Stephen Amell has said he previously considered playing Oliver again and bringing Arrow back for season 9. If it did happen, here's how it could work.
If Arrow season 9 did somehow happen, what would the show be like, and how would Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen be brought back to the land of the living? After several years of saving Star City and fighting alongside other heroes to protect the world, Oliver lost his life in the 2019-2020 Arrowverse crossover event, “Crisis on Infinite Earths”. After perishing in an attempt to save the people of Supergirl’s world, Oliver returned as the Spectre and died again in a dramatic showdown with the Anti-Monitor (LaMonica Garrett).
The Arrow series finale concluded with Oliver going into the afterlife to be with Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), thus ending Oliver’s Arrowverse story for good. Though the character is seemingly gone from the Arrowverse forever, his legacy lives on, as characters like Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) continue to remember the impact he had on their lives. While the Arrowverse has moved on from Arrow, Stephen Amell has recently restarted discussions and speculations about the possibility of the character returning in some capacity.
According to Amell, the coronavirus pandemic left the actor in a situation where he was “desperate” for work. It reached a point where he seriously considered coming back to play Oliver in Arrow season 9, even though he has previously pushed back on ever returning to the Arrowverse (even for a guest appearance). Apparently, Amell called Arrowverse producer Greg Berlanti and asked him if they could figure out a way to bring back Oliver Queen from the dead in case he continues to go out of work. Of course, this idea of resurrecting Oliver for a ninth season is unlikely to ever come to fruition, but it has led to a lot of talk about how it would work. Here’s what Arrow season 9 could be about if something like this did happen in the Arrowverse’s future.
Oliver Queen Returns Through Time Travel
The Arrowverse is a world full of ways to bring back nearly any character at any time. One of the most obvious ways is time travel. It could be that a character who possesses the capability to go back in time determines that the only person who can save Star City from its latest problem is Oliver Queen himself. Oliver could be plucked from a previous point in his timeline and brought to the present, where he would have to cope with his death in the Crisis. Oliver would have to struggle with knowing that he’ll die an early death. If Arrow were to use a version of Oliver Queen who isn’t ready to be that kind of hero, it could create an interesting dilemma for the character and the people around him.
The show wouldn’t be able to move Oliver forward since it would be working with a past version, but it could advance the stories of the other Arrowverse characters, such as Rene (Rick Gonzalez), Dinah (Juliana Harkavy), Earth-2 Laurel (Katie Cassidy), and more. Also, there’s the matter of Diggle (David Ramsey), who was left in a position to become the John Stewart version of Green Lantern in the Arrow series finale. Plus, the show would be able to find new things to do with the characters that were resurrected by the Crisis, including Moira (Susanna Thompson), Tommy (Colin Donnell), Captain Lance (Paul Blackthorne), and Emikio (Sea Shimooka). Arrow’s final episode explored some of the events that were changed, but didn’t have time to go as far it could. With time travel on the table, more changes and consequences could be revealed as other key events in Arrow’s history are incorporated.
Arrow Moves Oliver Queen To 2040
Another way to use time travel is to combine Arrow season 9 with its Green Arrow and the Canaries concept. If the show doesn’t get picked up at The CW, the idea behind the show could be recycled into Arrow season 9, with Oliver Queen time-traveling to 2040, where he could form an alliance with his daughter, Mia (Katherine McNamara). This would allow the show to give Oliver a completely different supporting cast and direction. It could be fun to see what Oliver would think of a future version of Star City.
Oliver Queen Returns To Fix A Mistake
It could be that Oliver Queen will be resurrected to deal with something that went wrong when he rebooted the multiverse. It’s possible that in bringing the world back, a mistake was made that could result in future disasters. Oliver could be temporarily restored in order to avert such a problem. This would provide more scenes between his character and Team Arrow, but having the original Oliver back would run the risk of ruining Arrow’s ending. This is a path the Arrowverse could theoretically take, but it doesn’t feel like the best option for making Oliver’s return work in season 9.
Oliver Queen Returns As The Spectre
Arrow ended the story of the Green Arrow, and there’s an argument to be made that even if Amell wants to be Oliver Queen again, the Arrowverse shouldn’t revisit the Emerald Archer. Perhaps the best way to use him again is to focus on the big change that the character went through in “Crisis on Infinite Earths”. For a brief time, viewers got to see a new side of Oliver with him serving as the Arrowverse’s take on Spectre, a mystical superhero and one of the most powerful characters in DC Comics. If Oliver does come back, it could be as the Spectre and not as the Green Arrow. After all, Marc Guggenheim said when he was still overseeing the Arrowverse that “the whole point” of making him the Spectre was to create new storytelling opportunities because “who knows what's going to happen in the future” [via DigitalSpy].
This certainly leaves the impression that the writers already have a plan set up in the event that Amell does indeed return to the Arrowverse. All things considered, Oliver coming back as the Spectre does feel like the most likely scenario. If that’s the plan Arrow decided to choose for its season 9 story, it could involve the other characters trying to understand why Oliver is back, what his new purpose is in the Arrowverse, and who he is now. Oliver being the Spectre could also change the entire feel of the show, as powerful villains would be needed in order for him to be sufficiently challenged. This would also add a new, mysterious element to his Arrowverse character that would be fascinating to explore in Arrow season 9.