The CW's Arrow will feature Ra's al Ghul as the Big Bad in its third season, the network revealed today via an extended version of their Comic Con International: San Diego trailer.
The trailer, embedded below, features a version of Ra's al Ghul that seems closer in his depiction to the DC Comics source material, an ornate robe, jewelry and weaponry rather than the stripped down, "modern samurai" version seen in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy and played by Liam Neeson.
"We have a really clever way of doing Ra's this year that is true to the comic-book origins but different from the way Ra's was portrayed in the Nolan movies," Arrow Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim told THR. "You don't want to compete withBatman Begins, even though we've always said Batman Begins was a big influence on us," he says. "We really wanted our Ra's to be very different — at least our own Arrow-ified version."
The classic Batman villain, who has in-story ties to Black Canary and Malcolm Merlyn both in the comics and on Arrow, has probably not been cast yet, although obviously his wardrobe and general design have been completed.
"It really happened very organically in the sense that we had this notion that in episode 16 we were going to reveal that Malcolm Merlyn was trained by the League of Assassins and that's because that's because of the comic book. We were like, you know what we're going to do? We're going to get away with a little reference about a guy in Nanda Parbat who changed his life," Guggenheim said. "That was just the beginning."
He said that as Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice started to come together, it became clear that Ra's al Ghul wasn't a villain likely to be used in the feature films right away, and that he could become available for Arrow.
Arrow's third season debuts on October 8.