg Bryk). Garrett helps Connor sharpen his powers in order to execute a series of crimes on behalf of Sutcliffe, while a militarized police unit, led by Agent Park (Sung Kang) and Agent Davis (Aaron Abrams), hunts them down.


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