It's been teased nearly since the beginning of The CW's "Arrow," and now, finally, as of last night's (October 29) episode, Ra's al Ghul is finally here. The villain may be most familiar to viewers from his portrayal by Liam Neeson in "Batman Begins," but actor Matt Nable is bringing a very, very different Ra's to TV.
"In our casting process, we didn't want to go with the willowy, sinewy Ra's that was established in the comics," Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim told MTV News over the phone about the show's take on Ra's.
Though Liam Neeson is far from the comic book depiction of Ra's himself, Nable is on an entirely different level. The action star, probably best known for going toe-to-toe with Vin Diesel in "Riddick" is, how you do say it... Jacked. And that's by design.
"We wanted someone who would be a formidable physical presence," Guggenheim continued. "You can get away with that live sinewy Ra's when it's being drawn by Neal Adams, but when you actually have to put something in front of a camera, we thought it was better to have someone who added a good physical presence to that."
Ra's, for those not up to speed on "Arrow" or Neal Adams' classic "Batman" comics featuring the character, leads the deadly League of Assassins and is possibly responsible for the shocking death of Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) - a mystery that has taken up the first four episodes of the season. But other than a quick shot of his face last night, and a few terrified mentions of the character here and there, we don't yet know what this Ra's is capable of.
Turns out, it may be more than The Arrow (Stephen Amell) and his growing team of heroes can handle.
"He's definitely the main antagonist of the season," Guggenheim noted. "He's responsible for a lot of the events that kick off the year, and reverberate throughout the season. He's our Big Bad, and he's a very different kind of Big Bad than we've had, Malcolm Merlyn and Slade Wilson."
The first season of "Arrow" found Oliver Queen coming into conflict with his best friend's Dad, but not because he wouldn't let them hang out and go to the movies. Instead, it turns out that Merlyn (John Barrowman) was the villainous Dark Archer, trained by the League of Assassins and hell bent on blowing up just a little bit of Starling City.
In the second season, the conflict came home as Oliver went mano-a-mano with Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett), who had his own personal reasons for wanting to burn Starling to the ground.
With Ra's though, things are about to go global.
"Ra's exists above it all," Guggenheim noted. "He's so much more powerful than Malcolm or Slade. He has so much deeper reach, and he has a much larger organization at his beck and call. He's just a very different kind of foe."
Excited to see what Ra's brings to "Arrow?" Let us know in the comments below!