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"Arrow" EP Marc Guggenheim Comments on Baron Reiter Casting

Following the announcement of Jimmy Akingbola's casting, "Arrow" executive producer Marc Guggenheim explained why Baron Reiter -- known as Baron Blitzkrieg in the comics -- will have a different origin in the show and just what they were looking for in a season four villain during an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

In order to "disabuse people of the notion that we cast a black man as a Nazi," Guggenheim said, "We took the name Baron Reiter without any intention of turning him into Baron Blitzkrieg... Baron Blitzkreig is the evil Nazi super villain. Baron Reiter is not going to become Baron Blitzkreig in the show."

"In fact, when people meet this character, he's not German, he's not a Nazi, he doesn't subscribe to any Nazi philosophies," he added. "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."

First appearing in "Deathstroke" #53, Shadowspire aided South American drug cartels by supplying them with weapons, transportation, technology, intelligence and more. In the comics, Blitzkrieg's Shadowspire associates include Steelhawk, Kodrescu, Mourn I and Mourn II.

"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," he explained.

Starring Stephen Amell, David Ramsey and Emily Bett Rickards, "Arrow" season four is scheduled to debut Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 8 pm EST on The CW.

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