Katie Cassidy and Stephen Amell

SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 12: Actors Stephen Amell (R) and Katie Cassidy attend DC Entertainment hosts “Darkness & Light” party at San Diego Comic-Con International benefiting We Can Be Heroes held at Michael J. Wolf Fine Arts Gallery on July 12, 2012 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for DC Entertainment)

Green Arrow will sling a quiver on his back (full of arrows of course) this October on the CW, and producers have shaken things up by differentiating the new show from Smallville — starting with casting. Smallville fans may scratch their heads at the new face behind the hood. In Smallville, the popular series about young Clark Kent, the green-clad vigilante was played by Justin Hartley. In Arrow, Stephen Amell will play the mysterious archer.

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Why the recasting? Arrow has never intended to be a spin-off of Smallville. The producers, however, finally weigh in and clear up the switcheroo.

From EW:

Executive producer Marc Guggenheim: “We certainly wanted to chart our own course and destiny,” he told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour Monday. “Justin is a terrific Arrow.”

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I can fully rally behind the producers’ decision to recast Smallville’s Oliver Queen. Like Guggenheim said, Justin Hartley nailed Arrow…on Smallville. But since the show veers in a totally different direction (and this can be attested by the dark, action-packed pilot that will premiere in October), they needed a whole new Oliver Queen.

A double bonus: Justin Hartley is not leaving the CW just yet. He’s traded his itchy green hood for a pair of scrubs! He stars in the new medical series, Emily Owens, M.D. which will air right after Hart of Dixie on Monday nights.

Happy with the casting change? After watching the pilot, Smallville junkies just may become Team Amell fans. I expect T-shirts and posters. In fact, I just may make them myself.

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– Becca Ritchie