The Arrow panel for PaleyFest consisted of Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen), David Ramsey (John Diggle), Susanna Thompson (Moira Queen), Katie Cassidy (Laurel Lance), executive produces Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg. When asked why pick the Green Arrow out of all the D.C. universe heroes, Greg Berlanti said he wanted the chance to tell an origin story of a crusader superhero over a long period of time. The flashbacks on the island give them that opportunity. The producers say that they have to balance the comic book references with story telling that anyone can follow. Also, superpowers do not exist in the Arrow universe because Arrow is based in the real world and it forces better writing.
Producers cast Stephen Amell without seeing him shirtless and he impressed them in the audition with how well he portrayed the differences between current day and island Oliver. When the dailies came in with the pull-up sequence they thought it was a stunt man. Stephen says he loves playing the younger version of Oliver on the island and the changes the character is going through is challenging. Amell hinted that Oliver telling Tommy he is the Vigilante was never part of his plan and it will definitely cause conflict between the friends coming up this season.
Emily Rickards (Felicity Smoak) has been added as a series regular for season two. David Ramsey is glad Felicity is on team because the hideout was getting a bit lonely. He commented, “How many pushups can he watch Oliver do?”
For those Doctor Who fans, you are not alone. The producers cast John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn because they love Doctor Who as well and they like the idea that on any other show John would be the hero. Malcolm is the hero in his own mind and he is basically an “evil Bruce Wayne”.
Susanna Thompson calls Moira Queen the “Mother of Mystery”. She was surprised by the reveal that her character was behind the kidnapping of her own son. Is she good or evil? That makes the character exciting.