Arrow had no intention to mention Bruce Wayne before Oliver Queen aka Stephen Amell recommended it. During a visit of the media to the show’s set in Vancouver, Amell explained how he managed to let Warner Bros. allow him to use the real name of Batman and what it implies for the Arrowverse overall.
“The original version of that script, which came out right before Comic-Con, it was just Oliver referencing a famous name,” he shared. “I can’t remember what the placeholder was. I think it might have been Justin Bieber. I looked at it, and I thought to myself, ‘This is a cool opportunity.’ I talked with Greg Berlanti about it, and Greg said, ‘You know, I think that it would behoove you to just go directly to Geoff Johns and just simply ask. You’ll probably have better luck than I would.’”
“So I was at the DC Comics party at Comic-Con. Geoff and I were supposed to meet and chat quickly,” he went on. “I couldn’t track him down, and the next thing that I knew, I ended up in a four-way conversation with Peter Roth, Diane Nelson and Kevin Tsujihara, all at the same time. I was like, ‘Guys; I have an idea! It will cost you nothing. I think it’d be really fun. It opens the door to a lot of possibilities.’”
“I’ve always thought that our iteration of Oliver Queen and the way that we built this character, obviously, has so many similarities to Bruce Wayne and Batman, and so much of the inspiration for the early parts of our show was taken from the Nolan Batmans. I’ve always thought that Bruce Wayne would be an interesting ally on the show and an even more interesting villain — to Oliver, which doesn’t mean that he’s the villain. It just means that they don’t like each other,” he added.
“So anyway, I have this holy trinity of DC and Warner Bros. Television and Warner Bros. overall in front of me, and I pitched this idea. I’ve got all my follow-up points, and Kevin Tsujihara just goes, ‘Yeah, sure.’ I said, ‘Really?’ He said, ‘Yeah, that sounds fun. Do that.’ So we did it. I didn’t actually believe that it would make it until I actually saw it in the locked cut. But that’d be fun. That’d be really fun,” he summed up.
The Arrow stars Stephen Amell as the ace archer, and it airs Thursdays at 9 pm ET/PT on The CW. The other members of the cast are Emily Bett Rickards, David Ramsey, Willa Holland and others.