Newsarama recently managed to sit down with some of the cast and crew of ‘Arrow’ Season 7 to get the dirt on the upcoming season, which apparently is getting just gritty enough that they had to ask for the CW censors to review scenes just to be certain they are ok for network television. While not much is known about the plot of the new season, we do know that Oliver is still in prison (and has been there for months), and that Ricardo Diaz is still on the loose, and potentially still causing trouble for Star City.

When asked how his character reacts to the situations developing in Star City, star Stephen Amell answered:

“We touch upon that a little bit in the premiere, and the lack of vigilantes in Star City, but Oliver has effectively no contact with the outside world. His day-to-day and his prison time is just that – just time.”

Amell also spoke about the fact that Season 7 will find Oliver in jail alongside many of the villains he put away and how that experience has changed him, and not necessarily for the better:

“He is in jail with people he put in jail. We have been very fortunate to get some people back on the show that you haven’t seen in a while…The thing I really enjoy playing in the premiere is there’s absolutely nothing heroic about Oliver. In fact, it’s kind of the opposite. If you are a fan of his, and you root for him, I would really hope the premiere makes you mad.”

The premiere episode itself is directed by James Bamford, one of the long-time stunt coordinators of the series, who pointed out his attempts to recreate the feel of Season 1 with the beginning of Season 7, and how some of that grittiness, in one scene in particular, ended up with them needing to call in the CW censors to ok what they were doing:

“In the premiere you will find some elements with the Season 1 feel, but you will find other elements that is new, uncharted territory…Beth and I had a phone call with BSNP, which is our censors… a very lengthy phone call about a particular scene that we never had before. So we are really trying to push the limits on the show in the gritty factor. We are trying to go as far as you can go within the confines of our network and what is expected of us and what we can and can’t do. We are not on Netflix so we will never be able to X, Y, and Z, but we are damn sure going to try.”

As for the rest of Team Arrow, new showrunner Beth Schwartz had some interesting comments about what they are up to as the season begins, pointing out how the loss of Oliver as the leader has affected them and their vigilante work:

“Everyone is spread out doing their own thing. They all get along; everyone has made up since the end of last season, but they’ve all found what makes them a hero to the city that was not necessarily being on the team without their leader. We are going to find them in different roles than we have before.”

Wild Dog/ Rene actor, aka Rick Gonzales, also had some comments about the upcoming season, speaking mainly about what to expect from the character arcs and overall themes:

“What I’m instructed to say is redemption. That’s been Wild Dog’s theme the entire time, is redemption. Personally speaking from his perspective, what other choices of him becoming a vigilante, with Oliver going to prison now. Oliver gave a directive saying hey, keep on fighting. So now we will have to see how Rene interrupts that. I think this entire season will take us all the way back to the beginning of why each character decided to become a vigilante or not and all of the choices they’ve made in between that leads them to this moment here, which would be the redemption arc we would like to complete for this season.”

While Juliana Harkavy recently spoke about how the death of Quentin Lance at the end of Season 6 has changed some of the dynamics on the show for her character, especially with Black Siren:

“It’s complicated. But I do think the death of Quentin gave her a little bit of empathy for Black Siren.”

And lastly, Schwartz teased that yet again Star City will have a new mayor, though she admits the role has become a bit of a curse in the show:

“It’s the worst position, we joke about that, that is not a popular role. Yes, there will be a new mayor. You will see.”

It all sounds very intriguing, but I am holding back from getting my expectations too high, as this is still ‘Arrow’ and they are on their seventh season, so it might not be as fun a ride as they are promoting it to be. Still, a new showrunner and a directive to be more gritty and go in as though this might be the final season could yield some amazing episodes, especially since the whole dynamic of the show has shifted with Thea and Quentin out and Oliver in prison.

Here’s hoping Season 7 turns out to be the success it sounds like it has the potential to be!