Long before Oliver Queen kicked off the DC television craze with Arrow, the character was set to star in a feature film titled Green Arrow: Escape From Super Max. The script, written by David S. Goyer and Justin Marks, saw the Emerald Archer being wrongfully imprisoned for murder in Super Max, a supervillain prison. The movie would have seen Queen in his attempts to escape, and cameos for Joker, Lex Luthor and Riddler were planned.
Unfortunately, this project was later shelved, and it is unknown if Green Arrow has any role in the forthcoming DC Extended Universe. However, in a new interview with Den of Geek, David Goyer has reflected on the script and how it was ahead of its time.
Warner Bros. will release a Suicide Squad movie next year, while Sony Pictures was developing a Sinister Six film which was also shelved. This signals the rise of supervillain-centric comic book movies, a concept which Escape From Super Max would have introduced. Goyer states, “I think if that script had come over the transom a couple of years later… It was completely ahead of its time.”
The screenwriter elaborates, saying, “By the way, everything I see about Suicide Squad looks fantastic and it’s a different story. But it was absolutely ahead of its time. You know, Marvel was considering doing the Sinister Six and at the time, God, I think this was eight or nine years ago that we wrote a couple of drafts, but it certainly was like this oddball project at Warner Bros at the time, they were like – even though the script was good – ‘why would we make a movie about a bunch of villains? That makes no sense.’”
Goyer ultimately blames the studio executives’ lack of desire to branch out from Superman and Batman films for this project not getting the greenlight. “The executive on it was really visionary, but the higher-ups, none of whom are at Warner Bros any more, just thought at the time, you know, we just want to make Batman and Superman movies. We don’t want to make any other characters. But this is before Marvel had really taken off, before more obscure projects like Guardians Of The Galaxy or Ant-Man or things like that had huge success, before the current gold rush I guess, if you will. It’s natural that eventually someone was going to make a villain movie, so that’s just what happened!”
Obviously, a lot has changed in WB’s priorities since. Not only are we getting Suicide Squad and Justice League soon, but we’re also getting movies for Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman and even Cyborg. This is a huge sign of confidence from the studio in its DC properties, especially after the failure of 2011’s Green Lantern. And who knows, maybe a Green Arrow movie will one day make it to the big screen.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, Goyer confirms in this interview that he is “definitely” not directing any of the upcoming DCEU films. He wrote the script for Man of Steel and the original draft for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but since then, he apparently hasn’t been involved in any DCEU movies. Interesting.
Would you like to see Green Arrow: Escape From Super Max revived someday?