My first roundtable interview in the Arrow press room met with a major technical fail.  I had two vid cards and the camera kept telling me they were both full!  So, I wasn’t able to setup an alternate video source (aka iPhone) in time for this interview with Executive Producers Marc Guggenheim and first time attendee Wendy Mericle.  My audio recorder was working though so I managed to capture the interview and below is the transcript.  I’m very happy with the teasers both gave us in our short five minute interview. 

I’ll issue an Arrow season four spoiler warning right now, but they aren’t huge.  They give us enough details to wet the appetite but nothing too descriptive.  The new tone of the season sounds awfully intriguing. 


(My Question) Oliver and Felicity riding off into the sunset. Now what?

Wendy: Well, we’re going to pick them up and they’re going to be very happy at the start of season four. What we really want to do this season is explore what it’s like to try to have a relationship in the Arrow Cave and outside. They’re going to stay together but we’re going to explore the ups and downs of their boyfriend/girlfriend relationship while they’re both out there being Felicity and The Arrow.

With the success of The Flash and their lighter approach, is that influencing Arrow at all this year?

Marc: I’m so glad you asked that question, we were hoping someone would. We ended last year with Arrow in the place with Oliver emotionally that we always had planned on getting to and the place that we’d always been evolving the show to. It was sort of like, “Oh, now everyone’s just going to think we’re making the show into Flash.” I think when people watch season four, they’ll see that Oliver is happy and he is in a more evolved place. We have a joke, it’s Oliver Queen 2.0. The show itself will still feel like Arrow. I don’t think anyone will tune to Arrow and feel they’re watching The Flash quite frankly. Even though it does have more humor, we actually have Oliver cracking a joke in episode 2. It is happy but that’s always been part of the show’s evolution.   We’ve always had the show on a path towards The Green Arrow from the Comics. It’s a long origin story. We’re just playing that out.

Can you tell us a bit about the flashbacks? The first two seasons were on the island and then Hong Kong and in the finale, I forgot where he ended up…

Marc: He was boarding a ship to Cove City.

Thank you. Can you tells us a bit about that storyline?

Wendy: We’re going to a someplace somewhat familiar and very surprising. And that’s all I can tell you (Laughs).

What can tell us about the approach to adapting Damien Darhk and casting Neal McDonough which is fantastic?

Marc: Obviously with Neal, who’s is a blessing to have on the show, we’re going older with Damien than in the comics. In keeping quite frankly with our normal philosophy by this point, we use the comics as a starting off point and not an ending point. Our version of Damien is different from the other kind of big bads we’ve had on the show before. He’s not as centurion as Ra’s al Ghul, he’s not as unhinged as Slade Wilson, he probably has the closet parallel with Malcolm Merlyn, but he’s got a malevolence to him that Malcolm did not have. Malcolm was basically always thinking, ‘I’m doing what I’m doing to save the city,’ where Damian is pure evil. He’s a form of evil we haven’t seen on the show yet. We always approached our big bads the first three years as we wanted them to be the hero of their own story. We wanted them not to be evil and then this year we decided we’re gonna go different. We really wanted someone who was truly malevolent and Neal brings that home.

Can you talk about the role new League of Assassins and Malcolm as the new Ra’s Al Ghul?

Malcolm we obviously left him in Nanda Parbat at the end last season. Although the main storyline will be with Damien and not with Malcolm we’re going to have a lot fun with him coming and messing about Oliver’s plans and also potentially with Damien’s since they are enemies as well. Another thing we’re going to explore is his relationship with Nyssa and what’s happening in Nanda Parbat and where we left her. Those storylines will stay in Nanda Parbat and possibly come back to Starling City.

Speaking of Nyssa, you guys broke down a lot barriers by introducing her and having the first LGBT superhero on Arrow. Will we be seeing more LGBT characters introduced on Arrow this season?  

Marc: Yes

Wendy: Yes we will.

Oh, Who?

Marc: We can’t talk about that just yet. And Nyssa will be returning as well.

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