Arrow bosses recently cast the stunningly talented Brit Jimmy Akingbola to star as Baron Reiter in the upcoming season of the show. Not all of their fans were happy, though. Arrow‘s EP says fans have it all wrong.
At first wind of Akingbola’s casting as Baron Reiter, confusion seemed only natural. Historically, in Arrow‘s comic world, there was a Nazi super villain known as Baron Blitzkrieg. Blitzkrieg was the leader of the highly evil organization Shadowspire. So, it’s an easy mistake for comic fans to assume Reiter will be a Nazi. The show’s executive producer, Marc Guggenheim, wants fans to know that this couldn’t be farther from the truth, however.
Baron Reiter is just a name and will have no affiliation with Baron Blitzkrieg, Guggenheim assure frenzied fans. He also promised he wouldn’t later turn into Blitzkrieg. Akingbola’s Reiter will play Oliver’s nemesis in flashbacks in the coming season, but he will only be Baron Reiter, whom Guggenheim swears is not a Nazi.
“We wanted a really great villain for Oliver in the flashbacks,” Guggenheim told Entertainment Weekly. “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.”
Don’t feel too bad, though. Guggenheim admits the uproar was partially his and the production team’s fault for not being straightforward with fans.
“I totally get it,” he said. “It’s all good. 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 Blitzkreig. If we were, in fact, doing a Nazi being played by an African American, I would expect us to be very duly Internet chastised.”
What else can you expect from Arrow‘s fourth season? Guggenheim remained tight-lipped on the subject. The only time he even mentioned the upcoming season’s plots was when telling EW that he couldn’t say anything for fear of spoiling a major plot twist in the premiere episode.
So, just three more months of waiting to find out. Arrow restarts on Oct. 7 at 8/7c on The CW.