Based on DC Comics hero Green Arrow, "Arrow" is shaping up to be the a major hit, and its New York Comic Con" debut proved that fans are duly hyped for it. Prior to taking the IGN Theater stage, executive producer Marc Guggenheim chatted with journalists about where The CW's newest hit show is headed over the course of its first season.
While only the pilot episode had aired prior to NYCC, CBR News had to ask which first season episode Guggenheim considers his favorite thus far.
"Episode 5 is probably our both emotional, character-based episodes, but it also has Deathstroke in it, so it has that huge, kick-ass fanbase factor," Guggenheim teased. "We talk a lot about the secret sauce of the show is appealing to the die-hard fans as well as the people who typically wouldn't watch a superhero show, and I think 5 is a prime example of, it never feels schizophrenic, but it provides great stuff for both of those categories of audience members."
The pilot episode ended with a pretty big cliffhanger: Oliver Queen's mother, Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson) had her son kidnapped, and by all indications is a villain. Guggenheim said her role won't be straightforward or resolved soon, and that it wouldn't be good television if it was.
"The thing about Moira is she's got a lot more dimensionality to her than that very last scene in the pilot. For us, it's not about resolving that storyline as it is about twisting it, and twisting it and then twisting it again," the writer said. "She's the most nuanced character, I think, on the show because of the position that she's in and the choices that she's had to make. One of my favorite sayings is the villain is the hero of their own story. It's very, very true in real life. No one thinks of themselves as a bad guy. Everyone's got their reasons for doing things."
As for whether she'll be one of this season's array of Big Bads, Guggenheim said the answer wasn't quite that cut and dry. "That's very much in the eye of the beholder. Hopefully you'll tune in in one episode and you'll be like, 'Oh my God, she's absolutely the big bad,' and the next episode you'll go, 'Oh wait a minute, maybe I misjudged her,' and keep twisting it and twisting it, because I think that's one of the fun aspects of her character."
Fans can also look forward to plenty of exciting new characters this season, many of them borrowed from the DC Universe. Guggenheim clarified that "Arrow" won't include DC characters for the sake of themselves, and instead will come up with a story first and then find a superhero or villain that fits that situation after.
"We always start off with, 'What's Oliver going through this week? What storyline in terms of the crime story can we tell that will reflect that character arc, that emotional journey?' And then the supervillain of the week, the DC character, that's the very last thing we think about," he said. "In episode 3, which is when Deadshot first appears, it's all about can Oliver complete his mission alone? He came back from the island, he always planned on being this lone gunman, which is why the episode is called 'Lone Gunman,' and he discovers whether or not that's true."
"Arrow" enjoyed The CW's biggest premiere in three years, and the high ratings and great buzz has the show's creators "energized."
"We are like super psyched," Guggenheim said. "It's weird, you start the pilot process about a year out, and that's a long time to spend without any sort of audience feedback or sense of whether the show's going to be a success or not, and it's hugely exciting. We were really blown away."
Guggenheim has talked in the past about how he wants to address fans' concerns about the rest of the series not looking as good or being as action-packed as the pilot was. He reinforced that there's nothing for anyone to worry about in that department.
"The action in the series is even stronger because we have an incredible stunt team and they keep upping their game, and they've almost had to," he said. "You run out of tricks one episode, you've got to come up with new tricks in the next episode, so honestly there are action sequences that are coming up that I think dwarf the pilot pretty significantly. If you sort of think about yes, there's more time and money in the pilot, but there's also less experience, and give me more experience and less time and less money and I'll give you something better," Guggenheim said of the series and its crew, who are currently in production on the ninth episode of Season 1.
Airing Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT, "Arrow" stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, Colin Donnell as Tommy Merlyn, Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Willa Holland as Thea Queen, Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen and Paul Blackthorne as Detective Quentin Lance.