When "Arrow" returns tonight (October 8) to The CW, you may hear the voices of thousands of 'shippers cry out, as if all of their dreams had finally come true. That's right, fans: on the season premiere, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and Felicity Smoake (Emily Bett Rickards) - better known to fans as Olicity - will finally lock lips.
But, as we found out when we talked to "Arrow" Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim over the phone in advance of the premiere, the whole will they/won't they was never part of the plan:
MTV News: So first of all, congratulations on Blake Lively’s baby, I know you were instrumental in bringing her and Ryan together. That’s got to feel good, right?
Marc Guggenheim: [Laughs] I’m glad there was some sort of follow up to the movie.
MTV: Yeah it’s a sequel. I’m kind of hoping they name the baby Hal...
Guggenheim: That would be awesome! Or Sinestro. One or the other.
MTV: Exactly, there’s your number one baby name this year. So to transition from babies into another romance thing, let's talk Olicity. The fans are, of course, freaking out about the kiss that's being teased in the first episode, but was that always part of the plan? Or did that naturally develop from the chemistry that Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards have on the show?
Guggenheim: You know it really just naturally developed. I mean, they have had incredible chemistry ever since season one... Just the way their scenes were playing, it sort of became this natural thing where we got to the end of season two, and we’re like, you know, we have to sort of address this now. We can’t just keep stringing along the audience with their little banters and their little moments, glances to each other. There needs to be some sort of actual story addressing this head on.
So we’re attempting to do that here in season three... But no, we never had a plan or a trajectory. There was never even a plan when we introduced Felicity for her to be more than a one-off character, and then we just really loved what Emily was doing - and we enjoyed writing for Felicity.
One episode became two episodes, became three episodes, and then the next thing you knew we were like, "Oh, we really gotta bring her into the fold because otherwise she's the dumbest person on the planet for not recognizing him, Oliver Queen, as the Arrow."
So it was this very natural organic thing. I mean the show is always designed - we like to say we always have a plan, but it’s also designed to allow us to play things a little bit by ear and see what’s going on and how the show is developing. We try to balance having a plan with having last minute inspirations.
MTV: So to make a reference that’s probably very relevant to the MTV audience, are they the Sam and Diane of the show? Or is there a Rebecca on the horizon?
Guggenheim: Good question! I guess there’s a Woody on the horizon? The "Cheers" analogy kind of breaks down once you introduce Ray Palmer in the mix.
Head back to MTV News tomorrow for much more from Guggenheim, including news on the season's big bad, the upcoming crossover, and just whether "Arrow" could ever cross over with "Gotham."