With Batman popping up in the next Superman movie, it looks like we'll finally be seeing the DC Universe coming together on the big screen. But Arrow is already planning to bring more DC characters to television, even as Season Two zooms in on the show's core characters.
The cast and producers of Arrow sat down with members of the press during Comic-Con last week to discuss the next season, including the fallout from Tommy's death and the beginning of the Black Canary storyline.
The second season picks up five months after the end of the first, with the residents of Starling City dealing with the aftermath of the earthquake and mourning Tommy. Executive producer Greg Berlanti says that the earthquake will signal a marked turn for Oliver's vigilante activities:
Certainly the initial half of the year will be very much a reaction to the finale and the things that occurred there. The other thing I would say is that Oliver's journey is very much the central journey of the show. And the arc of the series is him going from vigilante to the Green Arrow that we all know, which is a very different character than we introduced last year. So this is the second leg of that. It's a marked turn from wanting to be a vigilante to wanting to be a hero. And everybody, their own stories kind of follow suit.
Actor Stephen Amell says that Tommy's opinion of Oliver will have a lasting impact:
Everything that happens with him going forward is going to be informed by Tommy's death and what Tommy thought of Oliver when he died. He thought he was a murderer. And that's going to change everything.
"There's no more vigilante," he adds. "It has to be about something else. That's what we're working on."
Berlanti explains that while the darkness the show has set up with an Oliver Queen who kills won't be leaving the show, we will gradually see an Oliver who is a bit more like the comic book version of the Green Arrow:
Our intention was always to start however many feet back from the comic book and then to work our way toward it. Sometimes I think it will be two steps forward, one step back. People may say, "Oh wait, you turned him this way, now you're turning him back that way. What are you doing?" Hopefully, we twist it and turn it enough to keep everyone engaged, interested.
Oliver will also be exploring other avenues for helping the people of Starling City in the coming season while his mother attempts to make amends, says executive producer Andrew Kreisberg:
Well, actually, one of the things that's happening this season is Oliver's taking more of an interest in the company and you'll see him trying to use his company's power and his wealth to do good. Unfortunately, after the events of the finale, his name, as we say, is now associate with mass murder because his mother was involved in the undertaking. Just as he's trying to change from being the vigilante to be a hero, he's actually trying to change the connotation of his name now to something better. That influences his arc for the season as Oliver and also Moira's arc over the season. When we catch up with her, she's in a surprising place. This season in a lot of ways is about her trying to redeem her actions from not just last season, but what she'd been doing over the last five years.
Meanwhile, John Diggle and Laurel will be dealing with the aftermath of the earthquake in their own ways. David Ramsey explains that Diggle, ever the soldier, is still all about the mission to protect his home. "We'll see that some people have strayed away from the mission," he says."
Katie Cassidy says that Laurel will go a step further in her desire to help other people and give back to her community. Her mourning, Cassidy explains, has actually made her stronger and better prepared to deal with the challenges ahead. The vigilante has also shifted Laurel's perspective, making her feel that justice can be accomplished outside the law.
Ah, yes. Laurel is Dinah Laurel Lance, and we did see a lady who looks an awful lot like the Black Canary in the Arrow Season Two trailer. But Berlanti says that, though Caity Lotz is joining the cast as part of the Black Canary arc, we won't quite see the full comic book Black Canary — at least not right away:
We are introducing the beginning of the Black Canary story line. But there's no one that will be — just like there's no one on the show right now that's called Green Arrow. There's an evolution to it that we hope to take. And we hope that people check out how we want to twist and turn it. But, yes, we did that with Slade, obviously. We did that with Merlyn. We'll do that again and again. That's sort of the fun of the show. But we're very reverent, all of us, about what our own experiences were with those comic books and also how we know people read them now. And we hope to serve both audiences and both masters.
And don't expect to hear a sonic scream yet, either:
No, we don't have powers on the show yet. So if we were to do anything like that, it would not be from someone's voice.
Hmm, the "yet" is interesting. The producers add that we'll continue to see Slade Wilson's evolution toward Deathstroke, and, while Season Two will focus more tightly on the core cast of characters, we'll also get a few more satellite characters, including some familiar DC names. Summer Glau will appear as Isabel Rochev, and another major player will be introduced in the second episode of the season.
All of the producers were asked if there might be some eventual connection between Arrow and the newest set of DC movies, and each one said that they have no idea, but are eager to find out. But when asked if Arrow might connect to the DC movies the way that S.H.I.E.L.D. connects to the Marvel movies, Amell noted:
We don't have S.H.I.E.L.D. We have A.R.G.U.S. And we have AR.G.U.S. in Season Two. Look, the DC Universe is going to get built on Arrow before it gets built on the big screen. It's time. It's going to be awesome.