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Why Connor Reed from Code 8 looks so familiar

Netflix continues its quest to provide us with quality superhero content in the form of Code 8, a new superpowered sci-fi thriller that depicts a world with very different superheroes than you might be used to. In this world, four percent of all people have powers — but instead of embracing them and fighting crime in colorful spandex, they're forced to register their superhuman abilities and allow the government to use them as part of the workforce. Malcontents risk incurring the wrath of the powers that be, which tends to come in the form of a heavily armed, high-tech police force. 

The movie follows Connor Reed, a construction worker with powers over electricity who finds himself at the end of his tether when he can't afford his ill, cryokinetic mother's hospital treatments. Reed opts to get the money by joining a group of powered criminals, such as the telekinetic Garrett and his pyrokinetic girlfriend, Maddy. We're just betting that the actor playing Reed looks like you might have seen him somewhere before, and you almost certainly have. Let's find out why Connor Reed from Code 8 looks so familiar.

Robbie Amell has been all over our screens for years

Robbie Amell, who plays Connor Reed, would probably seem familiar even if he wasn't an actor. After all, he quite resembles his cousin, Stephen Amell, the Arrow star who also just so happens to play Garrett in Code 8. In fact, Robbie is an Arrowverse veteran himself, as he portrayed the Ronnie Raymond version of Firestorm/Deathstorm in The Flash. As Entertainment Weekly tells us, the show got away with the Amells' considerable familial likeness by simply not allowing the characters to speak to each other.

However, don't think for a second that Amell is just hanging on the coattails of his arrow-slinging cousin, because the man has a pretty robust resume of TV roles. Fans of The X-Files might remember him as Special Agent Kyd Miller, who along with his partner, Liz Einstein, comprised a suspiciously Mulder-and-Scully-ish pair (CinemaBlend even reported rumors of a spin-off show centered on the two). This hasn't been Amell's only foray into the land of the fantastic, either: he portrayed Stephen Jameson on The Tomorrow People, and the villainous Kevin in Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events

Still, it would be unfair to claim that Amell's TV career is all about superheroes, mysteries, and fantasy. He has played recurring characters in all sorts of other shows, ranging from Revenge and 1600 Penn to Bo Burnham's Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous.

Robbie Amell's in all sorts of movies

Few people can claim that they've been in bloody horror movies as well as strange little films about talking felines, but Robbie Amell's movie career provides the goods on both fronts. After making his silver screen debut as one of the Murtaugh kids in 2005's Cheaper By The Dozen 2, Amell graduated into full-blown horror in the low-budget 2007 slasher flick  Left for Dead

After a handful of made-for-TV movies, which included a stint as Fred Jones of the Scooby Gang in Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster, he landed a role in 2015's Max, a movie that was also about a large dog (though this one was of the military variety). Weirdly, that wasn't even his most recent film that starred an animal — that honor goes to Nine Lives, the 2016 movie in which Kevin Spacey starred as a talking cat. Incidentally, this was one of the worst movies of the decade, but let's not hold that against Amell.

More recently, the actor has evidently started pivoting toward Netflix, finding movie roles that play to the same strengths as his illustrious TV career. In 2016, he got stuck in a time loop in the underappreciated Netflix gem ARQ. The next year, he had roles in When We First Met and the creepy-yet-hilarious The Babysitter — and then there's Code 8, which, in case we didn't mention it yet, is quite good.

Code 8 is an Amell passion project

It's no coincidence that Amell and Cousin Stephen both star in Code 8. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the cousins revealed that the film is something of a passion project for them. In fact, they built Code 8 from the ground up for four years, starting with a proof-of-concept short they released in 2016; they then proceeded to set up an Indiegogo campaign to see if they could get the project off the ground. After overwhelmingly positive feedback and support from backers to the tune of over $2.4 million, the Amells and director Jeff Chan got to work.

While it might seem strange that a pair of tried-and-tested TV stars would take what's essentially a novice filmmaker's route, Robbie and Stephen Amell actually had a very good reason for operating like they did: Code 8 gave them the opportunity to star in a movie together, which would have been a bit tough to pull off otherwise, since they look similar to each other and they didn't want their characters to be related. More importantly, the project was about staying in complete creative control (something Stephen says he missed when working on Arrow), and proving themselves. "Part of it was, we just needed to create something for ourselves," says Robbie. "We figured if we weren't willing to take a bet on ourselves, then why should we expect anyone else to?" Wise words — and, as it turns out, adding Code 8 to its library of originals was a wise move on the part of Netflix.