When Arrow first premiered, audiences had no idea that with in a few episodes, a minor supporting character from Firestorm would ultimatley become one of the most popular elements of the nascent adaptation of DC's Green Arrrow.
That's Felicity Smoak -- in the comics, the stepmother of Ronnie Raymond -- who was a minor player in a few early episodes of Arrow but quickly became a series regular. The legend is that she was written in for one episode, but producers quickly saw the chemistry between actress Emily Bett Rickards and series lead Stephen Amell.
Rickards has been a staple in the series ever since, and fans had the same basic response as producers: they fell in love with her without knowing it was going to happen.
When ComicBook.com recently spoke with Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim about his forthcoming Netflix series Trollhunters, we asked: Is there a surprise breakout character he found during the course of the series, a la Felicity Smoak on Arrow? He said yes -- more than one.
"I want to say that Toby is, that Charlie Saxton's character is kind of like that comedy gold that you just can't wait for people to watch and see," Guggenheim said. "We did a screening of the two-part pilot [last week] for press and public. I have to say, even though I had seen obviously the pilot countless times by this point, I was very pleasantly surprised at how well it held up for me and how ... Like normally by this point, I've become very jaded or I'm sick of watching it, or I'm starting to view it through the audience's eyes and start to think the bloom starts to fall off the rose for me, and that didn't happen on this project. I just sat there watching going like, 'Wow. I think people are going to enjoy seeing this character. They're going to enjoy meeting that character. I think that that moment's going to play.' I'm very bullish on the series. I feel like we've got a few Felicities in there, if you will. Hopefully my prediction proves to be accurate."
He also compared the process of "discovering" Emily Bett Rickards's Felicity to something that could happen on a Netflix show, in the sense that she was included in the series so early that her role essentially came without audience input.
"Let me just jump back to Felicity for a second," Guggenheim explained. "I'll say that we basically had produced five episodes of Arrow before we premiered. Emily started in episode three. We actually did have a reasonable number of episodes in the can with Emily before anyone met her because also, again, we had five episodes, but by the time we premiered, so that was, again, three weeks after we premiered, we probably had like eight episodes in the can or at least seven episodes in the can. We had a pretty good cushion before anyone saw Emily on their TV screens."
Trollhunters debuts Friday on Netflix. Arrow airs Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.