Marc Guggenheim talks Arrow season 2.5, 3, Ra's, that Olicity kiss, and more

Contributed by
Oct 12, 2014

Season three of Arrow is officially underway, there's a lot that's already happened, and even more to come. So, let's talk about it with one of the showrunners, why not?

Let's not be coy, Marc Guggenheim was at the DC Entertainment booth to promote the in-between comic of Arrow, season 2.5. Which is fine, but we all know that what you really want to hear about is the new season, and Marc has graciously abided and answered those TV questions too.

But first, the comic. So, because being blunt is sometimes best, I asked Marc how he planned to get and keep people excited about a comic that is adapted from a TV show that was adapted from another comic. And Marc was very pragmatic, explaining that "if the 23 episodes of the show we give you aren't good enough, the comic is designed to scratch that itch." But he also wanted to be clear that "it's canon" and that "all the stuff that happens in the comic really does matter."

So I cut to the chase -- will characters appearing in season three also turn up in the 2.5 comic? Guggenheum answered me one better:

Werner Zytle, who appeared in the season premiere, will make his comic-book appearence in season 2.5, so chronologically he'll make his first appearance in the comic. I also wanna dig backwards as well and bring back characters like the Huntress and Sara Lance and Slade Wilson so that the comic book feels populated with all the characters that people love from the show.

And that's pretty cool. Not all of those characters will necessarily get a ton of screen time this season, so this is totally a way to "scratch that itch."

For those of you who (like me) are interested in stuff like panel layout, construction and comic adaptation vs. straight comics, Marc and I talked about that, too. He explained that "I wanted the reading experience to feel like watching the show. There are no narration captions. There are no omniscient narrations, there are no first-person narrations."

But, all right, enough comic. Let's talk show. In no particular order:

John Barrowman

Episode three is a real spotlight for him, we've got an episode we're working on right now that's centered entirely around his character. He plays an incredibly important role in all the characters in the show this season, particularly Thea's.

The Olicity kiss

We talked a lot about whether or not Felicity and Ollie should kiss at all in that episode. And then we talked about when. There are two places where it felt narratively right. I'll admit I was in the writers' room stumping for the kiss coming essentially after they went through the "breakup," just because I felt it would be far more tragic.

Tormenting Olicity fans

Maybe deep, deep, deep, deep down there was a certain amount of torture I was going for there. We always do the things you expect, but never in the ways you expected them. 

Ra's al Ghul

We wanted to do something different for season three, and there's only so many former friends or former people, former father figures that can come back into Oliver's life to cause havoc. The advantage of Ra's for us is he's like a force of nature. He comes in, almost as if from another show, to completely affect and change Oliver's life. We just wanted to go very different from what we'd done before.

How do you pronounce that again?

Oliver sort of uses the Christopher Nolan pronunciation, but people like Nyssa use the Justice League, correct Arabian pronunciation. So hopefully we'll satisfy everybody.

And with that, our interview concluded as I gushed over how much I love Arrow before running away. 

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