While Arrow season 1 was generally well-received, most fans would consider season 2 - which expanded the grounded and gritty universe by delving into superpowers, superteams, and more - to be the superior of the two. Not only did we get a Mirakuru-infused Deathstroke, we also met Barry Allen (and witnessed the accident that turned him into The Flash), the Suicide Squad, and the League of Assassins.Now, in advance of the series' return, showrunner Marc Guggenheim is making the rounds to talk about what we can expect in season 3. If you guessed "less superpowers," you were right!
In an interview with CBR, Guggenheim talked about how season 3 would return to its grounded roots, saying:
"We're not really planning on revisiting superpowers or enhanced abilities during season 3. We are really returning to the show's roots of a very grounded world where it's very realistic. We may take occasional artistic license with things, but for the most part, everything is pretty well and truly grounded in real-life things and real-life science.
"I think what people will find when they watch season 3 is that the operatic scope of season 2 didn't really come from the presence of enhanced abilities or superpowers, it really came from the stories and the characters, and that stuff ain't changing."
First of all, it's worth noting that we know that there will be some superpowers in season 3, as there's a big two-episode crossover between The Flash and Arrow - titled "Flash vs. Arrow" and "The Brave and the Bold," respectively - in the first half of the season. So at the very least, Flash's superpowers will be making a big appearance.
But what about characters like The Atom? Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) has been cast as Ray Palmer, a.k.a. The Atom, and he even confirmed that we will be seeing him in his Atom costume at some point. But will we not see him wielding his shrinking superpowers? Will he just be walking around in a superhero costume acting like a regular guy - buying coffee, attending board meetings, et cetera? Or does Guggenheim not consider Atom's powers to be "super" since they're science-based?
And then there's Ra's al Ghul. We know that he's going to be the big bad of season 3 - he's been referenced and hinted at for a while on Arrow - and we know that he's being played by Riddick co-star Matt Nable. In the comic books, al Ghul is centuries-old, having preternaturally extended his life with the help of "lazurus pits." Will this aspect of the character be brought to life on the show, or is it too unrealistic for a more "grounded" season?
Speaking of Ra's, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg spoke to EW about the villainous character and said a few things that seemingly conflict with the aforementioned more "grounded" approach to season 3. According to Kreisberg:
"Now that the 'Arrow/Flash' universe contains people with powers and contains the Mirakuru serum, it gives us a bit more license to be a little more ‘comic book-y’ than certainly even Christopher Nolan set out to do."
"More comic-book-y," in this context, seems to mean "less grounded," as Nolan's take on the Demon's Head was very much a grounded one. Even the name of the character's nefarious organization was different and (arguably) more realistic: The League of Shadows.
So how do you square these two comments? How will Arrow season 3 be more grounded, while Ra's al Ghul will be less grounded (than he was in Batman Begins)? Will the Lazarus Pit make an appearance in the series? Will he have a more ridiculous look than Liam Neeson's take on the character? We'll have to wait to find out.
Finally, Marc Guggenheim spoke a little bit about Arrow's "new toys" in the upcoming season, saying:
"He is going to get some new toys to play with. One of them is a new bow that looks identical to the old bow, but it does something that you've never seen before."
Hmm - it looks exactly like the old bow, but it does something we've never seen before. Maybe it'll shoot a giant boxing glove? Then again, that doesn't seem very grounded.
What say you, Screen Ranters? Do you want Arrow season 3 to be more "grounded" or more "comic-book-y"? Drop us a line in the comments.
Arrow season 3 premieres October 8th, 2014 @8pm on The CW.
Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.
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