EXCLUSIVE: 'Legends of Tomorrow' Star Dishes on the Big 'Arrow' Surprise
By Philiana Ng
Warning: Spoilers ahead from Thursday's episode of DC's Legends of Tomorrow!
DC's Legends of Tomorrow just blew our minds.
The Flash and Arrow spinoff crash-landed in Star City 2046, introducing a new Green Arrow to the universe. But the green archer the Legends met wasn't who they thought it'd be, but instead, Connor Hawke (Joseph David-Jones), who is actually John Diggle's son!
The twist from DC lore -- in the comics, Connor is actually Oliver's son -- excited David-Jones, who next stars in The Divergent Series: Allegiant. However the change also made him a tad bit nervous. Playing the offspring of a beloved character like John Diggle, who is no longer alive in 2046, created an opportunity for David-Jones to bring something new to the table.
"The main fear comes from playing a character that so many people know from the comic books and there's a long history of people unhappy with movies and TV shows who make alterations to comic book characters," he told ETonline following Thursday's episode. "There's always that worry that any adaptation of Connor Hawke the fans may not [connect with], but I had the fans in mind the whole time."
Even before he stepped foot on the Vancouver set, David-Jones was aware of the pressure that he faced in portraying a character with significant comic book history whose backstory has been significantly altered.
"I wanted to make this guy as relatable as possible," he said of Connor, adding that "there's more responsibility to try and make this guy as cool and as entertaining to watch" because of who his character's father is.
David-Jones binge-watched Arrow the moment he was cast as Diggle's son, in part to understand where Connor came from and to infuse certain familial traits, such as Diggle's militaristic tendencies and unparalleled focus. Though Connor putting on the Green Arrow suit and fighting bad guys solo in a city in disarray was a way to honor his father's legacy and take on the hero's mantle, it's a decision that leaves him with an internal struggle.
"Because Diggle is no longer alive, for that reason Connor Hawke doesn't go by his name, John Diggle Jr. He feels like there's a level of shame since he wasn't strong enough to save his father," David-Jones said of the Uprising led by Deathstroke's son, Grant Wilson, that ultimately leads to Diggle's death. "He doesn't want to have that name. Every time he hears that name, it's a reminder of how he failed himself."
But after Connor discovers that Oliver Queen, who goes into hiding after failing to save Star City following the Uprising, is indeed alive, his opinion of the former Green Arrow changes pretty drastically.
"Every night when Connor Hawke goes and puts on that outfit and is fighting gangs and getting shot at and getting shot, to find out that Oliver Queen has been alive and not doing anything to help, it's shattering," David-Jones said. "My dad thought you were a hero and you haven't been a hero at all."
While we know who Connor's father is, the identity of his mother is up in the air in this version of the future -- and it's something David-Jones doesn't have the answer to … yet.
"It's a question that I also have," he said with a laugh. "Right now [on Arrow], Diggle is with another lady [Lyla], so I don't know if in the future, Diggle is with another person. Or, if things don't work out with the woman he is with now and he ends up with Connor's mother. But the crazy thing is, this is an alternate future so if they go back and change something, it's all up in the air."
David-Jones let slip that fans could potentially see Connor again, revealing that "the writers have been hinting at a huge return" but left the door open on where he could land again. For what it’s worth, an earlier episode of The Flash name-checked Connor on Earth-2.
For David-Jones, becoming an integral part of The Flash-Arrow-Legends of Tomorrow universe has been one wild ride and he hopes the experience is just beginning.
"This is the first time I've ever done something completely shrouded in that much mystery. When I did [Legends], I couldn't walk outside my trailer without a cloak to cover up my outfit," he recalled. "It was cool, not realizing how big it was going to be. Now, people go nuts. It's pretty surreal."