Arrow has just got 10 episodes left to go in its shortened eighth and final season this fall, but the show’s still lost two of its stars. Emily Bett Rickards exited the series as Felicity in the season 7 finale, and now another major player has been confirmed not to be returning as a regular in season 8: Colton Haynes AKA Roy Harper.
The news was revealed at the recent TCA press tour, with showrunner Beth Schwartz announcing his departure but also making clear that they intend to get him back for at least a guest spot. “We hope to have him back,” the EP stated. “We love him and he’s obviously one of the foundations of the show.”
This will no doubt be disappointing to Arrow fans, as we only recently had Haynes back on board the show. After a long absence from the Arrowverse – except for a few guest appearances now and then – Roy Harper was added to the main cast again in season 7. The character featured in the flash-forward sequences, in which the former Arsenal helped Oliver’s grown-up son William return to their home town in the year 2040.
Of course, Haynes debuted in Arrow‘s first season, before being a regular on seasons 2 and 3. The actor then bowed out due to personal reasons at the beginning of season 4. Though he looked to be in a better place, Haynes sadly revealed earlier this year that he’s had substance abuse issues for the past decade. If the star is taking some time out again to heal himself, then that’s fair enough, and I’m sure all Arrow fans would want him to put his own health first.
Though Haynes is out, the flash-forwards will continue in season 8, with Joseph David-Jones (Connor Hawke) and Charlie Barnett (John Diggle Jr.) bumped up to regular status for the show’s final ride when Arrow returns to The CW one last time on Tuesday, October 15th.