PaleyFest 2013: 'Arrow' cast, producers talk secrets, Bludhaven, and 'The Dark Knight'

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Image Credit: AP Images

Arrow fans at PaleyFest got quite a show on Saturday night. Though the audience didn’t get to see an entire upcoming episode, the sizzle reel proved enticing enough, providing a number of big revelations (read: spoilers).

The most shocking reveal happened during a conversation between The Huntress and Detective Lance, but you’ll have to wait until the episode airs to find out what it is… or check back in with Spoiler Room.

Unlike many of the other panels here, there were only four actors from the show on hand, and much of the conversation was dominated by the three producers, but the audience didn’t seem to mind. Moderated by DC Comics’ Geoff Johns (who has also written for the CW series), the conversation was an in-depth look at the world of comics and the inspirations drawn for Arrow. One audience member even stood up to ask if Stephen Amell was ready for the commitment required to star in a genre show. He said he’s trying, and often looks to fellow cast mate and genre show veteran John Barrowman (who was not in attendance) for guidance.

Click past the jump to read 10 of the best insights and teases from the stars and producers.

1. Why Green Arrow?
Creator and Executive Producer Greg Berlanti told the audience that Arrow was chosen because it seemed right for a television show. Berlanti was excited about the possibility of an origin story. He said: “In a movie you do an origin story and it’s the first 20 minutes of the film. But in a series, in this instance it’s the island, you get to tell that over multiple years.” Also, the fact that Arrow is “of our world” was important to the producers, which prompted a resounding ‘no’ when an audience member asked whether or not any of the characters would eventually have special powers.

2. Other inspirations include The Dark Knight, Brothers and Sisters, and Revenge
The Dark Knight – as you probably could have guessed — informs much of the world of Arrow, but Creator and Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg said that Brothers and Sisters and Revenge have helped to inspire the show’s ongoing family saga.

3. Stephen Amell was cast without ever having to remove his shirt
Presented without comment.

4. The island is Amell’s favorite storyline for Oliver
“When we began on the island, I was just lying around in the cave like an idiot,” Amell said. “But I always knew eventually, at a certain point, my spine would begin to form.” He referenced Episode 14 (“The Odyssey”) as one that was really fun for his character, and the point when he finally started to see little shifts.

5. Arrow will visit some of the other DC Comics cities.
“He will make a trip to Blüdhaven,” Kreisberg said. “Nightwing will not be there, unfortunately. He’s out of town that week.” He added: “There are two cities that we’ll probably never go to. You can probably figure out which ones those are.” Still, the producers cautioned, “never say never,” so who knows!

6. Laurel is developing and changing
On the red carpet, Katie Cassidy told EW: “I love that [my character is] sort of becoming more and more empowered. She’s becoming stronger and standing up for what she believes in.” Part of coming into her own means paying less attention to her father’s “blue-collar” advice, according to Cassidy. “I am looking forward to her taking on the Black Canary if it eventually ever happens,” the actress said.

7. Diggle isn’t thrilled about how many people know the secret
Is it even a secret anymore? EW asked David Ramsey if Diggle is concerned that so many people know at this point. “Yes! I am concerned,” Ramsey said. “I love the fact that Felicity knows, now Tommy knows. Who else will know? The mother almost knew.” He added that, though his character might be concerned, he isn’t. “These writers are brilliant,” Ramsey said. “They know what they’re doing and it’s all headed towards something incredible.”

8. The complicated Moria Queen just loves her family
“With Moira, she is constantly trying to maneuver and getting stuck in places that are really that traditional rock and a hard place,” Susanna Thompson told EW of her character. “And the only motivation for her to make any decision at all is the love for her family and her desperate will to live.”

9. Felicity was always supposed to be a one-off, but fans loved her too much
Writer Marc Guggenheim’s eyes lit up when asked about the character of Felicity and the decision to make her a series regular. On the carpet, he told EW: “For that story we needed a computer technician and we’d written quirky funny character, mainly because honestly that’s the stuff that Andrew [Kreisberg] and I are most comfortable writing. The dark, dour character that Oliver was in the beginning of the year was a little out of our wheelhouse and we were like, ‘Oh, let’s write one character we can write in our sleep’. But then we cast Emily Rickard, who was so amazing.” Guggenheim added: “We reached a point where we realized we’d either have to fish or cut bait with Felicity because she either has to learn Oliver’s secret — because otherwise she’s just an idiot — or she’s got to go away. Once we decided that she couldn’t go away — we love her too much and the audience loves her too much — making her a series regular was kind of a no-brainer.” Ramsey had another take: “She brings some much-needed estrogen to the Arrowcave. And some levity, because we are always going at it like lovers,” the actor joked of Diggle’s self-described bromance with Oliver.

10. Who can do more push-ups: Stephen Amell or David Ramsey?
An audience member wanted to know, and suddenly everyone was interested. Even though they didn’t hit the floor immediately, Amell did promise that they’d do the challenge one day on set and make sure that it was included in the DVD extras.

Follow @ldbahr

Read More:
PaleyFest 2013: 10 things we learned from ‘The Walking Dead’ panel
PaleyFest 2013: 10 ‘Revolution’ revelations

PaleyFest 2013: ‘Community’

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