Why Stephen Amell Left Arrow: “I Think It’s Time to Wrap Up”
The CW is no stranger to series that have a long television shelf life. My personal favorite, Smallville, lasted ten seasons; the Supernatural finale only recently ended after 15 years, and The Flash will have eight seasons (with potential for a ninth season in the works). Arrow, which followed everyone’s favorite gruff moody Green Arrow, ended after eight seasons, which was disappointing for many fans, but also a relief for Arrow actor, Stephen Amell. He recently went on Deadline’s podcast, Hero Nation, and talked about his decisions as he was coming up on the last seasons of Arrow and some of the major reasons why he decided to hang up his bow and arrows for good. Read on to learn why Stephen Amell left Arrow.
Stephen Amell Felt Like Arrow’s Story Had Run Its Course
Image via CW
Amell told Hero Nation that things started to feel off around the middle of Season 6. He called Greg Berlanti (one of the creators, writers, and producers for the show) and told him, “I think it’s time to wrap up.” Berlanti, of course, was not happy, but he eventually told Amell that it would be fiscally irresponsible to not do a seventh season and after they finished that, they could then do a truncated eighth season. Both parties agreed to this, and Amell explained:
“When I started Arrow, if you are thinking of things like a pie chart, it was 90% about the creativity, and it was 10% about being able to eventually buy a house and pay a mortgage. By the time we got to Season 6 and Season 7, I felt as if the pie chart had almost completely reversed itself where it was 90% about the financial incentive and 10% about the creativity.”
He wanted to feel inspired again, which is why he branched out and did Starz Heels. It’s about a small-town wrestling family, something that holds personal interest for Amell, who is a wrestling fan and had made guest appearances on World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) shows.
Stunted Growth In Terms Of Character And Personally
Image via CW
Amell also talked about how the growth of Green Arrow started to stagnate. He explained how there’s a certain formula that many CW superhero shows follow and while it brought viewers in, it also got old and he felt pigeonholed in a certain kind of character.
“We had done everything. There was not a lot to be done with the character of Oliver Queen. I don’t hold it against anyone who worked on the show. I would see other peers of mine, who were not necessarily doing things as difficult, yet they were receiving accolades within the industry and I’d be lying straight to your face if I said that that wasn’t important to me.”
He also touched on the fact that he developed a wonderful relationship with the Arrow cast after eight years, but he felt like he couldn’t really be himself until he had a chance to make a good first impression again. This could be common thinking for many of the actors and actresses that are part of a CW series (e.g. Tom Cavanagh and Carlos Valdes leaving The Flash), but ultimately it’s really a personal decision as Amell explained.
Filming Scheduling Was Cutting Into Family Time
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The last reason Amell talked about was how hard it was to juggle a hectic filming schedule and spending time with his family (he has a young daughter). Each season of Arrow has 23 episodes (except for Season 8), so he was constantly flying between Vancouver (where Arrow was filmed) and Los Angeles (where his family was). In real Oliver Queen style, he even said that he looked into buying a plane so visiting his family would be easier. He said that now his daughter is at a great school in Los Angeles and now it’s much easier to travel between California and Atlanta (where Heels is filmed). While he’s thankful for his time on Arrow, he’s also hopeful to where some of his new projects are going.
You can currently catch Stephen Amell in Heels on Starz starting August 15, 2021 and Code 8 on Netflix. If you’re feeling nostalgic, all eight seasons of Arrow are also on Netflix.
Did you agree with these reasons why Stephen Amell left Arrow? Do you think the show could have gone on without him? Let us know in the comments below!
Image via The CW
Keilin Huang is a freelance writer that likes the Oxford comma, reading from her neverending pile of books from the library, and Reeses peanut butter cups. She thanks her Dad for introducing her to his Superman comics and probably majored in Journalism because of Lois Lane.