Comic-Con 2019: 'Arrow' Cast Dish on 'Cinematic' Final Season & Felicity's Absence (Exclusive)
By Meredith B. Kile and Leena Tailor
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Crossovers, old characters resurfacing and multiple Olivers!
The cast of Arrow sat down with ET’s Leanne Aguilera to dish on the CW show’s final episodes during 2019 Comic-Con in San Diego, California, on Saturday.
Original cast members Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen), Katie Cassidy (Laurel Lance) and David Ramsey (John Diggle) were joined by Juliana Harkavy (Dinah Drake) and Rick Gonzalez (Rene Ramirez) to reminisce about the series and tease what’s in store for the final episodes.
Amell admits he was caught off guard during his final Comic-Con appearance.
“Last night was super emotional,” he said. “It actually caught me off guard, the number of people who came up [to me.] The director of Supergirl took like five minutes to thank me -- which feels weird -- for getting their break on Arrow.”
“It feels great,” he added about the upcoming season. “I think that [for] the cast and the crew, it’s starting to feel a teensy bit like a victory lap. It feels awesome … I was about to drop an F-bomb, but it feels awesome!”
Ramsay agreed that the eighth and final season will honor the show’s history.
“I think it’s a tribute,” he said. “There’s a certain amount of what Stephen said: a victory lap. There’s a lot of stuff from the past. There’ll be some old faces that will show up. And I think, in terms of the pacing, it’s changed because we usually do this in 22 episodes, and now we’re doing it in 10, so it’s going to have the sense of a movie every time you watch an episode.”
“It almost feels cinematic,” added Cassidy, who will also step behind the camera to direct episode three, having completed a directors’ program at Warner Bros. “Each episode is huge.”
As for Dinah and Rene, Gonzalez shared that viewers would see Rene in a way they haven’t before, while Harkavy discussed having to wear makeup to age their characters for recent storylines.
“It was very fun because it’s such a departure,” she said. “You play this character for so long, then you jump and see them in the future, and it’s a pretty rich thing as an actor, so that was great. I think we’re going to have a lot of leeway to do a lot of different things with that this year.”
Of course, it’s the highly anticipated finale that fans are excited about, with Amell discussing how the season will build to The CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover, which will include all five Arrowverse shows and span five hours. “I’m going to play more than one character in the crossover,” he teased. “They’re all named Oliver.”
As for whether fan favorite Emily Bett Rickards will reprise her role as Felicity Smoak for the show’s final bow, Amell sadly said, “No, not that I know of,” before admitting how different the series felt following her exit after seven seasons.
“I actually texted her when I was on the plane to Vancouver last week and I just texted her that I was sad,” he said. “The show feels different, in no small part because Em Bett’s not with us anymore. It feels different.”
“She’s killing it,” he added about Rickard’s current role on off-Broadway play, Reborning. “She’s living her best life. I’m so proud of her. I’m going to see her play next Saturday. She’s doing great. We miss her a lot.”
During a CW press call last month, network president Mark Pedowitz left open the possibility of Rickards returning to the series.
"Emily has been terrific on the show and we believe [showrunner] Beth Schwartz did a good job wrapping up Felicity's storyline last year," Pedowitz said of Arrow's season seven finale.
"If Beth can find a way to bring her back that makes sense, and Emily's available, we'd love to have her," he continued. "Otherwise I'm pleased with how they said goodbye to the character."
"I hope there is a way that can happen," Schwartz said. "She’s welcome to come back whenever she wants."
On the show's season seven closer, Felicity and Oliver left superhero life behind to start a family, but Oliver was forced to leave once again in order to save the multiverse. In the future storyline, however, Felicity said goodbye to her now-grown children, Mia and William, to follow the Monitor to "where there is no return" and potentially reunite with Oliver somewhere in the multiverse. "I have waited a long time to see him," she said. "I'm ready."
Rickards, who became a series regular after appearing as a guest star in Arrow's third episode, revealed that she'd be leaving the show in March, with a collage of photos and a heartfelt poem to fans.
"I will keep her in my heart for always, and I hope that you can too," she wrote of her character. "Because she would not be alive if it weren’t for all of you."
During ET's chat with Schwartz, the producer emphasized wanting to give Felicity "a major sendoff" for her final episode.
"It’s definitely an emotional ending, and it is a lot to process," Schwartz said. "I just think they’ve been such a great and passionate fandom, and I just hope it will honor this character that everyone loves, that everyone has been watching for the past seven years."
See more on Arrow's upcoming eighth and final season in the video below!