The project, which comes from Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros Television, is being set up as a backdoor pilot that will air as episode from the upcoming eighth and final season of Arrow. It will be written by Beth Schwartz, Marc Guggenheim, Jill Blankenship and Oscar Balderrama.
The new superhero squad is a next-generation version of Team Arrow with the costumed offspring of the original membership. At the center of the next-gen collective is Smoak, the fierce daughter of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) aka Green Arrow, the central character of Arrow and the former mayor of Star City.
Smoak was introduced in the Season 7 episode Star City 2040, which was set in the future as the title suggests. She’s an intense maverick just like her dad but she knows little about her father’s history and she takes a dim view of the costumed vigilante traditions both of her family and her hometown.
That episode felt like a backdoor pilot itself and it ended with a stirring image of the cloaked Smoak holding a bow and poised for action. The character gets her intelligence from her mother’s side: Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) aka Overwatch, is her other parent.
A superhero baton handoff between Green Arrow and his daughter sounds like a strong foundation narrative for a new Arroverse series but it would take the DC Comics-based mythology into very similar story turf as the upcoming Disney+ Hawkeye series from Marvel Studios.
The Marvel series stars Jeremy Renner as the Avengers’ archery expert known as Hawkeye and centers on his training of his young female protege (played by Hailee Steinfeld).
McNamara starred in a recurring role as Mia Smoak in the seventh season of Arrow and was promoted to series regular for the forthcoming season. She is a street fighter-turned rebel leader that turned out to be The Green Arrow Oliver Queen’s daughter. Cassidy played Laurel Lances, the Black Canary, in the first four seasons of Arrow and was a special guest in season five before moving over to The Flash. She returned for season six of Arrow as Laurel’s doppelgänger Black Siren. Harkavy portrayed Dinah Drake, otherwise known as the Black Canary in the fifth season of the show and was promoted to series regular for seasons six and seven.
The spinoff comes after Pedowitz revealed in August that it was looking at another show set in the expanded Arrowverse, which has spawned titles including The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman.
“The fact that seven years ago, we introduced Arrow, who would have thought it would have spawned six shows, a whole universe that they managed to create. It’s quite a remarkable feat,” he said.
“We believe these franchises, this universe will continue for many years, so it’s important to ensure that you have characters that will keep the fans coming back. How that universe plays out, time will tell,” he added.
The CW’s The Flash also originally was developed as an Arrow planted spinoff before a decision was made to turn it into a standalone pilot.
The Green Arrow and Black Canary comic book, which was created by Judd Winick and Cliff Chiang and written by J.T. Krul, was first published in 2007 and ran for 32 issues.
Arrow is ending with its eighth season with producers describing the ten-episode run as a “greatest hits” with frequent returning guests and “tying up stories you could have seen in Season 2 or 3.”
Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Beth Schwartz, Marc Guggenheim, Jill Blankenship and Oscar Balderrama are executive producers of the project, which is based on characters from DC and is produced by Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.
McNamara is repped by Atlas Artists, CAA and Marcy Morris, Cassidy is repped by Anonymous Content and Marcy Morris and Harkavy is repped by APA.
Deadline’s Geoff Boucher contributed to this story.