Following in the footsteps of Malcolm Merlyn, Slade Wilson and Ra’s Al Ghul, actor Neal McDonough (Captain America: The First Avenger) will be playing Damien Darhk in Season 4 of Arrow, former member of the League of Assassins and the leader of HIVE, who will be making a rather prominent appearance in Starling City.
“Obviously with Neal, who is a blessing on the show, we’re going older than the character from the comics,” says showrunner Marc Guggenheim. “It’s keeping with our normal philosophy, which is we use the comic-books as a starting off point, not an ending point.”
Intriguingly, Damien will be different from any villain we’ve seen so far. “Our version of Damien is different from the other kind of big bads we’ve had on the show before,” says Guggenheim. “He’s not as stentorian as Ra’s, and he’s not as unhinged as Slade Wilson. He probably has the closest parallel with Malcolm Merlyn, but I think he’s got a malevolence to him that Malcolm did not have. Malcolm would basically always think, ’I’m doing what I’m doing to save the city,’ whereas Damien is just pure evil.
“He’s a form of evil we haven’t seen on the show yet. In many ways we’ve always approached our big bads as we wanted them to be the hero of their story. We wanted them not to be evil. This year we decided we’re going to go different; we really want someone who is truly malevolent, and Neal just brings that home.”
Season 4 of Arrow will air on Sky1 from 14 October. For more news on the biggest TV shows, pick up the latest issue of SciFiNow.