The Arrow-verse on The CW is poised to lose the show that started it all by the end of the 2019-2020 TV season. Arrow will wrap up after its upcoming eighth season, which will be by far the shortest of the series to date. The Season 7 finale ended on a reveal that seemingly points toward Oliver departing the entire Arrow-verse in a way that can't just be undone with time travel, and that raises the question: is Arrow's series finale really the end of Oliver Queen?
Members of the Arrow team spoke with CinemaBlend and other outlets at San Diego Comic-Con, and several of them weighed in on the possibility of Oliver returning following the end of Arrow. Let's start with what star Stephen Amell had to say:
I'm not gonna put myself in a position where I say that I'm never gonna come back. Because I admire Grant [Gustin] and Melissa [Benoist] a lot, and I've become very close with them. Four years from now, if they call me up and they're like, 'Hey, we need something.' What am I gonna say? 'Nah!' [laughs] So, I want to keep that window open, but I'm also a very very big fan of definitive goodbyes.
In his response to the question of whether he'd return to the Arrow-verse, Stephen Amell gave a shout-out to The Flash star Grant Gustin and Supergirl leading lady Melissa Benoist. Assuming those shows last for another several years, Amell would be willing to return if one of his former fellow Arrow-verse superheroes asked. Arrow and The Flash have been the most closely connected of the Arrow-verse series, so it would be fitting if Barry wanted to reach out to Oliver, wherever Oliver ends up following "Crisis on Infinite Earths."
Considering the foreshadowing that Oliver meets his "Crisis" fate because of his "Elseworlds" determination to save Barry and Kara, it would honestly track if either of them felt connected enough to him that they'd want to see him again even years in the future. So, there's no need to despair that Stephen Amell would be unwilling to return if Barry or Kara sends out the call! That said...
Stephen Amell also noted that he's a big fan of "definitive goodbyes," and there's certainly something to be said for endings that really are the end. If Arrow comes to a satisfying conclusion -- and Oliver's ending seems like it has been more or less on the books since "Crisis" was planned -- then perhaps it would be for the best if Oliver's story is finished when the final credits roll on Arrow.
Then again, pretty much everything seems to be possible in the Arrow-verse, so it's possible The Flash or Supergirl or maybe even Legends of Tomorrow or Batwoman could incorporate an Oliver Queen from another Earth than Earth-1, or even from a point in Earth-1 Oliver's timeline before whatever happens in the Arrow series finale. There could be ways to recruit Stephen Amell without destroying the definitive goodbye at the end of Oliver's story.
Of course, it's not just up to Stephen Amell whether or not Oliver Queen ever returns to the Arrow-verse following the end of Arrow. Executive producer Marc Guggenheim weighed in on a potential future for the Arrow-verse's first superhero:
The one thing this show has taught me is never say never. If you go back and you look at all the press conferences and interviews we gave in Season 1, I think we've basically violated every single promise we made to you guys. In fact, I don't even know why you're talking to me, because we're all complete, not liars, but we clearly are not correct when we predict the future. And that's why I don't predict the future.
Considering how Arrow was far from guaranteed to be a hit (especially with how different it was from Smallville), nobody could have predicted back in 2012 that the gritty series about the Green Arrow would go on to launch a whole universe of superhero shows.
By the time Arrow goes off the air, the Arrow-verse will be comprised of no fewer than five series. Has anything about Arrow really been predictable? (Other than Oliver's decision to lie about William backfiring horribly. I think we all saw that coming.) It's not impossible for Oliver and Arrow elements to return!
Marc Guggenheim certainly wasn't wrong that the Arrow team did some of the biggest things they once said they wouldn't. Back in the day, for example, the plan was never to include superpowers or big names like Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne.
Superpowers have been part of Arrow more or less since Season 2, Clark Kent has appeared in the Arrow-verse on several separate occasions (and will be played by two different actors in "Crisis"), and Bruce Wayne was Batman before bailing on Gotham to kick off Batwoman. And honestly, who could have ever thought that "Crisis on Infinite Earths" would ever be adapted on The CW?
The executive producer's comments certainly don't guarantee more on the Arrow front even after Arrow ends, but "never say never" is enough of a reason to hope!
David Ramsey, who plays John Diggle on Arrow, shared some insight that could point toward a future for Arrow characters, if not necessarily Oliver Queen. When asked if there are Arrow questions he doesn't want answered in the final season, Ramsey said this:
Yes, and there will be some questions still left. And that's great, because there's always room for spinoffs.
Arrow may be ending, but that doesn't have to mean the journeys of all the Arrow characters have to be done! Fans have been speculating about a spinoff starring the next generation of Star City-baseed superheroes could happen. After all, a huge chunk of Season 7 was devoted to the adventures of Mia Smoak, William Clayton, and Connor Hawke, and Season 8 flash-forwards will introduce the adult version of Diggle and Lyla's son John Jr.
Could David Ramsey be aged up to have a part to play in a Star City 2040 series as John Diggle? Or could a different kind of spinoff happen as basically just a Green Arrow-less Arrow? Could Diggle take on the mantle of the Green Arrow on a full-time basis? His new suit for Season 8 certainly has a lot of green to it.