Arrow producer on the face-off with R'as al Ghul and a 'little nod' to Batman

The midseason finale of The CW’s Arrow airs tonight, and finally brings the epic face-off between Oliver and R’as al Ghul we’ve been waiting on. So what can we expect?

Producer Marc Guggenheim conducted a wide-ranging interview with IGN about tonight’s midseason finale, and dropped some hints about what we can expect from the shirtless sword fight we’ve glimpsed in teasers. Not surprisingly, they’re proud of the scene — and promise R’as will definitely be a “formidable” foe for the Arrow.

Plus, in case keen-eyed fans noticed a nice nod to some throwback Batman comic stories in that footage, that’s exactly what the writers had planned. The version of Oliver Queen featured in Arrow has always had a hint of Batman, and they’re basically just embracing that parallel as Oliver faces off with one of Bruce Wayne’s most famous foes:

“Yes. That was 100% intentional. That’s our little nod to the Neal Adams Batman Ra’s comic story from the 70s. Obviously, when people mention Ra’s, just because the Chris Nolan films, they think of Batman Begins. But certainly one of our touchstones has been those original Batman stories. So the shirtless duels are a staple of that. One of the other things is usually it’s a shirtless duel in the desert and you know we shoot in Vancouver so that wasn’t really -- there was no way to do that in a way that would look good so we leaned into the strengths of Vancouver, which are some pretty remarkable vistas…

I don’t think I’m spoiling anything to say that Ra’s is pretty damn good when it comes to using a sword. But we sort of made Ra’s… Ra’s is a very formidable figure. We’ve been keying that up basically for over a season now so seeing him fight, it had to live up to the hype as it were. I think Oliver is going to find he’s going to potentially get a little more than he bargained for.”

Moving into the back half of the third season, which resumes in early 2015, Guggenheim offered up some more intel on their plans for Vinnie Jones (X-Men: The Last Stand) as the relatively new DC villain Brick. The character will apparently serve as a test case for mini-arcs involving villains who are not the season’s Big Bad, but still play out a three-ish episode story:

“Brick, who’s played by Vinnie Jones, we’re actually doing something we’ve never done on the show before which is we’ve never had a multi-episode arc with a villain who wasn’t the big bad of the year. So we’re trying something new in Season 3 that I’m really excited about. Truth be told, something like that is only as good as its casting and Vinnie, he’s amazing. He really, really commands the screen and he is a very worthy adversary. I think it’ll be fun to spend three episodes sort of exploring a villain who’s not the big bad, who’s not going to destroy the city, but at the same time isn’t going to end up in police custody by the end of the first episode.”

The midseason finale of Arrow airs tonight. What are you wanting to see?

(Via IGN)

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