Arrow’s Colin Donnell Discusses Returning As Tommy Merlyn


Ever since Tommy Merlyn was killed off way back in season 1’s finale, the producers of Arrow have thought of crafty ways for Colin Donnell to reprise his role. For the most part, those consisted of flashbacks and hallucinations, but last fall’s Crisis on Earth-X crossover saw the Nazi-ridden alternate universe’s version of Prometheus be unmasked as Tommy’s doppelganger, which had to come as a shock to a fair percentage of viewers.

But what may have been the slickest way of bringing him back was witnessed in this past week’s episode when he crashed Oliver Queen’s trial in full Green Arrow regalia. Of course, speculation ran rampant as to how this was even possible up until the point of airing, but it was ultimately revealed that Christopher Chance AKA the Human Target had assumed Tommy’s likeness in order to do the Emerald Archer a solid.

Here’s what Donnell had to say in a recent interview with TV Line about playing “Classic Tommy:”

“The courtroom scene started off very serious, but once the cameras turn around, you get to play a little bit more. The director, Andi Armaganian, was wonderful. She basically said, ‘Go as far as you want with being Tommy.’ I was like, ‘OK, sure,’ and as soon as I did it, she came back after that take and said, ‘You have no idea how hard all of us were grinning back at the monitors,’ because it was this reminder of this character that a lot of people fell in love with from the very beginning of the series. I was having a blast being back anyways, but to be able to really call back that persona of the guy who stood up against three bodyguards who were going to basically kick the s–t out his best friend, that was fun. It was nice to be able to live in that skin for a bit.”

Now, what may excite you more is that is sounds like he’s down for returning sometime in season 7. In fact, Donnell has had some discussion with new showrunner Beth Schwartz about just that:

“I honestly don’t know. I texted Beth Schwartz after she got promoted to showrunner for next season and I said, ‘So, you’re figuring out ways to bring Tommy back next season, right?’ She said they’re always looking for ways. I think it’s amazing that Beth is taking over. Like, to be there from the very beginning and to now be running the show…. it couldn’t be in better hands.”

Personally, I’d like to see Tommy come back in a way different from what we just saw. Seriously, to do so as the Human Target would no longer be surprising, so it’s recommended the producers put on their thinking caps as they begin mapping out the next year of storytelling.

Arrow airs on Thursday nights on The CW.

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