Arrow EP Andrew Kreisberg Talks Deathstroke; Slade Wilson & Oliver Queen's Blossoming Bromance
'Arrow' Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg (in bubble), Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen with Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson -- Getty Images
Expect a lot of Manu Bennett on television in the coming months. The "Spartacus" franchise star (he plays former gladiator-turned-rebel Crixus Friday night's on Starz) is sticking around on "Arrow."
"Oh yeah, Manu's in every episode, I think, throughout the rest of the season," "Arrow" Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg told AccessHollywood.com.
Manu was recently introduced on the Wednesday night CW drama as Slade Wilson, an Australian Intelligence agent sent on a mission to Lian Yu. After the mission went wrong, and his partner defected to Edward Fyers' organization, Slade crossed paths with a shipwrecked playboy, Stephen Amell's Oliver Queen.
Last week, before he was shot (and took down his former partner, Bill), Slade started really showing Oliver how to fight. The training of Olly by the man who will become Deathstroke is something new to the Green Arrow story and Kreisberg hopes it will keep viewers - including the well-read comic book fans -- intrigued.
"They've been enemies quite a few times, but that was sort of our own creation," Kreisberg told Access of how the storyline came about. "It's funny because it actually started with [DC Entertainment's] Geoff Johns and I, and [fellow 'Arrow' EP] David Nutter, when we were making the pilot. David Nutter said, 'We need one more mystery on the island. I need something! Something!' And we were talking about, 'Well, what if we created some sort of totem on the island, like a sort of 'Lost' type thing?' And I'm pretty sure it was Jeff Johns who said, it should be Deathstroke's mask.
"And all of a sudden, from there, it just became this whole thing, like, 'Oh, crap!' because one of the things we really liked about from the pilot [was] if you were DC Comics fan... within 20 seconds of the pilot you see a pretty authentic comic book-looking Deathstroke mask. We really hoped that would get people on our side and say to people that we were taking this seriously so you should too," Kreisberg continued. "But then it became this wonderful thing to actually have [Slade] on the island... We walk this fine line of most people don't know the comic books stuff so we have to make a show that entertains them, but for the people who do, how do we entertain them, but also defy their expectations?"
While he's portrayed a number of sentiments in "Spartacus" - cocky and confident in Season 1, insecure and weak at the start of the prequel, "Gods of the Arena," and loyal, brave and head-over-heels in love in Season 2 and the current Sparty installment, "War of the Damned," "Arrow" is showing another side of Manu.
"He brings so much humor to the part, which was sort of unexpected for us and we've really been writing towards that," Kreisberg said. "I think one of the fun things for the show is seeing these people where they're [at, at different times]... Stephen does such an amazing job of making 'island Oliver' such a distinctly different character from present day character and how does that Oliver turn into the Oliver that's in the present day and where is Slade Wilson? We've always said, we know that Oliver survives the island, but we don't know anyone else does.