New Arrow showrunner Beth Schwartz says Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) will be more like his comic book counterpart in season 7 of The CW series. Diaz is based on the DC Comics martial artist, Richard Dragon.
The first half of season 6 set up hacker Cayden James (Michael Emerson) as the big bad of the season. However, James was eventually revealed to be a red herring. The real villain was Diaz, a low-level drug dealer with a thirst for power. Diaz manipulated his allies and managed to take Star City hostage. At the end of the season, Oliver Queen had no choice but to trade his freedom for the FBI's help in defeating Diaz.
Beth Schwartz told TVLine that Diaz will return as "more of the Dragon" the character was originally based on. There's actually two incarnations of the character in the comic books, but Schwartz is most likely referring to the New 52 version that was created in 2013, since the original was a crime-fighting hero with a reputation as one of the DC Universe's most skilled fighters. The New 52 Ricardo Diaz is a gangster and enemy of the Green Arrow. Diaz forms a group called the Longbow Hunters who are tasked with hunting down the Green Arrow. He even posts a $30 million bounty on Oliver's head, which encourages even more of the Green Arrow's enemies to come out of the woodwork.
It appears that Diaz will go down a similar road in season 7, as the Longbow Hunters were already teased in the season 6 finale, and officially confirmed at SDCC 2018. Diaz's team of villains will consist of Kodiak, Red Dart, and the Silencer, who will be played by Michael Jonsson, Holy Elissa, and Miranda Edwards respectively. Diaz's main goal in season 6 was about becoming important and achieving power, while in season 7 Diaz's focus may shift to killing Oliver Queen.
Since Oliver failed to kill Diaz, the druglord will soon get another chance to torment his greatest enemy. Based on his comments in the season 7 trailer, it seems that Diaz will be out for revenge. Oliver being in prison may not stop Diaz from getting what he wants. Diaz says in the trailer that he will "enjoy taking everything from him", which indicates that Diaz will begin targeting Oliver's friends and family. This could be what forces Oliver to escape from the supermax and get back into the fight.
Arrow season 7 premieres October 8th on The CW.
Source: TV Line