Stephen Amell confirms that Manu Bennett will return to season 6 of Arrow as Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke. Nobody gets along with Oliver Queen all the time. During the previous five seasons of Arrow, there were times when even those closest to him - like Felicity, Diggle, and Thea - seemed as though they might never speak to him again. But out of all of Ollie's friendships that seemed destroyed forever, his history with Slade Wilson absolutely takes the cake.
When Slade and Ollie met on Lian Yu, they quickly became not only friends, but allies. They helped keep each other alive as they struggled to survive and even escape the island. But when Slade blamed Oliver for the death of their companion Shado, their friendship seemed gone forever. Slade's mirakuru rage and lost eye only added fuel to the fire, and suddenly one of Ollie's closest companions had become the big bad of season 2. Only for them to have achieved a new alliance in the final episode of season 5.
When season 6 begins in the fall, it sounds like Slade will be a part of it. As reported by TVLine, Stephen Amell recently appeared at Heroes & Villains FanFest in Nashville and spoke about what fans can expect in the upcoming season. And the biggest bomb he dropped was that Slade's return wasn't just a one-off, Manu Bennet will be bringing the character back:
“I can report that Manu Bennett is back to being a part of the show,and I think we will see him multiple times this year, which is awesome.”
Of course, Amell neglected to mention whether Slade's return is as friend or foe. With their history, either is certainly possible. Slade has saved Ollie's life a few times, and may be the reason that some or all of his friends survive the mass explosions on Lian Yu that made up the season 5 cliffhanger. But he also killed Ollie's mother, kidnapped Thea, and poisoned Roy Harper with mirakuru. When virtually everyone he loved was at risk, Ollie was willing to overlook all that. But once the current crisis has ended, whether Ollie is able to forgive Slade remains to be seen.
Of course, that is also assuming that Slade's appearances take place in the present. Many have assumed that the flashbacks Arrow is famous for will be greatly reduced or even stop completely - now that Ollie's five missing years have been accounted for. But Amell confirms that they are not gone after all: “They are a part of the show's DNA, I would expect to see them on a relatively regular basis.” So Slade might not survive the island, or might not return to Star City even if he does. His presence may very well be in the flashbacks - where the character was first introduced.
Slade's continued presence and the ongoing flashbacks were not the only hints Amell dropped. He also mentioned the return of two things. Apparently, Ollie is going to have an apartment this season, something he has not had in a good long while. And someone long gone is coming back: "We have somebody returning to the show this year that we have not seen since season 1.”
When prompted to tell two truths and one lie about the upcoming season premiere, he mentioned three things happening - all of which are equally possible: “Oliver and Slade have a scene in the present day; Diggle… deploys his gun and it doesn’t work; and Thea is in a present-day scene where we speak to one another.” In order to find out which of those three events is a lie, fans will have to tune into the sixth season premiere of Arrow.
'Fallout', the season 6 premiere of Arrow will air at 9pm Thursday October 12 on The CW.