The cast and producers of “Arrow” took to the stage Friday afternoon and couldn’t seem to believe that they were going into the third season of their show. And no one seemed to be more aware of the significance of a third season than executive producer Andrew Kreisberg, who pointed out that third seasons typically introduce characters that can change the whole face of the series. He pointed out the addition of Faith in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s” third season, and Scott Wolf in the third season of “Everwood.”
“Season three is typically where you see some game-changing characters,” Kreisberg said.
Kreisberg and executive producer Marc Guggenheim sat down with people from DC Entertainment earlier this year to ask for certain characters in the new season, but though Ted Kord (Blue Beetle) was off the table, Ray Palmer (a.k.a. Atom) was offered instead.
“He’s a lighter hero,” Kreisberg said. “Someone who’s a little more fun.”
Brandon Routh, who played Superman in “Superman Returns,” joins the cast as Palmer. Tatsu Yamashiro will play the blade-wielding Katana, and Karl Yune will play her husband, Maseo.
Meanwhile, Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) will complete his transformation into the costumed hero Arsenal, complete with red costume. And the world of “Arrow” will continue to expand with cross-overs to the new “Flash” series. A crossover is promised in the eighth episode of the season from both shows.
Kreisberg and Guggenheim appeared with cast members Stephen Amell, John Barrowman, Willa Holland, Paul Blackthorne, Colton Haynes and David Ramsey. But though Emily Bett Rickards, who plays Felicity Smoak, was not on the panel, it appears big things are in store for her character when the series returns Oct. 8.
In a sneak preview of the new season, Felicity and Oliver Queen will actually go on a date, stoking the fires of fans who have long pined for a relationship between the two. But it’s not all wining and dining, as Felicity is also shown laid out on a medical table with a serious-looking wound on her face.
Kreisberg promised that fans would get to see more of Felicity’s backstory and her years at M.I.T.
“It’s in an episode titled ‘Oracle,'” Kreisberg said to cheers from the audience.
Oracle is the secret identity of Barbara Gordon, daughter of Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon, who became an information broker and computer expert after she was made a paraplegic by the Joker’s bullet. While it’s unknown if any of that will actually be in the series, Kreisberg definitely seemed to hint that Gordon might make an appearance.
Holland, who was last seen getting into a limo with her father, Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman), couldn’t say what her character would be up to in the new season, but she dropped a big hint.
“All I can say is I’ve been hitting the gym a little bit,” Holland said, flexing her muscles and leading fans to believe that she will finally make good on the “Speedy” nickname her character was given in season one.
In the comics, Speedy is the name of Oliver Queen’s occasional teenage sidekick.
Kreisberg and comic writer Ben Sokolowski were recently announced as the new writers of the “Green Arrow” comic, and both Kreisberg and Guggenheim seemed stunned at how much comic book aracana they’ve been allowed to bring to the CW series.
“We never thought we’d have Arsenal and Huntress and Canary,” Guggenheim said.
– Patrick Kevin Day | @patrickkevinday
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[For the record, 10:46 p.m., July 26: A previous version of this post misidentified actor Karl Yune as Kevin Yune.]
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