Arrow's series finale saw the return of a lot of familiar faces as The CW series said goodbye not only to Oliver Queen who had sacrificed himself to save the world but to the popular Arrowverse series itself. Yet, for all of the guest stars who did return and make it into the show's final hour, there were some who didn't appear, such as Colin Salmon who played Walter Steele in the show's first two seasons. Those absences, it turns out, we just a product of scheduling concerns. According to series co-creator Marc Guggenheim, not a single person who was asked to appear in the series finale turned them down, even if they couldn't make their appearance work.
In a recent interview with Fake Nerd Podcast, Guggenheim explained that while some of the people they asked to return couldn't make it happen due to schedules, everyone who was asked did want to participate and, in the case of Nyssa al Ghul actress Katrina Law, it took some major effort to make things work.
"There were a variety of different actors from the life of the show who we wanted to see return for the finale and we simply couldn't manage it, because... it's funny," Guggenheim said. "No one turned us down. Every person who we approached who wasn't in the finale was doing either another television show, ironically, or a movie. Even people doing television shows, it was tricky to get them. For example, Katrina Law is a series regular on Hawaii Five-o and that production moved heaven and Earth for her to be part of Oliver's funeral, which the scheduling was so tight on that, we actually shot the first half of the funeral without Katrina. Katrina was headed from the airport to hair and makeup while we were shooting half that scene."
And it wasn't just people outside of the Arrowverse that ended up being a challenge when it came down to appearing in the finale. Supergirl's Melissa Benoist and The Flash's Grant Gustin also had scheduling challenges, but Guggenheim said that Arrow showrunner Beth Schwartz made things happen.
"Even Melissa and Grant's involvement was really, really challenging from a scheduling perspective, because they both have their own shows as well," Guggenheim explained. "We pulled off as many miracles as we could. I would say we ended up pulling off more miracles than I expected, and I really have to give props to Beth Schwartz. By the time 'Crisis' was done, I was so burnt out and I was particularly burnt out on the subject of dealing with actor schedules and dealing with agents and managers. Every single one of the cameos and guest stars in 'Crisis' involved at least several phone calls on my part alone, and I was so tired. So Beth really stepped up to the plate and did all that diplomacy. There's a lot of diplomatic work that goes into these sorts of things. She carried the water when I was way too tired to do so."
And that carrying of water paid off with even series star Stephen Amell telling fans earlier this year that he was very happy with the people Oliver got to see before it all ended.
"No, I was very, very happy with the people Oliver got to see," Amell said. "There wasn't anyone on the list so to speak, no pun intended, that we didn't get to that I was like 'well, okay that feels like a miss.' There were a couple of ones that we tried for that we couldn't make happen. That's okay."
All eight seasons of Arrow are now streaming on Netflix.