A couple of weeks ago, the Green Arrow returned to Smallville for the first time in over a year and left fans buzzing. The excitement that viewers showed for the Arrow’s return appearance may have had some influence over the CW’s decision to sign the man behind the mask, Justin Hartley, to a talent holding deal. The deal doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the network will find a project for Hartley, but it does mean that they’re going to be trying their best to create a role for the actor until the deal runs out. Could this be the first step in a possible Green Arrow or Justice League spin-off for Hartley’s character?
Smallville has featured many popular characters from DC Comics over the years, but so far they’ve yet to find the magic formula to spin one off into their own show. The network came close when they developed Mercy Reef, which was the title of the Aquaman project starring Hartley as the undersea adventurer. The pilot episode was completed, but the CW decided to pass on picking it up as a series. The pilot was then released online and created a bit of buzz, but nothing ever came of it.
Since then, Smallville spin-off ideas have been dead in the water. This is strange, as the show seems rife with characters that could easily carry their own series. Maybe the failure of Mercy Reef and the long dead Birds of Prey turned the CW off the idea of superhero antics somewhat. Still, the fact remains that Smallville is one of their most popular shows, and thanks to the comics these characters have built in name recognition.
If this talent holding deal does turn into a spin-off chance for Hartley — which is pure speculation at this point — would you rather see a Green Arrow project or something involving the entire Justice League? I think a Justice League series would be the more interesting move, as it’s bound to be a lot different than Smallville. However, with Warner Brothers currently plotting a big screen romp for the Justice League, it’s possible they may not want a TV version diluting the property. That’s why we still haven’t had an appearance from Bruce Wayne on Smallville after all these years.
I’m happy to see the CW take a chance on Justin Hartley, since he seems like a nice guy and is quite talented. Now I just hope they manage to develop something interesting for him that actually makes it on the air.
– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of JustinHartleyOnline.net)