Before I say anything else, I would just like to point out at Arrow just started filming its second season on July 10th. Jump forward only 10 days to July 20th. The show’s three executive producers (Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg, Greg Berlanti) and most of its stars (Stephen Amell, Colton Haynes, Katie Cassidy, Emily Bett Rickards, and David Ramsey) migrated south from Vancouver, where the show is filmed, to triumphantly return to Comic-Con in San Diego. Last year, they premiered the show’s pilot at Comic-Con. This year? Well, we didn’t get a full episode, but we did get nearly 2 full minutes of footage from the second season premiere. You know, the one they just started filming. It begins with a rather concise summation of the first season before transitioning into the new footage, but why tell when I can show.
Here Is the Comic-Con Arrow Sizzle Reel for Season 1 and the Season 2 Premiere:
Yes, if you weren’t sure, that is Black Canary at the end, as in the one played by Caity Lotz we only found out about three or four days ago. The text at the end of the video, “City of Heroes,” is the name of the second season premiere episode.
For those who haven’t been paying attention, the show’s producers have been regular Chatty Cathys as of late meaning this new footage mostly confirms what they said would happen. There has been a time-jump between seasons (5 months to be exact), Oliver has temporarily left his life as “The Hood” with some longing for his return (Felicity, Roy, Detective Lance) and others hoping to bring him to justice (Laurel), Felicity has re-designed the Arrow Cave, Tommy’s death has not been forgotten, and Summer Glau is playing a business rival to Oliver’s new position as Chairman of Queen Consolidated. Those dismayed or simply amused by Oliver’s ever-growing list of love interests probably received some more ammunition with a quick shot of Oliver and Shado kissing in one of the flashback scenes. Plus, oh yeah, Black Canary has arrived in Starling City.
But, wait, there’s more. During the ensuing panel, the producers and cast confirmed the addition of several new DC characters into the show. They are:
Sebastian “Brother” Blood, a New Teen Titans villain who will be played on the show by Kevin Alejandro (best known as Lafayette’s dearly departed boyfriend in True Blood). In the comics, Blood has an eternally youthful appearance and has powers like hypnosis and sorcery; in the animated series Teen Titans, he is similarly hypnotic but otherwise a rather different version of the character. According to TVLine, the Arrow version will be “an alderman who rises to power in the wake of the earthquake that devastated Starling City in the Season 1 finale.”
Ben “Bronze Tiger” Turner, a mercenary, world-class expert in martial arts who will be played by Michael Jai White, who is also rather skilled in martial arts. White previously played Spawn in the 1997 live-action film, and was one of the mob bosses in The Dark Knight. Turner will be part of a new version of the Suicide Squad, a team in the comics of incarcerated villains who perform dangerous missions with low chances of survival for the U.S. Government in exchange for reduced prison sentences. According to TVLine, the Arrow version will consist of Turner, China White (Kelly Hu), and Deadshot (Michael Rowe).
Other new information to emerge from the panel was that Oliver’s sister, Thea, will take over as the manager of his night club while he attempts to run the family company due to a power vaccuum having been created at the top after his mother’s arrest in the season 1 finale. Plus, John Barrowman showed up halfway through the panel, wearing an Arrow t-shirt no less, and joined in the Q&A session, indicating he would be returning next season in at least various flashbacks.
You can read more about the panel appearance at ScreenCrush.com. As expected, the Felicity/Oliver shipping debate did come up, but such conversation was deflected with jokes about a potential Felicity-Diggle pairing instead (which Emily Bett Rickards, seated in-between Stephen Amell and David Ramsey, referred to as Delicity). The “Olicity” chants were apparently rather unmistakable.
The new footage looks pretty great. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it was edited together after a mere 4 days of shooting. So, it’s astonishing how much it feels like something they had far longer to prepare and far more footage to choose from. Our brief glimpse of Black Canary seems to be the area they’ve had to cut around the most due to being so early in the process. As a result, that sequence, to me, feels as if it has come from an entirely different show, specifically Smallville. It should be interesting to see how this comes together when they’ve had more than 4 days of footage to work with.
The new season of Arrow premieres on the CW on October 9.