Warning: Spoilers ahead from Wednesday’s episode of Arrow, “Broken Arrow.” If you’ve watched the episode, proceed. If not, stop reading!
The Arrow team is officially down a member.
Colton Haynes, who has played Roy Harper/Arsenal since the first season, is exiting The CW’s comic-book drama as a series regular following the end of his two-year contract, ETonline confirms.
After concocting a detailed plan with Diggle and Felicity to save Oliver and fake his own fatal prison stabbing, and subsequently the presumed death of the Arrow, Roy left Starling City at the end of the April 15 episode to begin a new life.
Haynes has been a part of the Arrow family since the middle of season one, when he joined following a stint on MTV’s Teen Wolf. In an interview with Buzzfeed, executive producer Greg Berlanti said that while his exit might have been a surprise to many, Haynes’ contract was always intended to be “a trial thing.”
“He was such a wonderful element as a character and a person,” Berlanti told Buzzfeed. “It was super sad, but everybody kinda looked at each other and realized that he’s at the start of, what I’m sure will be, an incredibly, incredibly impressive career. It’s great that he gets to go on and have that and we got to have him while we did.”
Even so, this won’t be the last fans will see of Haynes. He’s slated to appear in one more episode of Arrow this season and could potentially reprise his role on other shows within the universe, such as The Flash or the Arrow/Flash spinoff project currently in development.
“He said he wanted to be able to come back at any time and we felt the same way,” Berlanti said.
Did producers consider killing Roy off? Berlanti told Deadline that that simply wasn't an option, in part because he is part of "the next generation of superheroes."
Hints that a big goodbye would take place began to surface more than a month ago, when Arrow castmembers posted cryptic messages on social media, such as this one from early March by star Stephen Amell.
Sometimes real feelings creep into a scene. Goodbyes are tough. Even when they're scripted.— Stephen Amell (@amellywood) March 3, 2015
As for what Roy's departure means for the rest of Team Arrow and if this opens up the possibility for Oliver to have a new sidekick, Berlanti was coy.
"Watch the finale to find out. Fans will really wonder where you go from here," he said.
Are you in shock over Colton Haynes' departure? We want to hear your thoughts by tweeting Philiana Ng at @insidethetube on Twitter!
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.