Creating their own superhero universe. From Arrow to The Flash to Gotham Knights, The CW is known for its prolific selection of shows based on various DC comics.
The network originally kicked off its superhero content by introducing Arrow in 2012. Stephen Amell was cast in the role of Oliver Queen — who went on to become the Green Arrow.
“Stephen was one of the very first people who came in and auditioned. Usually when you go into the studio or the network, you bring multiple choices, and we didn’t do that,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg explained at a press panel ahead of the show’s debut. “Every step of the way was Stephen, Stephen, Stephen, because not just physically, but talent-wise and emotionally, he was always Oliver Queen to us.”
The Canada native recalled having to learn some unexpected skills for the role.
“I had never picked [a bow and arrow] up before, and it’s literally one of the most dangerous things that you can do on a film set,” Amell added. “The first thing for me was getting the form — I have a wonderful coach who started my training by showing me a 45-minute video of all the ways archery has been done badly in film and TV. I really like archery — I enjoy practicing it when I have time off.”
After nearly a decade as Oliver, Amell hung up his bow and arrow to star in Starz’s wrestling drama, Heels.
“I was totally hesitant. It’s not what I was looking for. I wasn’t looking for anything, frankly,” the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles star exclusively told Us Weekly in August 2021. “I hadn’t thought about what my next move was going to be after Arrow. And then they found me. They sought me out and my manager told me how great he thought the scripts were.”
At the time, Amell gushed about getting the opportunity to grow alongside his Arrow character.
“When I got the job as Green Arrow/Oliver Queen, I was at a really interesting point in my life. I was dating a young lady who’s now my wife,” he shared with Us, referring to wife Cassandra Jean, with whom he shares two kids. “I was ready for that opportunity. You’ve got to believe that there are forces in the universe that are working that you’re not aware of.”
Meanwhile two years later, Grant Gustin reflected on playing Barry Allen on The Flash for eight years in a touching tribute.
“I said goodbye to The Flash and my Flash family on Saturday. Very special day, with moments I will cherish for the rest of my life. My family got to see my last shot as The Flash — that’s something I could’ve never imagined nearly 10 years ago when I started this journey,” he wrote via Instagram in March 2023. “I got a chance to thank the crew, who have worked longer hours than anyone can image and are the reason we were able to accomplish 184 episodes of The Flash. More than anything I’ll miss chatting and laughing in between takes(and sometimes during takes) with so many of them. Regardless of how challenging this journey was at times, I know I laughed every single day at work for the last 9 + years. I made lots of mistakes and did a lot of growing up on this journey.”
In the lengthy message, the Glee alum thanked his fellow cast and crew for working alongside him over the years.
“Thank you for believing in me. Thank you to the cast, old and new. Series regulars over the series and guest stars that popped in and out. Our guest stars are the unsung heroes of this show, that really made it special over the years,” he continued. “I made a lot of friends, and I’m sure many of us will be in each others lives forever. THANK YOU to the fans who remained passionate about our show through 9 seasons. The show went through lots of changes but so many people stuck with us through it all. I look forward to hopefully continuing to meet some of you out in the world in passing and maybe even at conventions in the future.”
Gustin concluded: “Honored to have had the chance to play this iconic character. I gave it absolutely everything I had. That’s all for now. ⚡️❤️.”
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Scroll on for a breakdown of every superhero show on The CW: