With season 6 of Arrow airing this fall, the minds behind the series have already begun mapping out a seventh season of the hit show. When Arrow first reimagined DC's Emerald Archer for the post-Dark Knight world, few could have predicted it would have such staying power. But thanks to a dedicated fanbase, the CW's lower ratings requirement for keeping shows on the air, and the shared universe the series helped to build, Arrow has more than proven its worth over the past five years.
In October, Arrow will return for its sixth season and attempt to move past last spring's shocking cliffhanger. It will also be turning over a new narrative leaf as its original story is finally completed. With a new take on flashbacks and a reorganized ensemble, the future of Arrow is wide open. And while nobody knows how much longer the show will last, the creators of the series are already thinking about next fall.
Slash Film was on hand at the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour in Beverly Hills where Arrow showrunner Marc Guggenheim spoke about season six and beyond. During the course of the conversation, he admitted that plans were already taking shape for Arrow season 7 in 2018.
“We’ve already started talking about ooh, we have a shape for season seven already. This is the earliest we’ve ever had an idea for a season that far ahead, but it’s come out of our conversations about season six.”
Given that Arrow has had some rocky seasons in the past, it's certainly encouraging that longer arcs are being planned out in advance. Not only that, but it seems as if the events of season six will continue to have ramifications in the future, adding more weight to the storytelling. But while next season may already be germinating, do Guggenheim and the other producers have an endgame in mind?
“I think we’ve always had an endpoint in mind. We’ve always known how we want to end the show. That endpoint doesn’t require X number of seasons. If we had to, we could work towards it as long as we knew with enough leeway, we could work towards the moment we’ve been talking about since day one.”
Again, the idea of a plan for the end is encouraging. No matter how things might deviate or even veer off course, it looks as if the series finale of Arrow will always leave the show and main character in the same place. For years, fans assumed season five could be the end of the show given the cyclical nature of the series. Now, it's hard not to think of Supernatural entering its thirteenth season and wonder how many more years of Arrow we could be in store for viewers.
Arrow season 6 premieres Thursday, October 12 on The CW.