‘Arrow’: Six Spoilery Secrets With Stephen Amell

Is a 'Batman Begins' baddie making his way to Starling City?

This week’s episode of “Arrow” was a bevy of teases and set-up for comic book fans, as well as pay-off for the long simmering Roy (Colton Haynes) storyline, finally bringing him into the fold as part of Team Arrow. But things, according to series star Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen) and Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim, are just getting started. Here are some big teases for what’s coming up in the next few weeks:

Roy Joins Team Arrow
Guggenheim, who wrote this week’s episode, on whether we’ll see Roy (and others) in costume soon.

Marc Guggenheim: “If people just suddenly start putting on costumes and fighting crime alongside Oliver, I maintain that diminishes what Oliver went through on the island for five years. If it was as simple as putting on a mask and fighting crime, then everybody could be doing it, and the five years of hell that transformed Oliver into the Arrow would be meaningless by comparison. So we’re very careful not to do that. At the same time, whenever you do expand the circle of trust that Oliver has, and you invite new people into learning about it, you do open up story possibilities for that character.”

Episode 13, “Heir Of The Demon”
The February 5 airing episode features the return of the evil League of Assassins, and debuts Nyssa al Ghul, the daughter of Batman baddie Ra’s al Ghul.

Marc Guggenheim: “You haven’t seen the last of the League of Assassins, but the role that they have to play, my guess is, it will probably surprise you. Their involvement is not what you expect.”

Stephen Amell: “There’s something that we haven’t seen yet… I think it’s pretty safe to say that Slade is our Big Bad. But we don’t know what his plan is, you know? So as we find that out, could it include the League of Assassins? Of course. Of course, of course. We are meeting another member of the League in episode 13.”

Oliver vs. Slade
As mentioned, the overarching Big Bad is Manu Bennett’s Slade Wilson. Amell talks about working with him as friend, and villain.

Stephen Amell: “It’s great. Manu is super intense. He cares a bunch about everything. He’s incredibly particular and exacting when it comes to the story, and his character, and the way he moves and dresses. It’s an interesting study to watch. Slade in the present day… He’s always been a badass, but it’s next level. And I can only be as good as our villains. If there’s not someone formidable for me to match up against, then the stakes aren’t high enough. It makes for compelling television working with Manu, and I love his version of present day Slade, and what we’ve seen so far.”

Episode 15: “The Promise”
Where most episodes of the show are about 25% set on the island Oliver was trapped on for five years, episode 15 flips the script, only sparingly showing present day Starling City.

Stephen Amell: “It’s pretty grueling. You know, I have a pretty good handle on things this year. Last year, it took me by surprise, and it left me bedridden and blowing my nose, and coughing for a month and a half after the season ended. My body gave out. This year, we’ve had episodes where I’ve had two, three days off. The island episode? That was not one of those episodes. I worked every single day, except for a day that I flew to Los Angeles to do press, and then flew back that night. It’s been pretty gnarly, but it is what it is. It’s not an actual problem, it’s a blast.”

Episode 17, “Birds of Prey”
With Black Canary (Caity Lotz) still in the mix, episode 17 brings back Huntress (Jessica De Gouw), a character traditionally paired with Canary in the comics as the heroic team Birds of Prey.

Stephen Amell: “It’s awesome. It’s great to have Jessica De Gouw come back, she was great in her three episodes last season. There’s a romantic history there with Oliver so that’s always fun to play. But, I mean, The Huntress is a badass character. And Birds of Prey, the connotations there, and the connections to the comic book history… I would expect fireworks on this episode. I’m excited to start shooting. We start shooting next week.”

Ra’s al Ghul
The ‘Batman Begins’ baddie has been mentioned multiple times on the show. With Amell commenting on separate occasions that no name is brought up on the show without a reason, and that coming up there was a DC Comics character’s name he wanted to get just right, could we soon see the Head of the Demon on TV?

Marc Guggenheim: [Laughs] “I can’t comment on that!”

Stephen Amell: “I hope so! I really hope so. I hope DC gives us the opportunity to use that character. We’re certainly on a trajectory that would suggest that eventually that will happen. But man, that would be fantastic. I would be in full support of that.”

“Arrow” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

Writer/Editor at MTV News. You can follow him on Twitter, but not in real life because that would be weird.
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