Based on the DC Comics character, The Green Arrow was created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp, first appearing in More Fun Comics #73 in 1941.
The character bears a relationship to Edgar Wallace’s masked character from the novel The Green Archer. Possibly inspired by the 1940 Columbia movie serial of the same name, which presented the lethal bowman of Bellamy Castle in a more heroic light, Weisinger recast the Green Arrow as a fairly obvious Batman retread, giving him a young red-clad Robin analog named Speedy, an Arrow-Car, and an Arrow Cave headquarters.
The Green Arrow is Oliver Queen, millionaire playboy turned masked vigilante in Star City, an altogether brighter place than Gotham. In the Warner Brothers pilot he’s been upgraded to a “billionaire industrialist-turned-outspoken politician”. (In keeping with modern characterizations.)
For most of his comic book career, the character was an also-ran, not making it into the Justice Society in the Golden Age, appearing instead in the Seven Soldiers of Victory (The Law’s Legionnaires) among other secondary heroes.
However, he became one of the few DC characters to survive the post-WWII die-off of super heroes, possibly because Mort Weisinger had become a managing editor of DC, and he kept the Arrow and his other creation for More Fun #73, Aquaman going as back-up features in Adventure Comics and Superboy.
In the 60’s Silver Age he would join the Justice Society, and in the 1970’s he would shed his bland, copy-cat image by changing his Robin Hood-esque costume and becoming a harder-edged, left-leaning hot-head, often at odds with his more conservative colleagues, particularly his friend Green Lantern (Hal Jordan).
On the long-running WB-CW network SMALLVILLE series, Justin Hartley took on the role (again as a Batman substitute) and became a regular cast member and fan favorite.
Rather than capitalize on this history, apparently the decision has made to intentionally separate this pilot from the previous show, and thus presumably several years of potentially confining continuity problems and audience expectations.
The pilot will be directed by David Nutter, and will be written/executive produced by Andrew Kreisberg, with Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim (GREEN LANTERN).
Though it seems somewhat surprising to entrust the writing to a team that did not garner fan or critic favor with their previous superhero work, a non-super-powered hero show has some real potential on the budget-restricted network.