It’s been quite some time since Dolph Lundgren has ventured into the superhero genre, as 1989’s The Punisher is long behind him. Thanks to the TCA press tour though, we now know that’s all set to change when the action movie icon joins the cast of Arrow this coming season – as a villain.
Not much is known about his character as of now, aside from the fact that he will be playing a member of the Bravta, a Russian organized crime syndicate, and factor heavily into this year’s flashbacks.
Executive producer Marc Guggenheim thankfully spilled a few more beans when talking to Collider, revealing the following:
“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.”
I’m well aware that season 4’s flashbacks weren’t as well received, but to abandon the concept now would leave us with an incomplete story. The point of them was to show what happened during Oliver’s five year absence and his history with the Bratva is the final piece of the puzzle.
Although season 5 will close a chapter of sorts in the show’s history, don’t expect the flashback concept to be abandoned entirely – and certainly don’t be surprised to see any flash forwards, according to executive producer Wendy Mericle (via IGN):
“At least for the immediate future, we haven’t talked about flashing forward as much as we have flashing back from different character perspectives. The nice thing is we’ve used the device on the show for five seasons. We have it in our tool kit now. I think we’ll use it whenever it’s appropriate, whenever it feels right. For me, I think it would be really fun to do a villain and see it from a villain’s point of view, because that’s such a shorthand for getting inside the head of the bad guys.”
Using flashbacks to detail the histories of various characters has already been utilized, as we have already seen it done with the likes of Malcolm Merlyn and John Diggle. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing flash forwards used when appropriate in season 6 and beyond. Considering that we’ve seen Connor Hawke/John Diggle, Jr. operating as the Green Arrow of the future on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, I think it would be cool to see how choices Team Arrow make today affect him tomorrow.
Arrow returns for its fifth season on Wednesday, October 5 on The CW.