On yet another hot May weekend, London welcomes back Heroes and Villains Fan Fest! Superhero fans of all ages have made their way to Olympia to see their TV favourites. The first panel of the morning was a big one, as Arrow’s Emily Bett Rickards, Juliana Harkavy, and David Ramsey took the stage.
As the finale has not aired in the UK, spoilers were kept to a minimum. Instead, the conversation circled around new showrunner Beth Schwartz. “We call her Best Schwartz, because it’s the best decision we’ve ever made”, joked Rickards.
What the change in leadership will bring for season 7 is yet to be determined, but Harkavy teased that there was definitely a change in direction. “I wanna see how the energy changes. I heard that the style is going to be a little different, and I want to learn what that means for myself as well.”
Ramsey added that when he was shadowing stunt-choreographer and occasional Arrow director James Bamford (undoubtedly to prepare for his own directorial stint for season seven), he had a look at the board for the upcoming season. “You heard about Batwoman? That ain’t nothing. You are in for some serious stuff.”
One tiny fan asked if there was an episode where bad guys turn to good guys and vice versa, and Ramsey said they had some of that in this year’s big crossovers. However, always one to spoil a bit more than he probably should, Ramsey said to keep this in mind for the upcoming crossover in season seven.
And speaking of the crossover, when asked how they were going to top this past season’s crossover, the whole panel had one answer: Beth Schwartz. “You know how you do it? You do it with our new leadership”, so Ramsey. “Beth will top it. We have the utmost confidence in her. Next season is going to be a treat”.
Rickards agreed and urged fans to rewatch the episodes that Schwartz has written and co-written in the past. “You will understand that they are some of your favourite episodes of every season”, she said. “She has been there from the beginning, and I can guarantee to you it’s going to be a great season because of her.”
One thing we won’t be seeing in season seven though is John Diggle in the Green Arrow suit, Ramsey confirmed.
The sweetest moment from the panel occurred halfway through, as one young fan got very emotional when she came face-to-face with her heroes. The trio was quick to offer the girl a hug and took the chance to commemorate the moment with a selfie.
Take a look at our gallery of the panel below:
Finally, Emily Bett Rickards offered some insight into how her character has influenced her and said that Felicity makes her a better person. “She is braver than I am, more confident. She is everybody’s polygraph.”
“I will say when we first started out that she was very different from me, and then at the end of season two, I would go shopping and pick something out and think ‘this isn’t me, this is her!’ and then I really try to separate myself from her”, Rickards says on the development of her character alongside her own personality. “She’s just in such a different world that I am in, but at the same time, I think we have grown together. I have never played a character for six years.”
She also said that getting to know the writers, of course, they start to incorporate her own personality traits into the character. “She is amazing, and I learn a lot from her. Different or not, I’ve known her for six years now, and when you grow with your best friend you get to grow together, not apart, hopefully.”
Arrow returns with season seven this fall on The CW.