Stephen Amell is making the move from the CW to a premium cable network. The Arrow star is set to lead an hour-long drama from Starz titled Heels. Thanks to the DC superhero climbing aboard, Starz gave the eight-episode series a greenlight.
Heels takes a look at the independent world of small town wrestling and the men and women who strive to be a part of it. Stephen Amell plays Jack Spade, a "charismatic villain, or heel, of the Duffy Wrestling Association (DWA)" in a small community in Georgia. In the ring, Spade is his brother's nemesis.
"In the real world, those characters can be hard to live up to - or hard to leave behind."
Because in real life, Spade and his brother are vying for their late father's legacy in the family-owned wresting promotion. Spade is determined to make the DWA into an empire no matter what it takes. He's a "hard-working owner, a husband and father trying to make ends meet while fighting to realize his impossible dreams." Amell will be tapping into his tough-guy persona to play the wrestler.
"[Jack Spade] has the mind of an artist in the body of a warrior, and a Steve Jobs-ian need for perfection - and for control."
The role of Jack Spade doesn't seem too different from Amell's titular role on the CW's Arrow. The internal moral conflict and narrow-sighted determination is bound to call for more Oliver Queen-esque intense monologues in the new series. His soon to be eight-season stint as The Green Arrow has likely prepared him for the family drama, but maybe not as much as his actual experience in the wrestling realm.
A long-time fan of professional wrestling, Amell has thrown his name, and body, into the ring more than once. The actor has made several guest appearances at WWE Wrestling events including a running storyline between him and Stardust. Amell took to twitter only moments after the official announcement to express his excitement about combining his television acting career and his love of wrestling.
The series is written by Michael Waldron (Loki), with Mike O'Malley set as showrunner. O'Malley is building on an old partnership with Starz for the upcoming series. He previously served as creator and executive producer on Survivor's Remorse, a series that lasted for four seasons. Julie Yorn, Chris Donnelly and Patrick Walmsley will also serve as executive producers.
Amell can be seen next in the upcoming eighth and final season of Arrow. With only ten episodes remaining, the trend-setting series is highly anticipated. With an episode of a five-show crossover built in, season 8 promises big things.
The "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event has been on the hunt for guest stars lately, scooping up Kevin Conroy, Burt Ward and Cress Williams. The culminating storyline will incorporate Warner Bros., CW's Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman and Supergirl. The story is expected to have major consequences for Amell's Oliver Queen, while the other series will continue on after Amell leaves the network.
Heels is produced by Lionsgate TV in association with Paramount TV. No word yet on when we can expect to see Amell shed his green hood for a wrestling get-up. This news comes first from Deadline.