Right before Arrow wrapped up its eight-season run nearly one full year ago, the series’ penultimate episode, “Green Arrow & The Canaries,” served as a backdoor pilot for a potential, same-named spinoff CW series, with Katie Cassidy’s Laurel Lance, Katherine McNamara’s Mia Smoak and Juliana Harkavy’s Dinah Drake leading the charge. However, following that episode’s airing, it was unclear if the Arrow spinoff would actually happen, and now it’s been officially announced that the project is not moving forward.
While the Arrowverse is still going strong with The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, the upcoming Superman & Lois, Supergirl and Black Lightning (the latter two of which are ending this season), unlike potential projects like the Painkiller spinoff and Wonder Girl, Green Arrow & The Canaries will not be part of that TV franchise’s future, as reported by TV Line. Right off the bat, this is disappointing news for anyone who was hoping to see the continued adventures of Mia, Laurel and Dinah. More importantly though, this means that there are a lot of unanswered questions from the backdoor pilot now left lingering.
For those who didn’t watch the Arrow episode “Green Arrow & The Canaries” or need a refresher, it was set in the year 2040, two decades after Oliver Queen sacrificed his life to save the universe and change the multiverse during the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event. With Mia Smoak being given back her pre-Crisis memories, she teams up with Laurel Lance and Dinah Drake, who were both brought to the future via different methods, to help rescue Helena Bertinelli’s daughter Bianca from her ex-boyfriend Trevor, who has taken the Deathstroke mantle. Fortunately, the main mission ends successfully, and the women become a crimefighting trio. Unfortunately, it was just one piece of a bigger puzzle.
Among the mysteries left over from the backdoor pilot was Dinah not knowing how she ended up in the future and her history as a vigilante was erased from the timeline; the origins of Trevor’s tattoo that’s modeled off of the h?zen that Oliver Queen gave his son/Mia’s half-brother, William Clayton; how exactly Mia is at the center of Star City falling at a future date; William being kidnapped by parties unknown; and John Diggle Jr., who’s Mia’s fiancé in the post-Crisis reality, being given back his pre-Crisis memories by mysterious individual, meaning he now remembers being Deathstroke. Naturally all of these cliffhangers would be followed up on had the Green Arrow & The Canaries series been ordered. Because that’s not happening, does this mean these questions will simply never be addressed anywhere?
Not necessarily. Last June, Arrowverse executive producer Marc Guggenheim said that if Green Arrow & The Canaries didn’t move forward at The CW, his “instinct” would be to answer the backdoor pilot’s questions with a comic book tie-in. It’s also possible that some, if not all of these lingering plot threads could be addressed on one of the other Arrowverse shows. However, with those series all having their own conflicts to delve into, it’s not like what “Green Arrow & The Canaries” brought to the table is terribly pressing.
We’ll just have to wait and see if the Green Arrow & The Canaries story ever gets any kind of resolution, or if this will go down as one of those narratives where fans will just have to imagine where things headed. As for the Arrowverse’s immediate future on The CW, Batwoman Season 2 will kick off on January 17, and The Flash, Black Lightning and Superman & Lois are all set to premiere in February. Learn what other TV shows to be on the lookout for with our 2021 winter and spring premiere guide.