Arrow is set to debut a ten-episode final season later this year, and it sounds like that will come with one significant change to the show's format. Entertainment Tonight's recent interview with showrunner Beth Schwartz revealed that Season 8 will "abandon the show's signature flashback/flash-forward format", in favor of treating "each episode as its own event".
This certainly is an interesting wrinkle in what fans already know about Season 8, as much of the characters in the show's flash-forward sequences have been confirmed to return. Oliver's future children, Mia Smoak (Katherine McNamara) and William Clayton-Queen (Ben Lewis), were both upgraded to series regulars ahead of Season 8, as was Connor Hawke (Joseph David-Jones) and an older version of John Diggle Jr. (Charlie Barnett).
"I'm only on Arrow for a couple of episodes," Barnett revealed in an interview last month. "And you know, it's the last season of Arrow. So, I know -- I shouldn't say, literally I catch myself in these positions where I'm about to drop some information, but I'm like 'Nah, let's take a sec.'"
"I think Arrow has some interesting things coming up, but I don't know if I'm committed to the world, let's say." Barnett added. "There's a lot of worlds going on in Arrow right now."
With all of that in mind, it will be interesting to see exactly how "future Team Arrow" will factor into Season 8, even if their storyline doesn't unfold in the same exact way that it did in the past.
“They’re struggling with how to be a team for the first time,” Schwartz previously explained.
“There’s also the feeling that these kids are just kids and they’re flying without a net." consulting producer Marc Guggenheim added. "Future-Rene, Future-Dinah, and Future-Felicity are all gone, per the end of season 7, so they’re left to figure things out on their own.”
Even then, it sounds like Season 8 might not be the absolute last time that we see Future Team Arrow, as The CW president Mark Pedowitz hasn't ruled out a potential spinoff about the characters.
"It was definitely meant to grow the world that we had already built and to see the next generation of what Oliver and Felicity and our present-day team have worked so hard for, and sort of see what happens in the future," Schwartz said back in April. "We love those characters and would love to see them go on in some capacity after the show's over."
What do you think of Arrow's change to flash-forwards in Season 8? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Arrow’s final season will begin Tuesday, October 15th, at 9/8c on The CW.