‘Arrow’ Casts ‘Teen Wolf’ Alum As Roy Harper a.k.a. Red Arrow, Speedy

Published 2 years ago by

CW Arrow Roy Harper Colton Haynes Arrow Casts Teen Wolf Alum As Roy Harper a.k.a. Red Arrow, Speedy

The fight against crime facing a young Oliver Queen in The CW’s Arrow is only getting harder, with the series adding a new villain every week. For once, it looks like Green Arrow may have some assistance coming his way - and from a hero who will be very familiar to comic book fans.

Two months after it was announced he’d be leaving MTV’s Teen Wolf series, Colton Haynes has been cast as Roy Harper, the original Green Arrow sidekick, ‘Speedy.’ Yet another young actor seeing the potential in getting in early with DC and Warner Bros.? Who knows. What we do know is that Arrow‘s writers have an interesting task ahead of them, fitting Haynes into the fiction.

The surprise casting announcement (courtesy of EW) comes with Arrow executive producer Greg Berlanti explaining that the showrunners had noticed Haynes’ work on Teen Wolf, and are happy to add him to the cast (as are the show’s female viewers). Little is known about what version of the character Haynes will be playing, but The CW’s brief origin describes him as as “a handsome, street-savvy, teenager from ‘the Glades,’ the harsh, poverty-stricken portion of Starling City.”

Those who have been watching Stephen Amell’s turn as Oliver Queen from the beginning will recognize the name ‘Speedy’ as the teasing moniker of his younger sister Thea (Willa Holland), used more than once and by more than Oliver. That name drop was one reason comic book fans assumed that the TV series would be reinventing Green Arrow’s sidekick yet again, cutting out Roy Harper’s role and foreshadowing Thea’s future decision to join her big brother’s crusade.

Roy Harper Arsenal New 52 Arrow Casts Teen Wolf Alum As Roy Harper a.k.a. Red Arrow, Speedy

Now that Haynes has been cast as Roy Harper (minus his adopted Navajo upbringing and archery skills) those doors have been blown wide open. Arrow’s new ‘mean streets’ version of Harper is reportedly set to become a love interest for Thea – and is “destined to become a significant part of her life and an important player in the larger world of Arrow.” The connection between Harper and Thea (a.k.a. Speedy) implies that some elements of the comic book fiction might remain. And for those who know Roy Harper, the opportunity is there for the show’s writers to finally take things to a very dark place.

Once the happy-go-lucky sidekick Speedy, Harper is among the first roster of DC’s Teen Titans who grew up to become very different heroes, and oftentimes, troubled ones. Speedy himself fell into a now-famous heroin addiction, yet another reason we assumed Thea’s drug problem signaled a new take on the sidekick. From there Harper recovered, changed his name to Arsenal and added guns and knives to his repertoire, before fathering a child and losing his right arm.

When DC Comics rebooted the Justice League in 2007 in the aftermath of the “Infinite Crisis,” it was Roy, not Oliver that the League came to call upon, cementing Roy’s role as one of the main DC heroes. Harper’s final moniker came as a tribute to his adopted father’s legacy and tutelage, modeling his own costume after Queen’s and taking the new title of Red Arrow. DC’s New 52 has re-cast Roy as a ball-capped, tattooed, scraggly-haired Arsenal once again, although largely retaining the costume of Red Arrow.

CW Arrow Thea Willa Holland Arrow Casts Teen Wolf Alum As Roy Harper a.k.a. Red Arrow, Speedy

With that history in mind, the writers of Arrow have plenty of territory to explore – perhaps hinted at by the Queen heiress already. It’s possible that Thea’s character work so far will help introduce this incarnation of Roy, perhaps as Thea’s drug dealer who Oliver helps get back on the straight-and-narrow. Viewers will have to wait until well after the midseason break to find out, but the camaraderie and teamwork angle of Ollie and his sidekick Diggle (David Ramsey) has shown serious promise. Adding another archer would be even better.

With a newly cast Deathstroke the Terminator, a well-executed Huntress and more cameos planned, comic book fans are in for a treat. And, if the ratings boost brought by Deathstroke is a sign of things to come, the showrunners are as well.

Which version of Roy Harper do you hope to see? Is Arrow ready to take on such a key figure within the show’s fiction, or should more groundwork be laid before venturing into these chapters of Oliver Queen’s life? Sound off in the comments.

Arrow goes into hiatus following tonight’s midseason finale, ‘Year’s End’ @8pm on The CW. Check out a preview below:


Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: EW

TAGS: Arrow
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. I must say that my interest in Arrow dropped off pretty quickly after the very good pilot. I actually had to force myself to watch last week’s episode, which is never a good sign. Too much shallow soap opera schlock, too little action and no interesting stories. Also, after killing bad guys left and right at the beginning the character has changed quite a bit and actually preaches non-lethal approaches now, which is pretty silly for someone who has choosen a bow as his primary weapon. I was hoping to finally see an uncompromising hero again who dispatches scumbags who slip through the cracks of the law in order to permanently protect people from them (think The Punisher). Sadly, Oliver Queen isn’t that guy (anymore).

    • I have to admit that the writing for this show isn’t that great. But it definitely fills my action quota for my television watching experience. Even if I have to suffer through awkward dialogue and sketchy acting in between fighting sequences.

    • “Sadly, Oliver Queen isn’t that guy (anymore).” Yeah, because it’s called evolving. Clearly that’s what “Olie” has done. No one stays the same forever in case you were wondering.

      • ^This.
        And as for the killing, Huntress called him out about it and Queen said he only kills when he absolutely HAS to.

      • I know that, thank you. But if that means that he evolved away from the only aspect that made him interesting and set him apart from other cookie cutter heroes then it’s a problem for his appeal. I don’t care for guys with sexy abs taking off their shirts, and currently that’s the last thing that Arrow has going for itself. If they don’t turn the show into something more interesting again very soon I’m out.

        • A few points….

          1)Oliver “Killing” criminals shouldn’t be the only thing that makes him “interesting”, & if it is that’s a very shallow & narrow way of presenting him throughout the “entire” show.

          2)Evolving characters by showing their “many” sides of how they think & react to certain situations is always the best road to take.

          3)I think you’re being a little impatient for a show that is only “Halfway” through it’s “First” season.Not every single T.V. show gets it right this early in it’s life span.

          • Of course you are right that it shouldn’t be the only interesting thing about him and that’s actually not what I’m saying/asking. I’m saying that it currently is (or was) the only thing that made him interesting, meaning that the show currently has nothing else to offer that holds my interest. They really need to up their game as far as the stories are concerned.

            You are also completey right about evolving characters and showing their sides. But again, so far the show has nothing interesting to offer in that respect, other than some cardboard Batman/Tony Stark rip-off with the standard moping.

            And about your third point: Well, yeah… we live in impatient times. There are so many things to do and watch that I don’t have the luxury to waste time on shows that stay mediocre for too long. If a movie can get something right in under two hours I can expect a show getting it right after more than 6 hours. And if a show doesn’t entertain me as much as it should I have plenty of other things to do instead. I know, it sucks and makes it hard for shows to find their stride, but that’s just how it is. After all, there are also plenty of shows that get it right from the get go.

      • one doesnt evolve like that, the poster is right it just isnt consistent writing, im still having fun despite it though.

    • This show is so cool. I really love the fact that there bringing in Roy and hope to see him more in the next few episodes!

  2. I thought Red Arrow was Olivers kid in the comics?

    • You may be thinking of Connor Hawke, who was Oliver’s biological son and took over as Green Arrow in between Oliver’s death and resurrection by Hal Jordan, and I think has since been wiped from continuity considering Oliver is much younger than he was now. He never went by Red Arrow though.

      I’m hoping they bring Shado in some time. Even though she was rarely used, I always liked her (plus she gave birth to another of Oluver’s kids).

      Green Arrow got around quite a bit.

      • Yep, Shado is being cast at the moment. Oliver will need to have some character changes if they’re going to cram all this romantic action into a season or two.

        • Thanks for the heads up. I poked around a bit and see that she’s set to appear in episode 14.

  3. Why not have Arsenal and Artemis.

  4. This surprises me. With the mention that the Thea character was called Speedy as a kid, I really thought that was they were going. Especially with her becoming more and more suspicious and impatient with how Ollie spends his time. I still have no doubt that she’ll at least learn his secret sooner than later.

    • yeah i was actually looking forward to something like that, but she still could, theres a female arrow too isnt there?

    • Thea Queen is a new take on Mia Dearden(http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Mia_Dearden_%28New_Earth%29).

    • LOL, you mean like the other 6 (8 including dead Tommy and soon to be Roy) know who he is and his secrets?

      Worst hidden identity ever! :)

  5. Next throw in Prometheus…

  6. I was hoping they would have it be his sister instead…that would definitely been better story wise, than just some random guy. This show better pick it up and stop introducing characters and making them last one episode.

  7. I got a feeling Oliver will help Harper avoid jail time, somehow he’ll end up taking Thea’s nickname but will call himself Arsenal and maybe use his old connections to help Queen (or go after the drug gangs himself eventually).

    I’ve been enjoying this series so far and sure, the last episode wasn’t that good but it’s gotta be better than the first 7 seasons of Smallville.

  8. Isn’t Roy supposed to be younger than Oliver? It looks like they’re both in their late 20s. Thea would’ve been a better route story wise and aesthetically

    • Roy Harper was younger than Oliver Queen before New52. Now they are the same age.

  9. sweet

  10. I’m gonna take a stab in the dark and call it. Thea and Roy will date. Thea will die and Roy will take up her name Speedy.

    • :O

  11. Sounds cool, but since Arrow is not green, what color is Roy going be? Lol

    • umm red of course

  12. “a well executed huntress” …..hmmmmmm….I feel she has really weakened the show for me…….I really enjoy the Green Arrow’s potrayal by Steven Amell….his background explains his skills…..but why is the huntress able to fight him blow for blow? What is her training? She couldnt shoot a bow so he gave here a economy sized crossbow and now she’s an expert! She is murdering people, driving her motorcycle around without a helmet so we can see her sexy hair…..WEAK! I will keep watching…..but please….does anyone out there share/disagree with my opinion?

    • Hopefully they’ll evolve her character over time.Give them a chance & be patient she’s only made 2 appearances.However, you really shouldn’t base your loyalty in watching the show on only her character when there are others more interesting than she is.There “is” a reason why she’s a “Guest Star” after all.

  13. I think this addition might be good. To many cools spoil the broth so to speak so we’ll have to wait and see. This show continues to rock, and get better every week.

  14. huntress was kind of weak, she went from being a so called amateur to someone who could fight arrow so well, then a crossbow wizard. but what got me was how she reacted to having dinner with oliver and his ex and then cracking up when she found out about their past relationship when it was HER IDEA, he never said anything different and wasnt even close to betraying her. it was so annoying.

  15. May I remind some people cough cough ThelostWinchester cough cough.

    Smallville Started of slower than 3 legged turtle going up hill in a ice storm pulling a turtle with 2 legs with a weight problem

    So give it time.

  16. It’s still better then smallville ever was, this show is only 15 episodes in it needs time to grow and it will change, look at Ollie’s costume if you have read any of the comics it’s nothing like your typical green arrow costume. But you gotta keep in mind this show has already changed a lot from the comics, Take the Count for example in the comics his is known as count vertigo, and he has a sort if sonic attack to stop you in your tracks in arrow he is a drug dealer whose drug screws with your head. they are trying to do what Christopher Nolan did with batman, make it seem more possible.

    Things will definitely change from season to season, just have to give it time, maybe theia will be the girl speedy and Roy will just go right into being red arrow/arsenal. They are starting this show from the beginning Ollie is still raw and what he does will change till he gets it right, by season 2 his costume could be just what you would expect from the green arrow. Overall this show is really well done and it will only get better

  17. made the connection with speedy right away and cant wait to see wat happens next

  18. waiting to see Artemis

  19. no offence but I don’t like him in Teen Wolf and I most certainly don’t like him in Arrow, I would change my attitude if he polished his acting skills.

  20. See him in Red Arrow suit -> http://imgur.com/gallery/jJ4k3d9

  21. Helpful information. Fortunate me I discovered your web site unintentionally, and I am surprised why this accident did not
    came about earlier! I bookmarked it.

  22. Roy Harper is the name of Red Arrow. Why are people speculating when its 100% fact?

  23. A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment.
    There’s no doubt tbat that you ought to write more
    on this issue, it may not be a taboo matter but typically people do not talk abouut
    such subjects. To the next! Many thanks!!

  24. I’m worried that Colton is indeed leaving or getting killed of. Why he would get killed of is a mystery. But then he posted on Instagram saying he’s back with the bos (or something like that. the pic was of CH, EBR and DR). And now he posted another pic with his nephew and said “I’m so happy to be home!” while the shooting of 3×21 is in progress. Confused!!!! It bothers me that Roy would go either if Colton wants it or not! He can have a great storyline if they focus on him as Roy, as Arsenal and less of being Olivers sidekick.