This morning, ComicBook.com ran an interview with Arrow Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim, talking about the producers' long-term vision for the series and how that plays into episodes currently on the air.
One thing that came up -- and we held back so as not to spoil the episode for those fans who don't keep on top of every teaser the network releases for future episodes -- was the revelation that Ted Grant had been a costumed vigilante in the years before the Arrow came to Starling.
In the comics, Ted "Wildcat" Grant was a Golden Age superhero reinvented after Crisis on Infinite Earths as a member of the Justice Society -- a group of heroes who fought crime during World War II and were a precursor to the Justice League. He was instrumental in training a number of future heroes, including Batman and Black Canary.
So...how did they decide to bring Wildcat into the series, even though Ted Grant is only about thirty years old here? We asked Guggenheim.
Something that struck me about this week's episode: you introduce the idea that Wildcat is a former costumed vigilante
One of the things we wanted to do was to do the character of Wildcat, for a number of reasons. He makes sense within our world, Ted Grant had trained the original Black Canary, we've got Ted Grant training Laurel. There's a lot of low-hanging fruit there as it were, in terms of making Ted and Wildcat part of the show a no-brainer. At the same time, as you might have noticed, we've got a good chunk of costumed heroes running around Starling City. The challenge for us was how to make Ted and the Wildcat character different and the answer for us was revealing that Oliver was not in fact the first vigilante to roam the streets of Starling.
Somebody had actually said as much last year, and people had taken it to be about Batman, which I believe was the question that it was said in response to. Did you guys know way back then, the form that Wildcat would take?
It's actually been something we've been talking about for quite a while. One of the advantages of both the success of the show and the way our collective brains work is that we're always going, "Oh, okay, this is what we're going to do in Season Four, this is what we're going to do in Season Five."
We start with the season mapped out but then the closer we get to the end of th season, we've got to plant firmer flags in the sand. The picture that we developed back in June has got to come into greater focus. And we were talking about the next batch of episodes and we couldn't help ourselves; we started talking about Season Four and it was like, "No, no, no, we've got to finish Season Three first." That's sort of the way the show has been done. We're actually working on an episode now that pays off something that we set up back in Season One, an idea we've always had and were holding in our back pocket for the right time. That, to me, is one of the joys of working on the show is we get to play the long game with a lot of these things, like with the Felicity episode last week, and when we finally get it out into the world, it's always really exciting.