The Canaries’ wings have been clipped.
Nearly a full year after Arrow, with its penultimate episode, aired the backdoor pilot for a spinoff that was to be titled Green Arrow and the Canaries, TVLine has learned that The CW is not moving forward with the offshoot.
The 100‘s prequel spinoff, meanwhile, is said to be still under consideration.
Starring Katherine McNamara, Katie Cassidy and Juliana Harkavy, Arrow‘s planted spinoff pilot on Jan. 21, 2020 drew 890,000 viewers — a season high, excepting that season’s crossover episode — and a 0.3 rating, which turned out to be a tenth above what Arrow‘s series finale itself scored. The 2040-set episode earned an average TVLine reader grade of “B,” with 66 percent saying they would “absolutely” tune in if it got ordered to series.
In that planted pilot, Laurel Lance arrived in the year 2040 to recruit fellow Canary Dinah Drake and new Green Arrow Mia Smoak to fend off a threat to the timeline, one which would bring crime back to the otherwise serene Star City. But secretly, Laurel’s mission also involved keeping Mia from facilitating her city’s ruin, as foretold by future headlines.
Green Arrow and the Canaries would have, among other things, explained how the Dinah of 2020 wound up in the future, seeing as she was last seen speeding off on her motorcycle to fight crime in Metropolis. Arrowverse EP Marc Guggenheim told TVLine that scene from Arrow‘s series finale “does jibe” with what we saw in the spinoff pilot, “given the backstory that we’ve worked out for Dinah that we haven’t revealed to you yet.
“She doesn’t get on that motorcycle and … immediately end up in the future,” he added.
Will any of the questions raised by the planted pilot — or Arrow‘s series finale, which aired the week after — now ever be answered?
To name another mystery raised in Arrow‘s final two episodes: Who kidnapped Mia’s brother William at the end of the spinoff pilot? (And why didn’t Mia seem too concerned about his absence when Sara time-traveled to 2040 to fetch her for Oliver’s funeral?)
“There are burning questions,” Guggenheim affirmed during a Spring 2020 TVLine interview. “Certainly, the backdoor pilot ended with the cliffhanger of William’s abduction. And I do think we owe answers to a lot of those moments and questions.”
If Green Arrow and the Canaries didn’t get ordered to series, Guggenheim said at the time, “My instinct would be to try to answer those questions in the form of, like, a comic book tie-in — which is not to say that it couldn’t be done on the other shows.”
The trick with resolving such mysteries elsewhere in the Arrowverse is that “when you’re dealing with another time period… the only show that could handle that or really deal with those questions is Legends,” he noted. But even that “is a tricky bit of business, since the tonal mashup of Legends and Canaries is so very different.
“I look at these things as ‘quality problems,” Guggenheim concluded. “I love the fact that we now have a universe of shows that allows us to ask ourselves these questions and explore different things and answer questions from different shows, but we also have comic books as an outlet, as well.”
With the Canaries silenced, the Arrowverse moving forward includes The Flash (Season 7 premieres Feb. 23), Supergirl (which will be entering its final season), Legends of Tomorrow (Season 6 premiere date TBA), Black Lightning (its final season premieres Feb. 8, while a Painkiller spinoff is in development), Batwoman (Season 2 premieres Jan. 17) and the freshman offshoot Superman & Lois (premiering Feb. 23).