More From ARROW's Creative Team On The Mask, Deathstroke, Ra's Al Ghul And More
Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti talk at length about the debut of a mask for The Arrow, the role of Deathstroke and Roy Harper in the second half of season two, the surprise cameo from a season one cast member, Katrina Law as Nyssa al Ghul and more.
Since day one, a big complaint from even the most die-hard of Arrow fans has been the fact that Oliver Queen doesn't wear a mask. Well, that all changed in the season two midseason finale when Barry Allen left it for The Arrow on his way back to Starling City. "We saw like 50 or 60 different designs," executive producer Andrew Kreisberg explains. "Some of the earlier ones were crazy. It worked out really well. When we had the pilot, we debated having a mask. We decided to punt for a variety of reasons -- most importantly, it was that if you put a mask on him right away, it sort of says, "This is cartoony or superhero-y." It also fit in with his character. He wasn't someone who ever thought he would be interacting with people. He thought he'd be this dark sniper, firing arrows from the shadows. As the series has progressed, and he's stepped more and more into the light -- which is also what his overall arc is -- he's really needed that. It just seemed so perfect that in this season that he would need it, and also that Barry would be the one who ultimately makes it for him. It just makes the bond between those two characters." As for whether or not this will change how The Arrow interacts wit the supporting cast, he added: "A lot of the time, when he's talking to someone he knows, he's got to keep his head down. It's a little awkward. Now it's given Stephen the ability to much more freely interact with Laurel as the Arrow, or Detective Lance as the Arrow."
One of the most interesting and surprising parts of last night's episode was the fact that Roy Harper was injected with the same Mirakuru serum which gave both Slade Wilson and Cyrus Gold (a.k.a. Solomon Grundy) their powers. The question now is what's next for Roy, something which Kreisberg is excited to explore in the second half of the season. "What's fun for us, as writers, is we see what Roy's potential is to go down that dark path. One of the things you'll find out as you go along is that it's a deep-seated anger inside of you that lets you survive the Mirakuru transformation, which is something Slade had, which is why he lives, and it's why Roy lived, too. One of the fun things that'll be happening in the back half of the year is his relationship with the Arrow, and how that changes, and how the Arrow basically makes it his mission to not let Roy go down the Slade path." Talking of Slade Wilson/Deathstroke, his role in the rest of the season will also be a major one moving forward as he sets his sights on destroying Oliver Queen in revenge for what happened on the island. "That's very much the drive of the second half of the season. This year we're doing something a bit different. We've got a two-pronged approach to the bad guy," says executive producer Greg Berlanti.
As for the surprise appearance of Colin Donnell as Tommy (who helped Ollie overcome his guilt and the hallucinations he suffered throughout the episode), Kreisberg reveals that it was important for them to bring him back in this capacity. "Colin is such a friend of the show, and was obviously so important to the success of season one. So much of this season is based around that character, and his loss, and what a hole he left in the show. It really fit with this season's arc of Oliver's journey of going from vigilante to hero -- the person he feels like he failed. It's in the opening titles. For Tommy to forgive him and to tell him to get up and fight, just talking about it I get chills. I talked to Colin the other day, and said the response has been so great. He's like, "Anytime, dude." Finally, the producer was asked to address the recent casting announcement of Katrina Law as Nyssa al Ghul, saying: "She's somebody that we've been a fan of, and when this part came up, we saw a lot of people for it, but she's certainly exotic and beautiful and smart. Our stunt guys are over the moon, because she can do a lot of her own stunts. She's the next wave of the League of Assassins that comes to Starling City. She has some interesting secrets as well." Oh, and as for Ra's Al Ghul, Geoff Johns won't reveal whether or not we'll see the villain make an appearance down the line. "Maybe. Never say never. It'd be cool."
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