Team Arrow is now one member short, as Colton Haynes has officially left the show as a series regular following a shocking and emotional exit in last night’s episode. Haynes played Roy Harper, who went from street thug to full-blown superhero over the course of his three-season tenure on the series.
In an interview with Deadline, producers Marc Guggenheim and Greg Berlanti talked a bit about the news, saying that it was partly out of contractual obligation:
Berlanti: We made a two-season deal [with Haynes] that had a clock on it, we always knew that. When he was coming off Teen Wolf, we described the role to him, and we agreed he would do if for a couple of years. At that particular moment, he had a lot of opportunities to do things, and we’re lucky he chose us. He brought a lot of nototriety and viewership to the show when we were growing, and the show wouldn’t be the show it is without him. He is such a talent and such a nice guy, everybody from crew to writers were so enthusiastic to have him for the time we had him. We are sad to see him go but excited to see what he does next…
We knew [this storyline] based on what had happened last season and this season. Roy has struggled with guilt after killing a policeman. In saving Oliver, he sees in the chance to absolve himself. Hopefully it was surprising for the audience as some thought for a moment that he might die.
Guggenheim: We were able to deign his arc for the season with the end point in mind. We always knew he would take a heroic stance and redeem himself for his actions. It’s always a blessing when you know where exactly you are going to end up.
As far as what Roy’s departure means for the future of the series, Guggenheim and Berlanti teased that Oliver may get a new sidekick and told viewers to tune into the season finale to find out. As for what this may mean for Roy Harper and his future on Arrow or one of the other CW series like The Flash or the untitled team-up spin-off, they remain hopeful that he could pop up again in the future:
Guggenheim:The hope is that he’ll continue to be part of the universe we are building. We love working with his so much. We’ve talked to him about returning to one of the three shows, and if available, he has expressed interest. He is gone but definitely not forever.
Arrow airs on Wednesday nights on The CW.