Arrow EP interview on series crossover, H.I.V.E., superpowers, & The Arrow ‘family.’ The CW not only gains a superhero block, courtesy of Arrow & The Flash, but also gains an outlet for the kind of superpowered action that Arrow has ruled out, by design. Season two’s Mirakuru storyline might be considered an exception to that unspoken rule; but the out provided by The Flash stands, as any crossover would be an opportunity to get around the rule.
Regarding Arrow, specifically, Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim fielded questions from Collider, on subjects including the Oliver Queen/ The Arrow (Stephen Amell) identity crisis, Thea (Willa Holland) & the state of the Queen family, the evolution of Roy Harper (Colton Haynes), H.I.V.E. prospects, and Atom alter-ego Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh).
Marc Guggenheim on season 3’s premiere & body:
I feel like this episode is a really good jumping on point for new viewers. We closed a chapter at the end of Season 2, and this is a brand new opening. I don’t really think there’s anything you need to know, coming into it. It’s pretty new viewer friendly. And that wasn’t necessarily by design. It just happened to work out that way with the story that we’re telling.
Every season, we spend what really should be our hiatus, and what really should be me relaxing on a beach, planning out the whole season. It’s what we did in Season 1, and it’s what we did in Season 2, so we did the same process in Season 3. We just started off talking about what the season is about. I’ve spoken at length, at this point, that it’s about identity, and we talked about what Oliver’s journey for the year is going to be, and we talked about what all of the other character’s journeys would be.
On the Arrow/ Flash crossover:
It’s so freakin’ awesome! It really is. I’ve never had so much fun writing a script before, maybe in my life. It was such a blast to work on. We’re filming the Arrow episode right now, and it’s just so much fun. I keep telling everyone that we should try for Avengers. It’s these two heroes together with a big production value. We’re blowing out the doors on this. There’s the opportunity for inside jokes, and seeing all of the characters together. What happens when Cisco gets his eyes on Thea? There are moments like that, that you just can’t do in a normal episode. It’s just so much fun. It’s really going to be a blast. Jesse Warren is directing it, and he is just crushing it. Those dailies are really, really insane. Nick Tarabay plays Boomerang/Digger Harkness, and he’s amazing. And that weapon is a whole new visual language in the show, and a whole new visual language for our stunt guys to work with. And watching Grant [Gustin] and Stephen [Amell] together is just magic.
On the state of Oliver Queen, Thea & the Arrow extended family:
That’s honestly a big question of the season. It speaks to this issue of identity. That’s the challenge and the struggle that he’ll be dealing with, over the entire season. In Episode 3, we’ll demonstrate how important Thea is to him. Basically, Thea is the one last tie he has to his persona as Oliver. That’s his season-long journey. Is there an Oliver Queen anymore? Can there be? And if there can be, what does that look like? It’s a real conundrum for him.
I think family has always been a key component of the genetics of the show. This has always been a family melodrama, with the Lances, with the Queens, with the adopted family of Team Arrow. So, I wouldn’t say it’s any more or any less than any other season, but it’s definitely a huge component of the show itself, as a whole.
A lesson we learned over Season 2 was that we don’t have to pack everyone into a given episode. As we were breaking this episode out, we discovered that it could be more interesting if Thea, who left town at the end of Season 2, wasn’t around, and it’s part of the mystery. Where is she? She’s not in Starling City. That questions will get answered in Episode 2. You’ll find out where Thea went, at the end of Season 2, and you’ll also find out what exactly was said in that limousine, after that scene ended. The beginning of Episode 3 picks up with Malcolm and Thea in that limo, and you’ll hear the conversation that you didn’t get to hear at the end of Season 2.
On Roy Harper’s outlook, and place on Team Arrow:
I think he’s fine being a part of the team, as he is. We played with that notion of Roy questioning Oliver’s judgement in Episode 218. What you see in Season 3 is a much more mentor/mentee, master/apprentice relationship, which is what we were setting up in 212, but didn’t fully realize. It’s really more fully realized in Season 3. You really see how Oliver is training this kid to be a hero in his own right.
On Ray Palmer powering up for Atom role:
I think anything is possible. My instinct is that, if Ray Palmer is going to shrink, he’ll probably shrink on another show. With The Flash in existence, there’s no real compelling reason for us to do superpowers on Arrow. We can bring characters to The Flash, to have superpowers. We have plans for Ray that don’t involve shrinking, but our plans for Ray are actually really cool.
On the prospects of H.I.V.E.:
There are no plans, at the moment. I know the fans have been waiting for it, ever since we teased it at the end of 206. It keeps coming up in the writers’ room. Like everything else, it will have its day and its time. At the moment, I can’t say that we’ve got the episode where we pick that thread back up, but it’s definitely on our list of things that we want to get to.
On why all the Spartacus alums:
I don’t know! I really don’t know! We’re always budget-strapped on this show, and I always joke that we could save money by firing our casting director and just casting out of Spartacus, but I’m not going to do that. It’s really a coincidence. They just had great actors on the show, and they work really well in our world. Nick Tarabay was someone who came in for a couple of different roles this season. He made a really, really strong impression on me. I’m just glad we finally found the right role for him on the show. He’s really terrific, as I knew he would be. He’d come in on other things and I’d seen so much of his acting that we just offered him this role, sight unseen. He didn’t have to audition for it. We knew he’d be perfect, and he’s great.
There was also mention of the Oliver/ Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) relationship. I don’t care, myself, given its state of overall consequence to the series (at the moment); but I am obligated to mention that some official word exists on the subject. Nothing more.
On… ‘Olicity,’ I guess, in the premiere:
I like to say that it’s an explosive first date. It’s so hard to tease it without spoiling it, but I’m very happy with the circumstances under which they have their first kiss. I hope it’s unexpected. I hope it plays as unexpected. I hope it plays as emotional. I guess you’ll have to tell me.
You shippers go do that. What can the rest of us surmise from all this? It seems that Oliver Queen is on his way to becoming the mask to The Arrow’s dominant persona. All the buzz about the H.I.V.E. is being kept alive, so I guess it’s up to the viewers to keep the show(s) going long enough to secure a place for it. If Ray Palmer ever goes Atom, it will likely be on The Flash (unless another spinoff sees a green light). Roy may make for a better fit as an official sidekick, than as a peripheral one. No Thea/ Roy melodrama for the foreseeable future (woot, woot). There is no Spartacus subsidy, it’s all been a coincidence – like Will Riker & Deanna Troi as the two big bads of the Gargoyles animated series. So now you know; and knowing is only half a spoiler (if volunteered by the creators).
Season 3 of Arrow begins Wednesday, Oct. 8, at 8p.m. EST, on The CW.
Leave your thoughts on the Marc Guggenheim interview in the comments section, below. For more Arrow photos, videos, and information, visit our Arrow Page, subscribe to us by Email, follow us on Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, or “like” us on Facebook.