Now that his secret vigilantism has been discovered, Arrow‘s upcoming seventh season will see Oliver Queen locked up in Slabside Maximum Security Prison, along with some of the supervillains and criminals he previously put in there. This is clearly a very dire situation for Star City’s savior to be in, and a fresh spin on the usual status quo of the long-running DC TV series.
While speaking at San Diego Comic-Con last month, director James Bamford explained that the new prison setting allows for the show to drop Ollie in a completely different world and community and watch him adjust to very different circumstances from what he’s used to. And yes, it’ll also see some familiar foes return.
“We’re investigating completely different dynamics within the mythology of the show and that is within Slabside Supermax Prison. There’s a whole world, as you know, within a prison community and we’ll see how long he lasts inside there and what and who he encounters while he’s in there. It’s basically left open to multiple possibilities, as far as characters that could arise.”
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Bamford then went on to reveal what his elevator pitch for the upcoming arc is: what if Batman was locked up in jail with the Joker? As the director says, “the possibilities are endless.”
“What I’ve said to the other folks is, ‘What if Batman got put in prison and, for instance, the Joker was right next door?’ The possibilities are endless. I can’t say exactly who or what’s in there, but it’s a pretty dark, horrible, evil place. We want the audience to not only feel what it’s like to be confined in such a destitute place. I want the audience to feel what he feels, so you’ll get — hopefully, if we’ve done our job correctly — you’ll get the grit. You’ll be sort of wanting to wash this prison off of you, it should feel so real.”
Green Arrow fans who know their stuff will also see a similarity between season 7’s new set-up and the undeveloped Green Arrow: Escape from Super Max movie from the 2000s. The Dark Knight‘s David S. Goyer wrote the screenplay for that one, which was about Oliver’s trials when he’s wrongly locked up in jail with some of the DC universe’s worst villains. When asked about the comparisons, however, showrunner Beth Schwarz denied that the upcoming season is based on the film.
Regardless, the newly-bearded Mr. Queen looks to be having a tough time of it in the pokey, as star Stephen Amell’s teased that the hero will be forced to do something “reprehensible” in the season premiere. And we’ll find out what that is when Arrow returns to The CW on Monday, October 15th.