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What Could Have Been / Arrowverse

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Concept art for The Flash's suit

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  • Justin Hartley, Smallville's Green Arrow, was considered to reprise his role back when the show was still being pitched. The higher-ups then decided that his rendition won't fit the Darker and Edgier tone of the series and amicably parted ways.
  • Blake Lively, Minka Kelly, Hilarie Burton, Katherine Isabelle, Rachael Taylor, Alexandra Breckenridge, Maggie Grace, Brittany Snow, and Shantel VanSanten were considered for the part of Laurel Lance before the casting of Katie Cassidy.
  • Lauren Cohan was the first choice for Helena Bertinelli, but turned down the offer due to scheduling commitments to The Walking Dead. Shelley Hennig was also considered for the part.
  • Before Matt Nable was cast, Liam Neeson said he'd play the show's version of Ra's Al-Ghul "in a heartbeat". Word of God states that after learning this, the network approached Neeson on the off chance he had the time, but they were unable to reconcile their schedules.
  • The character who was going to buy out Queen Consolidated was originally going to be Ted Kord, a character whose existence was already implied through the appearance of Kord Industries. However, DC enacted an embargo on him due to "other plans", so the creators instead went with Ray Palmer. This means that the A.T.O.M. suit functions more like the Blue Beetle or Iron Man suits than it does its comic counterpart. This received an amusing Development Gag the following season, when the team needs to steal a piece of tech from Kord’s company to bring Ray back to normal size.
  • There were plans to use Harley Quinn past her initial unnamed cameo, but WB/DC put the kibosh on this after the Suicide Squad (2016) movie was greenlit. Presumably this was due to the same reason shows like Smallville and Justice League Unlimited were barred from using certain characters who were being highlighted in movies at the time. Willa Holland later commented on this, confirming that had Harley been allowed, she would have played a significant role in Season 4.
  • Mr. Blank was originally supposed to be the DC Comics villain Onomatopoeia. However, as Onomatopoeia only speaks in, well, onomatopoeia, they couldn't make it work without him coming across as mentally disabled (since sound effects sound far different in real life compared to comic books).
  • Roy was going to return for a guest appearance in season five, but other commitments prevented Colton Haynes to return, so his appearance in season five ended up being Stock Footage of him for the Crisis Crossover "Invasion!". He eventually returned as a series regular for Season 7.
  • Malcolm was originally considered to be Oliver's actual father. The showrunners ultimately decided against it since it's too "Darth Vader and Luke" so they gave the Story Arc to Thea instead. Still, this was given a Discontinuity Nod in the Season 3 finale when Malcolm tells Oliver that he always viewed him "as a son".
  • The twentieth episode of Season Two was originally going to be a Back Door Pilot for a potential spin-off focusing on The Flash. Based on both the strength of Grant Gustin's portrayal of Barry Allen in "The Scientist" and "Three Ghosts" and the fact that using the twentieth episode as a Back Door Pilot would interrupt the show's momentum as it built up to the season finale, the decision was made to make it a standalone pilot.
  • In early drafts of Season Two, Sara was originally going to take the role of Ravager, but eventually ended up as the Canary. Instead, the role of Ravager was given to Isabel Rochev.
  • Season 3 Episode 5 is supposed to be titled "Oracle", but Batgirl was also Exiled from Continuity, hence why it's titled "The Secret Origins of Felicity Smoak" instead.
  • A.R.G.U.S. and the Suicide Squad were originally planned to be a major part of Season 3 but was scrapped by Executive Meddling.
  • Vigilante's identity was suppose to be revealed in Season 5, but due to time constraints and the production team unable to get the actor they wanted at the time, the Vigilante subplot was pushed to Season 6.
  • The second half of Season 6 had to be heavily rewritten after they couldn't get Michael Emerson to commit to a full season, turning his intended Big Bad into a patsy for one of his supposed henchmen.

    The Flash 
  • Matt Barr, James Mackay, Mike Kalinowski, and David A Gregory screen-tested for the role of Barry Allen before Grant Gustin was cast.
  • Keiynan Lonsdale originally auditioned to play Jefferson Jackson for Legends of Tomorrow before the showrunners decided to cast him as Wally West instead.
  • Linda Park's initial appearance was intended to just be an Easter Egg for the fans, before the writers decided to bring her back in a recurring role.
  • Mirror Master and Dr. Alchemy were supposed to show up in Season Two, but for one reason or another never did. They do however show up in Season Three.
  • In the original script for the Pilot, Albert Desmond (one version of Doctor Alchemy in the comics) was featured in a flashback as a kid that Barry was protecting from bullies. This was cut from the aired version of the Pilot, but a version of Desmond did eventually appear in the form of Julian Albert.
  • The twentieth episode of Arrow's second season was originally going to be a Back Door Pilot for a potential spin-off focusing on The Flash. Based on both the strength of Grant Gustin's portrayal of Barry Allen in "The Scientist" and "Three Ghosts" and the fact that using the twentieth episode as a Back Door Pilot would interrupt the show's momentum as it built up to the season finale, the decision was made to make it a standalone pilot.
  • An early draft of the pilot revealed that Hartley Rathaway was initially going to still be part of S.T.A.R. Labs when Barry woke up and (presumably) a main character and member of Team Flash — he would also have been the one to design the suit, with the "design for firefighters" aspect due to having dated a fireman in the past. Presumably, this was removed in order to give Cisco a more substantial role in the plot as well as to get a chance to portray Hartley as the Pied Piper without invoking a Face–Heel Turn.
    • The same pilot also originally featured Kyle Nimbus/The Mist as the villain instead of Clyde Mardon, and he (not Ronnie Raymond) would have been the boyfriend/fiance of Caitlin Snow. For her part, Caitlin was originally envisioned as an older scientist (compared to the trio of Barry/Cisco/Hartley) and may have been intended to have a romantic arc with "Harrison Wells"; if true, this probably makes her Season Two romantic arc a case of Recycled Script.
  • Early on in the series, Hartley Sawyer revealed that the writers originally wanted to pair Ralph and Caitlin, pointing out that "Caitlin gets with the new white guy on the show every year", but Danielle Panabaker fought against it.
  • The writers considered using other romances to stall the fated Barry/Iris one - with a Barry/Caitlin romance being floated - but Grant Gustin insisted that Barry/Iris should happen sooner rather than later. This explains why Season 1 had so many scenes suggesting a possible romantic attraction between Barry and Caitlin, and why it ended after Season 2.

  • Claire Holt was the runner-up for the role of Kara Danvers before Melissa Benoist was cast.
  • David Harewood was originally supposed to portray Hank Henshaw as an eventual villain. But while filming the pilot, the producers noted that he could have played the Martian Manhunter, and Geoff Johns convinced the rest to rewrite their plans for his character. In the second season, he gets to play both.
  • Greg Berlanti actually wanted to have Laura Vandervoort much earlier but she couldn't because of her commitment to Bitten (she plays The Hero there). After shooting that series' Grand Finale, she was finally able to appear.
  • Brent Spiner was originally cast as President Baker in Season 4 but had a scheduling conflict, and was replaced with Bruce Boxleitner, incidentally creating a quite fun irony with his role in Babylon 5.
  • A two-fer with the move to Canada for filming. If they hadn't moved, then Cat Grant would have probably stayed on through season 2 (Calista Flockhart nigh-exclusively shooting in LA), but they probably wouldn't have got Katie McGrath as Lena Luthor (as an Irish citizen, it would be a lot harder to be able to work in the US for a long-term project with an unknown end date like a TV show is.)

    Legends of Tomorrow 
  • The original idea for the third Arrowverse show was to simply give The Atom his own series. But The CW execs got cold feet after his lukewarm reception during Season 3 of Arrow, so it was heavily retooled to be about an entire team.
  • The team was going to be named the Justice Society, but Geoff Johns nixed it so the real JSA could be saved for any future appearances.
  • The creators originally wanted to have Robbie Amell reprise his role from The Flash as Firestorm, but Amell couldn't commit. They ended up killing the character off on The Flash so they could have a new Firestorm to use in Legends of Tomorrow.
  • Likewise, the creators wanted Megalyn Echikunwoke to reprise her role as Vixen from Arrow and her animated series, but this was scrapped because of scheduling issues. The new Vixen in Season 2 was created as a replacement.
    • It was announced that Megalyn was supposed to reprise her role as Mari in Season 3 and meet Amaya, but for some reason that never happened.
  • The show originally planned on tackling Ra's Al-Ghul and Damien Darhk's friendship and fallout but was scrapped for unknown reasons.
  • Other names for Legends Of To-Meow-Meow
  • The plan for season 4 was that Nate's father, Hank Heywood, would be the season's Big Bad. The team would discover Hank was running a secret government plot that would use magical creatures as super-soldiers. This would involve Nate, desperate to finally get his father's approval, make a Face–Heel Turn on the team. However, the showrunners loved Thomas F. Wilson's performance as Hank so much (as well as the great way Hank and Nate bonded) that they couldn't go through with making him the bad guy. Instead, they reworked the plans for Hank being an unknown puppet for demon Neron.


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