The Obscene Reason Arrow's First Promo Photo Had To Be Edited

Being a superhero is more than just having the necessary skills to take down bad guys. A good image is also key, which explains why it’s important that costume reveals for superhero movies and TV shows are done properly. For Arrow star Stephen Amell however, the first official image of Oliver Queen suited up as The Arrow had to be edited at the last minute due to a certain part of his anatomy seemingly appearing more prominently.

Amell recently explained a predicament the show faced when they took the first promo shot of the actor as the bow-wielding protagonist back in 2012. After photographing Amell in several poses, a choice was finally made on which image to release to the public. Unfortunately, thanks to an observation from one of his co-stars, another problem soon arose…almost literally!

The photo is examined, approved... given a little panache from the DC team and set for release. I remember everyone being really happy with it and wanting to show it off to people working on the pilot. Which led to one of our producers showing it to Katie Cassidy...She immediately pointed out a glaring problem. The angle of the photo and the placement of my bow made it appear as though I was maybe a little TOO excited about wearing the Arrow suit. She was right. It definitely looked like I had an erection.

Yes, well, it certainly wouldn’t look good if Starling City’s main vigilante looked like he was getting too excited over fighting criminals, would it? In case you’re having trouble remembering the image that Amell is talking about in his Facebook post, you can check it out below.


Despite this setback, adjustments were made (presumably via Photoshop), the image was published and the problem was fixed before it grew any bigger. Poor choice of words?

Luckily for us... changes were made and the photo erupted online (sorry...) with a fantastic approval rating. We were well on our way. And that's the story of why first photos in the costume are important / how we ALMOST became the show about the hooded vigilante with a boner.

It certainly wouldn’t help Oliver Queen’s reputation as a vigilante if criminals, both normal and superpowered, think The Arrow (previously known as The Hood) is enjoying beating them to a pulp a little too much. That being said, I can’t imagine Felicity would have a problem seeing a little extra packaging.

You can catch Arrow (sans boner) Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.