If you’re already excited for Arrow Season 8, prepare to get more excited: Executive Producer Beth Schwartz promises that each episode of the final season will be a monster.
“Each episode is just huge,” she said during a press Q&A hosted by The CW on Thursday. “It’s humongous, and also just trying to squeeze all the characters we can that we want to see for the last time has been really fun. I feel like almost every episode, if not every episode, there’s a fun surprise guest from previous seasons,” she teased, offering that very few of the episodes of the final season will actually take place in Star City.
It all starts with the October 15 season premiere, which Schwartz described as “a love letter to the pilot and to the series” as well as what Oliver has meant to all of the other characters in the show. “This season is our series’ Greatest Hits as well as a build-up to Crisis,” Beth offered.
There are a few characters still not announced or confirmed to be returning for the final year, but the absence that will surely be felt the most by fandom is that Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) is no longer a series regular. What is it like to write the series without her?
“It was very weird, especially writing the first script without her,” Beth reflected. “It was sad. I love writing her character and always miss writing for her. We just had to creatively come up with a way of keeping her still there without seeing her, and that’s sort of what we’ve done all season,” she continued.
Finally, three of the women of Arrow — Kat McNamara‘s Mia Smoak, Katie Cassidy Rodgers‘ Laurel Lance, and Juliana Harkavy‘s Dinah Drake — are the focus of a backdoor pilot for a possible series to continue after Arrow is done. We have no title yet (we’re expecting it to be something like Canaries), and Beth described the preparation of the backdoor pilot at the same time they are trying to wrap up the series as “crazy, but really fun.”
“We’re super excited about the potential of a new series, and all of our kickass women. It’s been crazy, but really fun,” she said, offering that the spinoff won’t affect their approach to the 2040 storyline that McNamara currently stars in.
“We always knew what that story was going to be, and the pilot is its own kind of different beast, I would say,” she revealed.
Arrow returns October 15 on The CW.