The CW’s Arrow returns to the airwaves in just a few days, and producer Wendy Mericle has opened up about everything from that Constantine finale to the (formal) introduction of Green Arrow.
Mericle chatted with IGN about the new season and noted that one of the biggest things they have to factor in this year is the sheer size of the DC universe they’ve managed to build across Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and (the dearly departed) Constantine. They've essentially had to add a person to keep track of the over-arcing canon in real time, and it takes more juggling than ever to line it all up.
She also touched on the task of bringing Oliver back into the fold after he essentially retired and went off to live happily ever after with Felicity. Though he’ll once again don the mask and bow, Mericle stressed it’s a different Arrow this year. To be specific, he’s finally embracing the Green Arrow identity from the comic as Oliver lets go of his demons and comes into his own as a hero.
Check out an excerpt from Mercile’s comments below:
“It’s going to be very different. We like to think of the first three seasons as Oliver the soldier coming back from war. We never explicitly said PTSD but the implication certainly was there. In the pilot, he’s sleeping on the floor, he doesn’t have any appetite. This season, we’re going to see him in a very different place. When he leaves at the end of Season 3, he’s hung up the mantle, he’s very loved. He’s very happy where he is and that happiness and lightness and the new found faith in humanity that he has, as a result as this relationship with Felicity, is going to redefine how he approaches his mission and how he approaches his life in general and we’re excited about that. It’s a different Oliver. It’s still the same show and the same character but we’re seeing new colors in him…
One of the things we did this year was really have someone in charge of just tracking all the different-- we have such a big universe now. The crossovers are so exciting but they’re challenging as well because you’re balancing where everybody is and these various places in the season. We really do arc stuff out in groups of nine. 1-9 and 10-18 and then the finales. If you don’t know where Barry is, you run the risk of… If you have him in episode 408, you have to make sure all the storylines line up. It gets complicated because you want to make sure you’re honoring the evolution of all these characters. We’re definitely doing that and it’s going to be fun and complicated.”
Digging a bit deeper into Season 4, Mericle could avoid the demon-hunting elephant in the room: John Constantine. Fans have been geeking out ever since news broke they’d be crossing over Matt Ryan’s version of the DC antihero (whose own series was canned after one brief season on NBC). She said the move was predicated by the story of Sara Lance’s resurrection, but they’ll take advantage of having him in the universe:
“Absolutely. He is coming in fully as who he was on the show. We’re getting wardrobe. We’re very excited to have him. He’s a tremendous actor. It’s so cool to have that cross-pollination. We are very lucky and DC was very generous letting us have him. It was born more out of the storyline for Sara Lance. We needed someone to come in and help bring her back. He felt like the most exciting possibility and we’re just thrilled to get him. He brings such a different element to the show.”
The fourth season of Arrow premieres Oct. 7 on The CW.