Before there was Stephen Amell on Arrow, there was Justin Hartley on Smallville, with the actor playing the first live-action version of Oliver Queen on the Superman prequel show for its last five seasons. Of course, many Smallville stars have appeared across the Arrowverse already, but one who’s yet to return is the original Green Arrow himself. But it’s not for lack of trying.
In a great interview on the Fake Nerd Guys Podcast, Arrow EP Marc Guggenheim revealed that he tried to get Hartley to drop by for an Arrow cameo for a long time, but what with the actor’s busy schedule, things never worked out. “I’ll tell you, Justin is someone I’ve been trying to get on Arrow for years,” the former showrunner admitted.
Though getting Hartley to suit up in his green pleather costume again never worked out, the outfit itself did appear in the Arrowverse. That “Elseworlds” teaser scene which also brought back John Wesley Shipp’s Earth-90 Flash featured what looked to be the corpse of the Smallville Green Arrow in the background, as one of many superheroes killed by the Monitor.
Guggenheim went on to explain that this costume cameo wasn’t any easier to pull off than Hartley himself, as it came with a couple of stipulations.
“I did send down the request, ‘Could we borrow the costume from archives?’ They said yes, but they said yes with a lot of caveats, not the least of which is, ‘No one can wear it’ and ‘You can’t get it dirty.’ So we put it on a dummy, so thereby we satisfied that loophole, and as far as not getting it dirty, hopefully whoever at archives provided it to us never actually saw that episode.”
Last year, Hartley himself addressed the possibility of returning as Oliver for “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” Clearly though, that didn’t work out, which is a bummer as it would’ve been the perfect time to get him back on board. Still, though Arrow‘s now over, the Arrowverse isn’t going anywhere, so there’s always the chance he could show up in one of the many series, even as a new character. Or hey, maybe as his version of Aquaman from that failed 2007 pilot?