COMIC REEL: "Arrow's" Midseason Premiere; Johansson on "Avengers: Age of Ultron"


"Arrow's" set for its return tonight, and in anticipation of the episode, Marc Guggenheim spoke with CBR about Oliver's journey to be a hero on the series.

"I don't know if there's going to be one particular gut punch moment that sets [Oliver] back," Guggenheim told CBR. "Rather, I see the second half of Season 2 as an escalation of his problems. In other words, if he set this goal for himself at the beginning of the season that 'I'm going to be a hero,' now here comes Slade Wilson. And Slade is a big obstacle because he's not coming back to prevent Oliver from breathing. He's got a much more complex and wide-ranging plan that he's been five years concocting. It's designed to hit Oliver where he lives, and that's going to be the biggest impediment to Oliver becoming a hero. I think heroes are born out of difficult circumstances, and Oliver will learn in the second half of this season that he can say he's a hero, but the truth of it is that he's going to have to become a hero through adversity. This is a terrible analogy, but Bill Clinton used to openly muse that he'd never be considered a great president because he never had to face a huge crisis. And it's not dissimilar to Oliver in the sense that you can't become a hero without having to overcome a huge sense of adversity. Now we've got Slade Wilson working with Sebastian Blood to provide that adversity, and it's not spoiling anything to say that Oliver will have to rise to the challenge. And how he does that or whether he does it alone or with the people assembled around him is going to be a big question mark for him as we drive towards the season finale."

Meanwhile, guest-star Sean Maher, who plays Shrapnel in the upcoming midseason premiere, discussed portraying the "Arrow" version of the character and his motivation.

"What I loved about him, and what I connected to most, is he believes what he is doing is right. He's a hardcore patriot and he believes he is doing what he is doing for the good of his country," Maher told CBR. "When I go to the empathy, especially with the villains -- there's a reason why he does what he does. He's not just mean to be mean. There's something about him that is incredibly righteous in his ways. He truly believes he is doing what he is doing for the greater good."

Andrew Kreisberg spoke with TV Line about the back half of season two and what viewers can expect from upcoming episodes.

"We actually are going to have an episode where we flash back to Dig's time in Afghanistan, so that's going to be a huge David Ramsey episode," Kreisberg told TV Line. "Last season when we flashed back to the week before the Queen's Gambit left and we left the chronological narrative of Oliver's time on the island, the success of that episode allowed us to start playing with the flashback structure a bit, and people are able to follow it. So just as this year in Episode 5 we had the flashbacks from Sara's point of view, we have an episode in the back half of the season where the flashbacks are from Laurel's point of view, and we have this other episode where the flashbacks are from Dig's [Afghanistan] days."

The Huffington Post has posted a new clip featuring the Oliver/Slade showdown following the events on the island.

Finally, the CW has released the synopsis of the upcoming episode "Heir to the Demon."

ALEX KINGSTON AND KATRINA LAW ("SPARTACUS") GUEST STAR - As Laurel (Katie Cassidy) continues to unravel, Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Lance (Paul Blackthorne) try to convince Sara (guest star Caity Lotz) to stay in Starling City and finally reunite with Laurel and Dinah (guest star Alex Kingston). However, Sara's fellow League of Assassins member, Nyssa (guest star Katrina Law, "Spartacus"), comes to bring Sara back to the fold, but when Sara refuses, Nyssa kidnaps Dinah. Realizing she's putting her family in danger by staying in town, Sara considers re-joining the league. Wendey Stanzler directed the episode written by Jake Coburn (#213).

Airs Wednesdays on the CW


Here's the promo for the next episode of "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." featuring Stan Lee.

Airs Tuesdays on ABC


"Well, we can expect the Avengers," Johansson said of the film. "Joss [Whedon], again, is back, wrote the script, and is directing. I think the script is dark and it's dry, it's got this amazing one-liner, glass-cutting sense of humor. Obviously the script is very cerebral. It doesn't lose that exciting comic book aspect that people enjoyed in the first film, but it's smart and it feels like the next installment. It doesn't feel like a rehashing, it feels like these characters are moving forward, plotlines are moving forward. It's deep and I think that's why people really respond to the Marvel universe, because the films are fun and exciting and have all that flashy stuff, but there's a gravity to them. People can expect that gravity this time around."

Opens May 1, 2015


Check out this trailer for "Doomed," a documentary detailing what happened to make Roger Corman's "Fantastic Four" movie happen.

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