ARROW’s Marc Guggenheim Talks Baron Reiter + Another Villain Joins Cast

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So if you were like me when you read that Jimmy Akingbolawas going to join Arrow’s cast in
season four, you hit your favorite search engine and looked up Akingbola and
saw a picture like this:

Then you looked up Baron Reiter and saw he was also known as
Baron Blitzkrieg then clicked over into the pictures and saw this:

Yep, that’s a swastika. 
Baron Blitzkrieg is a Nazi.  So
if you were like me, you probably said “Huh?”  Marc
Guggenheim’s got you covered.  The Arrow Executive Producer wants to make
it clear; they have not cast a black man as a Nazi.  “We
wanted a really great villain for Oliver in the flashbacks. We wanted to come
out of the gate strong with someone great and we wanted to, quite frankly, cast
the best actor. As it turns out, our best actor was African-American.
While they took the name Baron Reiter without any intention for
turning him into Blitzkrieg, they did have a reason for using him.  “We
were attracted to an organization that actually in the comics had been
associated with Deathstroke called Shadowspire. In the comics, Baron Reiter
became associated with Shadowspire.
At the same time, Guggenheim can understand that people on
the internet had some legitimate questions: “I totally get it… We were surprised because we mistakenly assumed that
everyone was on the same page as we were, but why would they be? We haven’t
told anyone anything about the flashbacks, but this was so obviously not our
intention to do Baron Blitzkrieg. If we were, in fact, doing a Nazi being played
by an African American, I would expect us to be very duly Internet chastised.
This is not the first time that the producers of Arrow have done something along these
lines.  The most famous example would be
the character of “Felicity Smoak.” 
The producers used little more than her name and connection to computers
but created a character that suited their story with that framework.
When he talked further about Reiter’s appearance on Arrow, Guggenheim mentioned that Reiter
will be central to the conflict Oliver faces five years earlier.  As a result, they’ve had to remain vague
about his storyline.  They were able to
confirm that Akingbola will appear as Reiter in episode one of season four.  The episode is entitled: “Green Arrow”
and will air October 7th, on the CW.
ALSO…

It was announced today that veteran actor, JR Bourne will be
joining the cast as “Double Down.”
Bourne’s career has included guest spots on series like: NCIS and Smallville as well as longer runs on television series as diverse
as: Stargate SG-1, Revenge and Mtv’s Teen Wolf. 
(imdb)

Bourne will be playing Jeremy Tell aka “Double Down.”  Created by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver
during their 2001 run on the Flash, he has the ability to turn his playing card
tattoos into deadly projectiles.  Though
primarily a Flash villain, he did have a part to play in an ambush on Green
Arrow at his wedding to Black Canary which caused him to be arrested and
conscripted into the Suicide Squad.

 

Source – Entertainment Weekly for
Guggenheim story / The Wrap for Bourne Story

Arrow airs
Wednesdays on the CW 8E and is available streaming.

Just another guy on the internet.