Recently, Collider was lucky enough to be able to sit down with the showrunner of ‘Arrow,’ Marc Guggenheim, and pick his brain about the upcoming season of the CW’s flagship DC show, especially now that Oliver Queen’s flashback stories have come to a conclusion. Toward the end of the conversation, they hit upon the topic of Deathstroke and his return to the main narrative at the end of Season 5, and why he was not brought back sooner. Guggenheim intimated that due to Warner Bros and DC’s cinematic plans with the characters (i.e. plans to use him as the villain in ‘The Batman’ movie) ‘Arrow’ was basically told not to use Deathstroke anymore (same situation that happened to ‘Arrow’ with the ‘Suicide Squad’ characters), but as of last year, they were told Deathstroke was available again (interesting timing since the ‘Arrow’ producers were told they could use Deathstroke well ahead of when the public started seeing ‘The Batman’ movie fall apart).
Now that they have access to Slade Wilson/ Deathstroke once more, the producers of ‘Arrow’ seem eager to add him back onto the list of characters they plan on doing flashbacks for this year, including giving the character a two-part episode pretty early on this season, in Episodes 5 and 6. It seems they want to explain more about Slade Wilson’s past before he got to Lian Yu and met Oliver Queen, mainly his military training and his family, which ties in with the rumors that they also cast someone to play one of Slade Wilson’s sons this year.
While Wilson will still be a kind of fremeny to Oliver and company (I mean come on, he did terrorize the city in Season 2, and made Thea and Oliver watch while he killed their mother), it seems he will be sticking around the show for some time. I’m thinking maybe he will be filling in the void left by the loss of Malcolm Merlyn, who used to be the villain who was a sometimes friend/ sometimes ally of Oliver and his team. But who knows? Slade could end up being more villainous than I thought, or more heroic, especially now that the Mirakuru has finally worn off.
What are your thoughts on the return of Deathstroke and the reasons why ‘Arrow’ had to wait so long to use him? Are you as tired as I am of Warner Bros making ridiculous demands of their TV properties about what characters they can and cannot use because they are worried about people getting confused when a cinematic version of those characters comes out? Especially when the cinematic version ends up TERRIBLE (i.e. ‘Suicide Squad) or fizzles out entirely (i.e. the Deathstroke that was going to be in ‘The Batman’) and the TV show could have done something amazing with the characters? Share your thoughts on the matter in the comments below!