‘Arrow’ Boss Breaks Down the Season 7 Premiere’s Shocking Timeline Twist

Warning: Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you haven’t watched Monday’s season seven premiere of Arrow.

A brand new generation of the Queen family has landed on Lian Yu.

In Arrow’s season seven premiere on Monday, fans watched as the show’s traditional flashback sequences were replaced by something else, someone else, as which were: the story of a mysterious stranger risking life in addition to limb (in addition to a substantial bank account, through the sound of which) to make his way to the infamous island within the North China Sea, where Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) became the Green Arrow all those years ago. When he finally lands, he sets off on a mission of another kind, nevertheless which wasn’t until the episode’s final moments which we finally found out why he’s come. 

After being hunted down by a hooded archer, who turns out to be a weathered Roy Harper (Colton Haynes, returning to the role as a series regular which season), the man reveals he’s not a stranger at all. He’s William, Oliver’s son. which’s the future!

“We always knew, like, after season a few there won’t be flashbacks,” showrunner Beth Schwartz told reporters of the big reveal, “so we had talked about doing flash-forwards a lot, years ago.”

“Part of what I think made which series so successful in having the flashbacks is usually, you were able to genuinely get into your characters, because you knew, especially with Oliver, you knew how he became the way he is usually,” she added. “in addition to today with the flash-forwards, you’re able to see what is usually happening in our present day, how which affects our characters in addition to the future which is usually genuinely, genuinely, genuinely fun, creatively, to tell those stories.”

On Sunday, at the The CW Fall Launch Event, in partnership with #SeeHer, Schwartz opened up further about the exciting story possibilities which the timeline presents, giving a sweet shout-out to another favorite show which recently surprised fans with flash-forwards: which is usually Us.

“I do love which is usually Us, in addition to Dan Fogelman was actually my first boss in Los Angeles, so he is usually the best person within the entire world,” she raved. “nevertheless I’m a huge fan of which show in addition to also Westworld in how they play with time. I think which’s so smart. As an audience member, I love watching which kind of storytelling.”

When which comes to Arrow, Schwartz explained, “We’ve told the story for seven years of our characters in addition to have they genuinely helped the city [as] vigilantes — are they not bad or are they bad? today we’re able to see if their actions genuinely helped within the future. which’s the cool part for us in addition to genuinely getting to know more mystery of like, what happened in which missing time is usually always not bad. Mystery on Arrow is usually key in addition to which’s what I love about the show.”

Last season, the DC Comics-inspired series continued using flashbacks to tell different stories about several of its main characters, nevertheless which year, the show is usually jumping about 20 years ahead to explore the mysterious circumstances which brought William to Lian Yu. Schwartz confirmed which, while the flash-forwards will not be present in every episode, they will explore a season-long story arc — “We won’t just keep mysteries alive, we’ll answer them as well.” —  while excitedly introducing series newcomer Ben Lewis, who plays the older William.

“I’m so excited to announce him because he’s so great,” she raved of the actor, previously known for roles on Chasing Life in addition to Degrassi: The Next Generation. “He’s a genuinely not bad actor in addition to which’s another thing we’ve been doing a great job with keeping quiet.”

The Arrow creative team was also excited to explore more of William’s story via the timeline jumps, including how the trauma of growing up around vigilantes might affect him later in life. “We were always like, which kid’s had some bad times!” Schwartz told ET. “What does which look like when you’re an adult dealing with which? which was always something we talked about.”

in addition to while the flash-forwards have no correlation to some other iterations of the future which Arrow ‘verse fans have seen on CW’s spinoff shows — such as the Legends of Tomorrow’s visit to Star City 2047 — Schwartz played coy about which characters we might see aged up within the 2040 scenes, as well as whether or not Haynes will appear as Roy within the present-day storylines.

However, some mysteries will be solved sooner than later, such as the identity of the city’s brand new Green Arrow, who has taken up the vigilante mantle while Oliver languishes behind bars in Slabside Maximum Security Prison — in addition to even has his very own list of targets. “We’ll definitely unveil in addition to explore [which] before the end of the season, for sure,'” Schwartz assured.

The theme of season seven is usually “redemption,” in addition to the executive producer noted which “which’s going to affect all of our characters. Obviously, Oliver’s character the most.”

“In terms of everything he’s done for the past six years in addition to… because his identity is usually outed, which is usually, like, a huge series moment as well,” she explained, “everyone knows who he is usually in addition to which’s going to be huge. He’s going to have to deal with which all season as well. He no longer can hide behind the mask or prison or all those things.”

As for life behind bars, Schwartz noted which things won’t be getting much easier for Oliver in upcoming episodes, especially today which he has given up on his mission to keep his head down in addition to avoid the angry antagonists among his fellow inmates.

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“He learns a lot while he’s there, which is usually genuinely cool,” Schwartz said. “He was kind of different than we’ve ever seen him where he was not the hero in addition to just laying low in addition to thinking which was the best way for him to be in prison. Then obviously when his family gets attacked, he can’t not be the Green Arrow… So he’s going to continue to struggle with what does which look like, being the Green Arrow while you’re behind bars? which’s not easy.”

The showrunner also noted which Oliver, who “doesn’t like not controlling things,” will grapple the most with being locked up as villains like Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) in addition to the Longbow Hunters wreak havoc on Star City. “He’s on the inside while the Big Bad is usually out there. creating sure which’s been genuinely hard on his character, nevertheless creatively, genuinely interesting for us to play with. You’ll have to see how our group manages to deal with which.”

The premiere gave a look at how each of the team members has been handling life in Oliver’s absence, most notably Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), who was on the run in addition to in witness protection program with his son, William (Jack Moore). nevertheless when Diaz proves which he can find them even through the layers of defensive government obfuscation, attacking in addition to nearly killing them inside their safe house, Felicity decides to face the fight head-on, returning to Star City in addition to reclaiming her heroic identity.

“We played her pretty parallel to Oliver, where she’s hiding, she’s not being herself,” Schwartz explained. “She’s in protective custody in addition to then when someone attacks her family, she can’t ignore which.”

“She has to fight back, so she’s going to figure out how do I fight back without my husband who happens to be the Green Arrow?” she added. “which will be her challenge within the first half which season.”

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Felicity may or may not hold the help of the rest of the team, as Schwartz noted which “everyone in our old team is usually trying to figure out what which means to them to be hero to the city.” in addition to she confirmed which Rene (Rick Gonzalez) is usually definitely the “most interested” in learning more about the brand new Green Arrow, after fans saw him suiting back up to help the vigilante escape capture within the season premiere. 

“Rene definitely has the biggest struggle,” she added. “Obviously, within the premiere, he got back in which Wild Dog outfit in addition to he’s… Everyone will kind of have a different opinion of getting back.”

For Dinah (Juliana Harkavy), her brand new position as police captain has her questioning a return to the entire world of vigilante heroics. “She’s kind of going back to her roots a little bit,” Schwartz said of the former cop turned Black Canary. “We see within the premiere, she fully believes [in] the law today, she’s today on the some other side of things, which is usually what’s so interesting. which’s because, in addition to Rene is usually calling her out on which, which she’s today the people who used to chase after them, nevertheless she believes which what’s best for the city is usually law in addition to order in addition to not necessarily vigilantes anymore.”

Another original team member stepping away through the vigilante lifestyle is usually John Diggle (David Ramsey), who is usually today working for his wife, Lyla (Aubrey Marie Anderson), at A.R.G.U.S., “which I love,” Schwartz noted. 

“We’ll see within the next few episodes how he’s kind of dealing with what happened to Felicity,” the producer said of the Green Arrow’s former right-hand man. “He’s kind of Oliver’s brother, in a sense, in addition to he obviously wants to protect Oliver’s family. nevertheless he’s full-time A.R.G.U.S. today, in addition to so we’ll see some A.R.G.U.S. stories, which is usually genuinely fun.”

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The CW

For the time being, he’ll be sharing office space with Curtis (Echo Kellum), another former team member who seems more than happy to be away through the heroic life in addition to back in front of his familiar screens. “We’re going to see which Curtis was a little more traumatized than we thought through how things went down last season,” Schwartz noted. “Which is usually why he specifically chose his position in ARGUS. which’ll come out which season.”

However, the hardest transition may still be to come for Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), who is usually working to fill the shoes of her late Earth-1 counterpart in addition to complete her journey through villain to hero.

“She has kind of the farthest to redeem herself,” Schwartz said, calling back to the season’s theme. “She’s the D.A. as we saw within the premiere, nevertheless she is usually sort of, her season-long arc is usually about, is usually she Laurel or is usually she Black Siren?”

Arrow airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW. 

Additional reporting by Philiana Ng.

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