Pepsi and Coke. McDonald’s and Burger King. Star Wars and Star Trek. Competition is healthy in many mediums, but none are as clear-cut as the divide between DC and Marvel fans. For many years, the two companies have stood for all things superhero, and they have provided two alternative takes on the genre, which in turn has produced some of the most popular superheroes in history. For obvious reasons, the two will never merge in a dreamlike, ultimate smackdown (other than the occasional marketing ploy, as in the late 90s Amalgamated Comics line), and that means the actors representing their cinematic universes will follow suit. Or does it?
In a rivalry that started on the comic pages many moons ago, and has since expanded to television and movies, DC and Marvel have been vying for the top spot in the superhero genre for decades. The news is rarely bereft of superhero casting calls or rumors, and one major actor from DC has stated that he wouldn’t say no to the perfect Marvel opportunity. That person? Arrow‘s Stephen Amell.
Amell was hosting a brief Q & A on his Facebook page, a regular norm for the friendly, social media savvy actor, and he was asked if he would ever do the unthinkable and step over the threshold to Marvel. Currently in his fourth season as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow in DC’s popular TV series, the actor has made his name on the show, as well as making superhero TV series’ cool again. He had the following to say.
“Sure, why not? I’m up for roles — movie roles — although I’ve never really read Marvel Comics and I was always a DC guy even before I was a DC guy. But it’s not like if I got offered an awesome Marvel superhero, I’d be like ‘No, I can’t.’”
The answer is clear cut, but there may be a few underlying factors here. One, if an actor has an opportunity to star in a Marvel movie, it’s a massive commitment for them, one that will make them a superstar overnight. To deny themselves this opportunity, or any opportunity on a Q & A, is tantamount to career suicide. Two, and probably the most important, Amell’s incarnation of the Green Arrow is limited purely to the small screen. Whether or not he can take his version to the big screen is up for debate — he has made the character his own, and certainly has the charisma to blend with the DC big boys or girls — but after seeing his The Flash co-star Grant Gustin recast with a different actor in the upcoming cinematic movie of The Flash, a scoop revealed by Cinema Blend, it seems the same could occur for the silver screen version of Oliver Queen. Nothing has been confirmed, but DC seems to have a plan in mind, and it would be naive to think they don’t have someone lined up for the incoming Justice League movies, which should feature the Green Arrow in some capacity.
The third factor is confusion. Sure, Ryan Reynolds made his bow as the Green Lantern, and the film was met with mixed reviews. He also starred as Deadpool in a bit part during Wolverine: Origins before nabbing the lead role in Deadpool itself. Same for Chris Evans, who has played Captain America and Johnny Storm in two different franchises, albeit both under the Marvel banner. Reynolds does have the benefit of being a rare case: Someone who was cast in both a DC and Marvel role, proof that it can be done. However, for Amell to make the jump off his success — remember, most people forget Reynolds was even in Green Lantern — would be a trifle confusing since his role is so significant. Arrow is one of the leading DC shows on the television at the moment, and some could argue it was responsible for the wave of DC TV shows that followed. Casting him in a Marvel project would simply be weird for the fans who have accepted him as a DC hero.
That’s not to say he couldn’t do it, though. Amell is currently set to feature in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, where he plays vigilante Casey Jones, a popular character in the mythos. The trailer was released last week and racked up millions of views within days. With Stephen Amell stepping out in Hollywood, and expanding his horizons, it might only be a matter of time before someone comes knocking on his door. If the right Marvel project comes along, who knows? Regardless, expect the world wide web to start casting Amell in a dream role of their choosing within days.
Arrow is currently airing on the CW.
[Image via The CW]