The end is nigh for The CW's inaugural Arrowverse series. To celebrate their final season, Arrow stars Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Juliana Harkavy, Katie Cassidy. Rick Gonzalez, executive producers Marc Guggenheim and director James Bamford stopped by Comic-Con International in San Diego to say goodbye and answer some burning questions about both Season 8 and the upcoming "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover.
"I think we all kind of want to leave the party while the party's still going," Guggenheim said. "There's logistical and budgetary... limitations... we don't want to turn the show into something less than just to keep going."
"The whole exercise was 'don't screw it up,'" Guggenheim recalled. "Hopefully, we didn't screw that up."
"That did not feel like a risk at all... Stephen came in, very first audition, very first person, and the moment he opened his mouth, we're like, 'We're okay. We're fine,'" he recalled.
"I was shirtless at the time," Amell joked.
Cassidy recalled landing the role of Laurel Lance. "I have to play this part, and so I called my manager and said, 'Id on't want to read any more scripts. This is is,'" she shared. "When I saw they cast Stephen, game over."
"You want to know how I know I got the part? You followed me on Twitter," Amell pitched in.
Ramsey also shared how he became an essential part of the series. "No, I thought I would die," he joked. "It's just been a great ride. It's been incredible."
Guggenheim announced Russian Doll star Charlie Barnett has joined the cast as the flash-forward's John Diggle Jr. "A wonderful gentleman, he is so sweet -- his character has a bit of an edge to him and when Charlie read, I was like, 'He's too nice.' But he can bring it... I think people are going to be really surprised about how we bring him in... and what he does... and particularly what costume he wears," he teased.
"I think ultimately what made me excited to play Renee was this juxaposition of this deep-seated anger... and how do we show the heart of Renee? What makes him tick?" Gonzalez said. He added that his character's relationship with his daughter Zoe drew him to the role.
"I was the first person Stephen killed" in the pilot, Bamford recalled. "I started training Stephen for the pilot. Right away, we bonded and we trained about two hours a day... and we based a lot of the fights on Stephen's strengths... at a certain point, Marc and folks noticed I was good with a camera, I guess, and we had a lot of conversations and before you know it, I was directing."
"It was during Season 5, I was at the WB party that we go every Friday night at Comic-Con, and I went up to Peter Roth, I went up to Mark Pedowicz, and I said, 'I think we have the catalyst for the next couple years,'" Amell recalled. He brought up Bamford's name, only for them to say, "Who's that?"
"I actually was just saying to Stephen backstage that I am really proud of him," Amell shared. "Everything, this whole show, without everything he has done. You guys have no idea how hard he works... especially being #1 on the call sheet... I remember when we shot the pilot, I said to Stephen, 'Don't eff this up' is basically what I said to him. Obviously, he didn't. He did the contrary. I am so proud of him, and I am so impress with him and everyone on our show... we all just sort of gelled together and worked and he was the leader and he led us to where we are."
"When I came, coming in Season 5, immediately, I saw the hard work that he put in for the last four seasons and I remember distinctly last season, Season 7," Gonzalez recalled, adding that Michael Jai White praised Amell's work. "Michael Jai White has worked with Jackie Chan and the fact that he put Stephen Amell higher than those guys."
"I'm walking down the hallway, I hear someone say, 'Ramsey!' and it was Stephen," Ramsey said. "I walk into the room, and Stephen's there shirtless, and he's talking to me about how happy he is about the show... and how he's excited to me about working me... and all I saw was abs.... the picture, physically, of that was just someone's dedication. It extended to the set. I've not worked with anyone who cares more about the fans, about the crew, about the writing... It is all because he cares about it... There would not be DC on television after Smallville about Stephen Amell." When the room burst into applause, Ramsey added, "You deserve it. You deserve it."
"Last night and Thursday night, every night this week, we've shot sequences that we didn't think we were capable of before," Bamford teased. "If they don't win an Emmy for what we did this week... there's something wrong. They're all bringing it. I've never been so impressed with the performances we're getting... during the emotional scenes, period. The size and the scope... is nothing like we've done before, and that's the truth. We're very, very proud and I can't wait for you to see [episode] 8.01."
"We should maybe do something with that, so Brandon is going to play Superman. He's also going to play Ray Palmer. He's going to play Superman," Guggenheim said. "When I first met Brandon, he wasn't wearing glasses. The second time I saw him, up in Vancoucer, he was wearing glasses... and I said, 'Who are you?'"
At that, Guggenheim called Brandon Routh to the stage.
"Warner Bros., every time they have a costume, they put it in their archives... and they don't like to let it out. So we won't be able to use your original costume. We're still figuring it out," Guggenheim lead in.
In response, Routh unbuttoned his shirt to reveal the logo for Kingdom Come's Superman.
"Arrow has a happy ending," Amell said, staring deadpan into the crowd. "You know I always tell you the truth in plain sight."
Returning Tuesday, October 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, Arrow stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Rick Gonzalez as Wild Dog, Juliana Harkavy as Black Canary, Colton Haynes as Arsenal, Katie Cassidy as Black Siren, Katherine McNamara as Mia Smoak, Joseph David-Jones as Connor Hawke and Ben Lewis as William Clayton-Queen.