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Code Eight Stars Stephen Amell and Robbie Amell Explain the Sequel

Transforming from just a 30-minute short film that was originally funded by an Indiegogo campaign into a widely successful Netflix film, the futuristic 2019 action movie Code Eight quickly made its way into the top 10 titles on the platform. Action pros Stephen Amell and Robbie Amell (with Arrow, Flash, The Babysitter, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows proving their fighting mettle) not only starred in this movie about super powered individuals but also have a more hands-on approach as producers of the movie.

It’s four years later and the celebrity cousins seem to have once again stepped into the roles of anti-hero Connor Reed and warmhearted Garrett Kelton. With the announcement and release of the sequel being a welcoming surprise to fans of the original, Code Eight: Part II is expanding into the futuristic world of the original in numerous ways. With Robbie’s character now protecting a young girl whose brother was mercilessly killed by corrupt police officers, he enlists the help of Stephen Amell’s Garrett to help unravel this violent mess.

There are not only new locations, characters, and powers this time around, but the robotic Guardians that were a lethal staple of the first film are now accompanied by an even faster and seemingly smarter technological weapon — the robotic K9’s. MovieWeb sat down with the Amell cousins in order to find out what went into this movie on and off the set.

How Robbie Amell Created His Character

Code 8: Part II

Release Date
February 28, 2024

Jeff Chan

100 min

Main Genre

Netflix, XYZ Films, Collective Pictures

Logistically speaking, the first Code Eight was going to take some time in introducing audiences to the powers that Garrett and Connor wielded (the former having telekinesis and the latter being able to produce electricity). At the same time, the story highlighted a desperate Garrett doing whatever it took to aid his dying mother (which meant stepping into the wrong side of the law). Part Two takes this intimate detail of helping those who are suffering and brings it into a more public space.

While the former star of Arrow declared that this entry will definitely open up new branches of Lincoln City that we haven’t seen before, Robbie Amell went on to say how the sequel to Code Eight will hopefully become that much more relatable: “In our world, these people with abilities are marginalized and feared. We always wanted to make it feel like, what would people do if people really had powers?”, he explained, adding:

Our film kind of lives in a gray area — not really right or wrong or black or white. Life is all about perspective, and it changes as you learn different things, so I feel like the characters are going through the same thing.

Speaking about these connections, the younger Amell actor said that real life tethers made all the difference when filming. Stephen explained:

I was looking at audition tapes and Kari Matchett just reminded me so much of my mom in real life. She just had the same spirit about her. My mom worked really hard to give us every opportunity she could, so the idea of doing anything I could to save [her] came very easy to me.

He pivoted to how he and the rest of the crew on Code Eight: Part II found Sirena Gulamgaus (the young actress who plays Pav). “The second movie, we had a bit of a countrywide search around Canada, and Sirena was just fantastic. She blew everybody away with how grounded and real she came across. My job became so much easier when we found that person who you [instinctively] want to help. That was a big part for me.”

Superpowers in a Heavily Policed World

Being a multi-layered character who is inherently an antagonist but has a moral compass at the most pivotal moments is quite simple for Stephen Amell. As he puts it, a character like Connor doesn’t force him as an actor to “twist his mustache.” The practicality of lines such as “we’re going to help her” or “kill her” naturally lend themselves to the very split-like personality that he embodies in the second Code Eight. But playing a baddie didn’t affect the family affair of this film. He said that the sequel’s making had a positive effect on the Amell family:

We shot
Part Two
from October through December 2021 in Toronto, and it was a lot of fun to be back. My wife and daughter actually came up for about a month for the production. We had some family dinners — all that stuff.

Related: Suits Spinoff Casts the Walking Dead Star to Lead Alongside Stephen Amell

Code Eight is not only a runaway success story in terms of fan response (considering it’s very humble beginnings) but also holds a surprising milestone in being one of the few times that Stephen and Robbie are in the same film or show together for a prolonged amount of time. Sure, there have been crossovers in various ways when they were featured in The CW’s version of the DC universe, but Code Eight really brings them together in main character roles. Speaking about what initially brought them together and what it’s like to be executive producers on Part Two, Robbie said that it was a step-by-step process tailored for them:

We knew we wanted to do something that was in our wheelhouse and hopefully that our fan bases would be excited about. Jeff Chan, who directed, and Chris Paré, his writing partner, really tailored Connor and Garrett for Stephen and I.

Robbie Amell then focused on what evolved regarding their role for Code Eight: Part II. “We definitely took a larger position in the second one. As far as the producing goes, it’s very much a — ‘How do we feel about the scene? Do we have to make any adjustments? What fires are we putting out this week?’ It’s just more of a control thing, and we’re very lucky to work with great people and have this collaborative team.” The older Amell cousin added to this by saying that the decision was simple for him, it was just the idea of working with Robbie that made all the difference.

Code Eight 3 and Other Future Works

There is no doubt that Code Eight: Part Two will become a success given the natural chemistry of the actors and the evolved story arc that raises the stakes of what went on in the original. Robbie Amell called the science fiction franchise “a passion project for all those involved.” He remarked that as long as people tune in and the viewership is impressive, “we get to make another one. We would love to.” He also said that besides him and his cousin, the crew also take a lot of pride and ownership in Code Eight, and they would all love to see it continue. Related: Stephen Amell Reveals What Would Make Him Consider a Green Arrow Return

With all this being said about the Netflix exclusive, Stephen Amell has some other big projects in the works. He not only has an upcoming main role in the Suits: LA spinoff, but the actor also still holds plenty of fanfare with comic book fans for his career-making role on The CW’s Arrow. While he can’t say much about Suits: LA except that his character Ted Black will not be afraid to “get his hands dirty,” he was more than explanatory when it came to donning the Green Arrow hood once again for James Gunn’s DCU:

“I don’t know. I think it would be really helpful to maybe see like a frame of footage from one of the movies before I decide if I want to be a part of it. Because I loved playing Oliver Queen, and I don’t feel like being in the cinematic universe would validate that character. You know, we did eight seasons, we did 170 episodes, and I wouldn’t change a thing. So, you know, if he calls, great, if he doesn’t, fine!”

In the meantime, Code Eight: Part II has made its way onto Netflix and is now streaming. Watch it through the link below.

Watch Code Eight: Part II


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