The synopsis for Arrow‘s seventh season hints at a loose adaptation of the scrapped Green Arrow film Escape from Supermax.
Ahead of its appearance at San Diego Comic-Con 2018, Warner Bros. released a synopsis for the upcoming season of Arrow. The synopsis reads:
There has been no shortage of close calls for Oliver Queen when it comes to protecting his Super Hero identity, but in the season six finale, he was finally backed into a corner and forced to reveal himself to the world as the Green Arrow. Now, Oliver will come face-to-face with many of the criminals he placed behind bars, as he makes a new home for himself at Slabside Maximum Security Prison. Oliver will find himself vulnerable in a way unlike ever before when a mysterious new enemy begins to unravel his work as Green Arrow, challenging him to redeem his name or risk losing everything.
ScreenRant notes that this synopsis sounds quite a bit like David S. Goyer’s scrapped Green Arrow film, titled Escape from Supermax.
This film, which was in development in the late 2000s, would have told the story of Oliver Queen being framed for murder and locked up in a prison with numerous villains he was responsible for locking up. To survive, he would have needed to team up with enemies to escape and clear his name.
Of course, Arrow‘s interpretation is slightly different, as Oliver willingly turned himself in to the authorities in exchange for the FBI’s aid in stopping Ricardo Diaz. He is, in fact, going to prison for crimes he knowingly committed as a vigilante.
Rather than clear his name, as in the film, Arrow‘s Oliver will, as the synopsis says, need to “redeem his name” — though I imagine there are many people in Star City with a positive view of the Green Arrow already.
The similarities come into play with the idea of Oliver being surrounded by criminals he helped lock up. Green Arrow: Escape from Supermax would have featured numerous B- and C-list villains, including Merlyn, Icicle, Tattoo Man, Gemini, Blockbuster and Pied Piper. More popular villains like Amanda Waller, Ed Nigma and even Lex Luthor and the Joker — in cameo roles — were slated to appear as well.
Arrow has featured many villains over six seasons, so this story provides a unique opportunity to bring back some familiar faces. It’s also worth noting that season 6’s Big Bad, Ricard Diaz, was not apprehended at the end of the season. In fact, he is slated to return to Star City with some new friends: The Longbow Hunters.
However, the synopsis indicates that there will be a “mysterious new enemy” working to “unravel his work as Green Arrow.” This seems to indicate Diaz won’t last through the entirety of season 7 as the villain. The last few seasons have introduced one villain for the first half of the season before revealing a different villain for the back half, so perhaps this will follow a similar structure.
If we look to the Escape from Supermax film for inspiration, the mastermind of Oliver’s imprisonment would have been revealed to be a CEO named Marcus Cross who wanted to take over Queen Industries. Cross was to have corrupted a man named Hackett, who was Oliver’s childhood friend and business associate. In fact, Hackett turns out to be the one who pushed Oliver off the ship, causing him to be stranded on the desert island.
As an interesting side note, Hackett was an original creation to the film, yet he was introduced in the comic story Green Arrow: Year One in 2007 with a similar backstory.
Though the circumstances surrounding Oliver’s imprisonment are different in Arrow, it would be interesting to see a figure from his past appear as the figure trying to undo the accomplishments of the Green Arrow — though this might be a bit too similar to Adrian Chase/Prometheus from season 5.
For those wondering about what caused the cancellation of Green Arrow: Escape from Supermax, Goyer told Den of Geek in 2015, “I think if that script had come over the transom a couple of years later… It was completely ahead of its time.”
The interview was prior to the release of Suicide Squad, another villain-centric film. With that in mind, Goyer notes, “The executive on it was really visionary, but the higher-ups, none of whom are at Warner Bros any more, just thought at the time, you know, we just want to make Batman and Superman movies. We don’t want to make any other characters.
“But this is before Marvel had really taken off, before more obscure projects like Guardians Of The Galaxy or Ant-Man or things like that had huge success, before the current gold rush I guess, if you will. It’s natural that eventually someone was going to make a villain movie, so that’s just what happened!”
Though Escape from Superman is unlikely to to be made at this point, it does look like Arrow‘s seventh season will be paying homage to the concept that was once deemed “ahead of its time.”
Arrow season 7 premieres Monday, October 15 at 8:00 p.m. ET on The CW.