Arrow EPs on Green Arrow and Damien Darhk

by Scarlett Bentley
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Arrow has been a hit for three years now, and it looks like one of the biggest questions DC fans have had is about to be answered; when will Oliver (portrayed by Stephen Amell) start going by his comic book moniker Green Arrow? At Comic-Con International in July, Amell appeared in character and was referred to as “Green Arrow”, and seeing that the title of the season four premiere is “Green Arrow,” it looks like that title will be coming up sooner rather than later.

Throughout the show, the masked vigilante has been referred to as “the Hood” or “the Arrow”, but now it looks like Queen is finally embracing the name given in his source material. The show is edging closer and closer to the world of comics, with Ollie’s new costume design being closer to his comic counterparts than ever before, and the shows villains becoming increasingly more powerful, and now according to Marc Guggenheim, (co-showrunner and executive producer) the new season is going to have a lighter tone.

“We were always very upfront about our intention that this was an origin story. We were very deliberate in our choice of, ‘He’s not the Arrow, he’s ‘The Hood’ at first.’” Guggenheim said. “Then he becomes the Arrow, and eventually he was going to become the Green Arrow. We didn’t have a specific season in mind as to when it would happen, but certainly, for us, it felt very organic to make this the season that [he becomes] Green Arrow.”

Oliver Queen has gone by “Green Arrow” since he was first introduced in 1941’s More Fun Comics #73 by Mort Weisinger and George Papp, however Guggenheim has said that it’s not about doing things just because they were a certain way in the source material.

“There’s just been a slow, organic incorporation of the comic book elements, we don’t ever bring in the comic book elements just to bring in the comic book elements – we don’t sit here with a checklist.” Guggenheim said. “I think a lot of fans think we’ve got a checklist of the comic book tropes, like the chili, and the jokes, and the romance with Black Canary, and go, ‘OK, we’ve got that, we’ve got that, we’ve got that,’ it’s really just, we’ve got the comics in the back of our mind, we know where we’re headed with the character – the comic books are there as inspiration, but not as a to-do list.”

Also contributing to bring the newly dubbed “Green Arrow” closer to his comic book counterpart is the increase in superpowered, or ‘metahuman’, villains. This seasons main villain, Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), very quickly gives away that he has powers of some sort through his impressive abilities. This paves the way for a much more sinister type of villain than there have been in the shows past.

“We found ourselves writing more and more to him,” Guggenheim added. “The thing we said to him was, ‘You’re not only evil, but you enjoy being evil.’ There’s a real glimmer in his eye whenever he’s putting the screws to somebody. It is something we haven’t seen on the show before. That’s one of the reasons why we wanted to go in this direction. In Malcolm, in Ra’s, in Slade — they all thought they were doing the right thing. They had their own nobility. Not so much with Damien. Damien really could give a f*** whether or not you think he’s noble.”

Co-showrunner and executive producer Wendy Mericle also added, “He has no conscience whatsoever.”

Also on the list of things Arrow is doing differently this season; Instead of the usual introduction a main villain gets, slow and over time, Damien Darhk is seen quickly in the first episode of the season. Guggenheim has said that even though McDonough isn’t in every episode, the writers have enjoyed having him around more often.

“He’s really enjoying having no conscience, it’s very freeing for him. There aren’t a lot of actors who could pull that off, and make it compelling, and make it interesting to watch, each and every week – the moment we saw Neal on screen, we just found ourselves in the writers’ room going, ‘Oh yeah, Damien’s in this episode.’” Guggenheim said. “He’s on the show a lot. It’s not every week Team Arrow vs. Damien, because that would get really stupid and repetitive, but we found all these really interesting ways to keep the character of Damien involved in the drama of the show. That’s really to the credit of Neal, and us knowing that there’s really nothing we can write for him that he can’t pull off.”

Catch Arrow at 8 pm Wednesday, on The CW.

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