The past finally catches up with the present in Season 5 of Arrow, and the crew behind The CW’s original super-series looks to wrap up the flashback saga with an A-list baddie.
Entertainment Weekly reports the series has signed legendary action star Dolph Lundgren to play the major villain in this season’s run of flashbacks, which will find Oliver heading to Russia. The arc should fill in some lingering gaps that have been alluded to throughout the series, and pitting Stephen Amell against someone as imposing as Lundgren should be dynamite on-screen.
Producer Wendy Mericle said we’ve actually already heard of the character Lundgren will be playing, the Russian villain Kovar, who was first referenced at the end of Season 4 by Taiana. She said Cover will be a “super big badass guy who works for the Russian government.”
The entire series run has featured flashbacks, which were designed to fill in the five years Oliver was shipwrecked/etc. Since it’s finally reached Season 5, the creators confirmed this will be the last season of flashbacks — with the final arc almost certainly tying into the start of the series, leaving Oliver where we first meet him in the pilot.
Fellow producer Marc Guggenheim elaborated on the decision to end the flashbacks this season, noting it’s been part of the long-term plan from the start. He also said ending it with Russia made perfect sense, considering how many story tidbits they’ve teased about Oliver’s time there.
“We always said that Oliver had a five-year journey when he was marooned on the [island]. This year, Oliver spends his time in the flashbacks in Russia. We know from various seeds we planted back in the pilot that he knows how to speak Russian, he became a Bratva captain. Sort of the flashback story in the first half of the year is going to involve Oliver’s introduction into the Bratva.”
To better connect the flashback story to the present-day events (something they’ve struggled with the past season or two), Guggenheim said they’ll contrast Oliver’s time being trained by the Bratva crime organization to his modern-day task of training a younger team of heroes:
“He’s basically recruited into this crime organization while at the same time in the present day Oliver has recruits of his own. He’s a trainee in the past, trainer in the present, and I think that will give the audience the connect-up thematically between present in the past.”
Arrow’s fifth season premieres Wednesday, Oct. 5, on The CW.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)