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The ARROW Cast on Oliver Queen’s “Death”, Ray Palmer’s Future, and the Birth of the New Canary!

For superhero fans, the highlight of this week’s TCA Winter Press Tour was certainly the “Heroes and Villains” panel that the CW’s Arrow shared with its sister show The Flash. There, sitting alongside the stars of the latter series, were Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, John Barrowman, Matt Nable, Colton Haynes, David Ramsey, and Brandon Routh, all of them wearing mile-wide grins, buoyed with the kind of confidence that comes from knowing that as good as their show has become, it’s getting even better. And as huge fans of Arrow themselves, they came prepared to address the questions on the minds of its many devotees as they await the show’s return on January 21st — When was it decided Oliver should die? Should Diggle get a costume? Is Laurel ready to assume the mantle of the Canary? And will Ray Palmer soon unite with Starling City’s costumed champions? Here’s what they had to tell us…

On the success of the Arrow/Flash two-part crossover…

Stephen Amell: They were two of the best scripts that either show has ever put forward. The logistical elements of it were something that we had to figure out as we moved along, but I think that everybody did a great job, and that future crossovers will be even bigger and better and smoother.

On how much Stephen was told in advance about Oliver Queen’s “death” in the midseason finale…

SA: There’s no warning. We had a very full discussion about the third season back in, I want to say, late June or early July, and they said, “The first arc of our season will commence with Sara’s death, and will end with Oliver facing Ra’s al Ghul and losing.” I personally love when there is adversity for the protagonists. And when we give other characters on the show an opportunity to acquit themselves and to come more into leading roles, because we’re fifty-plus episodes into the show, and if we don’t give other characters an opportunity to shoulder the load, then we give nothing for the viewers to attach themselves to, and it’ll be really difficult to do our next fifty episodes — as we just found out. [Laughs] So I’m excited. I’m excited for everyone’s opportunity.

On why there are there so many superhero shows on television right now…

John Barrowman: Because geeks rule the world. [Laughs]

SA: Well Arrow came out in 2012, and a lot of people liked the pilot, but talked about how genre shows, specifically comic-book adaptations, didn’t work that well on television; and then it did, so now there are more. That’s pretty much it. At the crux of that are the three gentlemen that are sitting behind us, because they are nicely connected with DC. Not to speak on their behalf, but they’re fans of the genre, which is why it works well.

On the new Canary…

Katie Cassidy: I’ve been waiting for this to happen, and I’m, obviously very excited and thrilled about it. When I originally sat down and met with Andrew and Marc and Greg, they [told] me that this is where the character was going, before we even shot the pilot. So I was definitely looking forward to it. But they said that every character has to earn it. You can’t just all of a sudden overnight become a superhero, you have to go through, you know, this journey. And season 2, for Laurel, she definitely hit rock bottom, and was able to come back on top. So that now in season 3, after losing her sister, she goes from avenging her sister to honoring her sister to becoming her sister. It’s been amazing. I love to kick some ass.

Arrow 2

On whether Ray Palmer will soon join Starling City’s costumed vigilantes…

Marc Guggenheim: Ray is on a slightly different track than the other members of Team Arrow, the other people who are filling up the lair. His connection, obviously, is through Felicity. One of the things that has always been part of the design of season 3 is that there would be more and more “costume characters” populating Starling City. Oliver started off just as one man and never envisioned when he said in the pilot that he had a plan, he never envisioned all these characters, all these other people being part of that plan. He thought he would be a solo act. So part of what he experienced this year is seeing the crusade grow beyond him. That’s very much by design. It ties into pretty much everything we’ve got planned for season 3. Which I can’t go into further detail on without spoiling something.

On playing Ray Palmer…

Brandon Routh: When this was proposed to me, it was just to come and talk about this idea that they had for a character. I was hesitant, yes, to be honest, stepping into this DC world again. Really never thinking that would happen, that I would never play another superhero, having played, you know, in my mind, the pinnacle character. But I went forth with open arms, because I appreciated the work of the show, of seeing Arrow and the great work they were doing there. And it’s been nothing but an amazing experience getting to play a character that I get to go and have fun and be light most of the time. And have fun with Emily. It’s just become such a cool experience. Everyone on the show is amazing to work with, and it’s good to be a part of a show that’s so well loved and appreciated. I’m loving playing this character. So, yeah, I would love to keep playing him as much as possible.


On the possibility of an Atom spin-off series…

Greg Berlanti: We are in very early talks on a very general, very general idea that we haven’t dug deeper on yet, and we’re not allowed to say anything about it yet. That’s all I can say.

MG: Right now we’re just trying to get the suit finished. [Laughs]

On whether Diggle should get a costume…

David Ramsey: Heroes don’t need costumes. [Laughs] Obviously, that’s been a big question that’s been all over the internet. And Diggle has something to protect, right? He has a wife and child at home. Oliver says something very interesting in one of the episodes, that masks aren’t to protect you, as to protect the people you love… So, yeah, we’re toying around with some of that stuff. But, you know, Diggle’s exceptional, if he is exceptional, because of his normalcy. Everyone is extraordinary on this show. Everyone is dealing with a crucible that they haven’t quite adjusted to. Diggle’s crucible, which is Afghanistan, he has adjusted to it. He has a potential wife and child at home, and he has no debate in his spirit as to balancing that and his crimefighting at night. So you don’t want to take that normalcy from him, because I think that’s what makes him accessible, that’s what makes him normal, and what also makes him a leader. A mask does something else to him, I think. So we’ll see. The producers and I are talking about it, and they’ve thrown some things at me, and it’s all great stuff. But I think part of the appeal of Diggle is that any of you can be him, and you don’t want a mask to take that away from him.


On what’s it like for Katie and John to be surrounded by so many good-looking men…

KC: It’s awesome. I mean, they’re all okay-looking, I guess. [Laughs]

JB: I just like it when there are fight sequences with shirts off. I never miss any of those. Stephen always finds it quite strange. When he’s in the makeup trailer, and he’s getting his scarring done, I am there. [Laughs.] I don’t know why, I just seem to be drawn to the trailer.

KC: And you’re not even in the episode! [Laughs]

Arrow returns Wednesday, January 21 at 8pm on The CW.

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  1. Robby says:

    Routh: “Plus, they offered to PAY me.”

  2. Kitty says:

    “When I originally sat down and met with Andrew and Marc and Greg, they [told] me that this is where the character was going, before we even shot the pilot.”
    You know… Before they realized that I lack any charisma and any sort of chemistry with the cast and then had to delay my superhero turn by a whole year by shoehorning in a temporary canary that ended up being a fan favorite and having all the qualities that I lacked. Thank God for good agents huh?