TheWorlds of DChas experienced an upturn in fortunes sinceBatman v Supermanwas critically mauled andJustice Leagueflopped.
A change in focus to DC movies that barely mentioned other worlds had huge success, withWonder Womanand)Aquamanputting the franchise back on track, leading Warner Bros to state they wereless focused on a shared universe.
But what would have happened if it wasn’t Superman who launched the DC universe, but Green Arrow?
Back in 2008,Bladewriter David S Goyer was developing a Green Arrow movie with Justin Marks calledGreen Arrow: Escape from Super Max.
The idea was to set up an interconnected DC universe, with Oliver Queen imprisoned on trumped-up charges and forced to rely on supervillains to escape. This turns out to be pretty tricky, especially since he got some of them locked up.
“What we wanted to do … is to be able to [put Queen] in the center of a much bigger universe … In the same way that Marvel is starting to do, when you’re in the DC Universe this world and this world and this world – they all exist in an interrelated web, “Marks toldMTVin 2008.
This meant that there were cameos planned for the likes of Lex Luthor, Riddler and the Joker, with other lesson-known characters from comics likeGreen Lantern,Justice LeagueandSuicide Squadwho had key roles.
Goyer was particularly excited by the Tattoo Man (fromGreen Lantern)who could manipulate the tattoos on his body to attack people or even steal objects needed for a jail break.
We’d have even seen Amanda Waller as the warden of the prison long beforeSuicide Squadwas even an idea.
At this point, Warner Bros was considering doing something different with DC movies and liked the large, varied cast, according to Goyer.
“I know Warner Brothers is having a big rethink about how they approach all their DC films … and this is a script they like a lot because there are all sorts of characters in this prison … We’re fairly hopeful they’ll want to move forward in the next year or so. “
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In terms of the plot, the main villain was Marcus Cross, a character created for the movie who hires an assassin to kill a government official and frame Oliver Queen, who is then revealed to be the Green Arrow .
As potentially the greatest archer in the world, he is locked up in the Super Max, a prison for supervillains that actually keeps their powers and skills in check. It also keeps them disoriented with its moving walls and cells that change position every night.
He’s left with no choice but to try toescape with some of the prisoners including The Tattoo Man, Gemini, Shift and Icicle. In the final act, Queen is almost shot dead but is saved in the last few seconds by Waller when she finds out that he’s been framed.
Sadly, it turns out that as much as execs at Warner Bros were considering different approaches for a new DC universe, they ended up being wary of focusing on anything that wasn’t Batman or Superman, according to Goyer.
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“The executive on it was really visionary, but the higher-ups, none of whom are at Warner Bros any more , just thought at the time, you know, we just want to make Batman and Superman movies. We don’t want to make any other characters, “he toldDen of Geek.
“But this is before Marvel had really taken off, before more obscure projects likeGuardians Of The GalaxyorAnt-Manor things like that had huge success, before the current gold rush I guess, if you will. “
It seems that Goyer and Marks were just ahead of their time, but at least the DC universe would eventually sort of revisit the storyline inArrow, where Oliver Queen had to escape jail.
If the Green Arrow movie had happened though, launching a different DC universe in the process, it might have kickstarted a morally complex world where the boundaries between good and evil were more blurred.
Well, it certainly couldn’t have gone worse than Warner Bros’ first attempt.
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