When Arrow returns to The CW for its seventh season, it will find its hero, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) in prison and his vigilante alter-ego exposed. With that comes major changes for the series, which saw some behind-the-scenes shakeups happen over the off season, including showrunners Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle stepping down, and longtime writer Beth Schwartz stepping up into that position. Additionally, some of the show’s main actors have left while others have returned. So what does this mean moving forward?
In an interview with Variety, Amell spoke about an increased collaborative spirit with the show, where “Beth has empowered producers and writers of specific episodes; they’ve been on set every day. They have the ability to be the producer and the decision maker — in conjunction with the director and actors — for that episode.” The actor went on to say that the show has even implemented some of his ideas for Oliver, saying “My specific idea, and even my specific nature of the space of a particular character, all ended up in the show. That’s great. I like that there’s stuff I can pitch that comes to fruition on the show.”
As for where we find Oliver to start the season:
“Despite the fact that [his son] William and [his wife] Felicity are in witness protection, he can’t rest easy with the fact that it’s five months in and Diaz is still out there. He’s sacrificed everything to take him off the board, and he’s not off the board.Despite the fact that [his son] William and [his wife] Felicity are in witness protection, he can’t rest easy with the fact that it’s five months in and Diaz is still out there. He’s sacrificed everything to take him off the board, and he’s not off the board.”
Oliver will also start out without many allies, but he may find them (and some may be familiar faces) as the season progresses. But “prison is never what it seems. Just when he thinks it can’t get any worse, it’s obviously going to get a lot worse.”
Amell defined the storytelling for the new season as “bold,” and even he doesn’t know what Oliver’s relationship with his team or even Star City at large will be once he’s out of prison. Now that everyone knows he’s the Green Arrow, how will that change things? But as far as this first storyline goes, Amell said that “one of the things I’m very, very proud of this year, is I didn’t know if when Oliver went to prison, I’d be working every day, and we wouldn’t see a lot of the [other] cast members. We’ve gone to great lengths to make sure those stories continue. Oliver is an element of the show, but he’s also isolated from everyone.”
As far as introducing Ruby Rose into the Arrowverse as Batwoman, Amell said, “I haven’t spoken with Ruby yet. I know absolutely everything about the crossover, and there is literally nothing I can say about it. Ruby doesn’t need my help, at all.” But since Amell has also been there for the introduction of Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and more, he said if she does need anything, he hopes “she wouldn’t hesitate to ask.”
Arrow returns Monday, October 15th on The CW.