During roundtable interviews at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con, Arrow star Stephen Amell provided insight into what the comic book-inspired series has in store for fans for season five. Amell said that this season will be meaner, more gritty, and get back to focusing on Oliver’s relationship with Star City. “That’s what we focus on this year. It feels good. It’s really amazing that we started with one show and now we have four, but Arrow has always been the most specific show. It’s a street-level crime-fighting make Star City better show, and it feels like we’re getting back to that this season.”
Arrow season five is set to premiere on The CW on October 5, 2016.
Stephen Amell Interview:
Can you talk about how the losses from last season will affect him this season and how that light he found last season will help him pushing forward?
Stephen Amell: “Well, you know the Oliver of season one was at one end. The Oliver beyond season two was at the other end. It’s very black and white: I’m willing to use lethal force and then I’m not. Obviously it doesn’t just come down to that, but at the end of season four we found a shade of grey and Oliver’s very much in that spot still. At the end of the pilot he has to admit that Malcolm’s right, that if he’s not willing to do whatever is necessary, then he shouldn’t even be out there at all. As a result, we have a shot in the pilot where I kill three people in one image, in one shot, and it’s because it is what it is. Are you in my way? Are you threatening my life? You gots to go.
I think that’s a more interesting character because it’s more dynamic. There are more colors to it.”
It sounds intense.
Stephen Amell: “We’re really going for it this year. This season is mean. I love the fact that The Flash and Supergirl and Legends can have their lighter moments, and I think it’s important to have that too, but Oliver is getting to that point where he’s getting to be a bit of a grizzled veteran. Just a little bit, not totally – he’s not a curmudgeon. But at the same time, he’s getting back to where we found him.”
How do you think magic impacted the overall feel of the show last season?
Stephen Amell: “It’s interesting. I thought Neal was wonderful and I loved working with him. I wish he was still around because he was such a joy on set. At the same time, the magic and all of that I feel like it was important but that it also taught the show a lesson which is I personally think we are better when we are a little bit more grounded.”
What else can we expect this season?
Stephen Amell: “This is probably the last year of the flashbacks which means that we have a lot to accomplish. Which means the impetus and the throughline of the flashbacks I think have a lot more urgency to them. Also, what happened at the end of The Flash season two. It affects Arrow.”
Can you talk about Cody Rhodes appearing in season five?
Stephen Amell: “Cody’s coming in this year. He’s going to play a villain in episode three. We’re going to fight. But one of the cool things about this year, too, and again I don’t think that this will be the last year of the show but at the same time this is the end of a chapter, so to speak. One of the things that we do this year that I think is very cool is that the villain, the big bad this year, was created by Oliver. It was created based off of Oliver’s actions in season one. I think that that’s a cool place to take the show.”
What kind of impact will the Flashpoint storyline in The Flash have on Arrow? Without spoiling anything, can you give us a general sense of the impact?
Stephen Amell: “No. [Laughing] What we do is we…first of all, it is explained in the early part of the season, not necessarily on our show. Then we subtly begin to introduce it and then maybe not so subtly.”
With the flashbacks coming to an end this season, do you have any lingering questions about those five years that you hope are answered?
Stephen Amell: “A lot. I made a list and I sent it to the producers. Like, when does he make his bow? Like, why does he have a beard? Why is he dressed as a castaway? Why is he dressed as though it’s been him and a volleyball for the past five years? Let’s answer these questions. We made a big list and we’re going to answer them.”
(Interview by Fred Topel. Article written by Rebecca Murray.)