Arrow Season 5

Arrow's Season 5 Big Bad an Homage to Idris Elba's Wire Villain Stringer Bell?

Arrows latest evil mastermind is heading to Star City by way of Baltimore.

TVLine has learned exclusively that the CW drama’s upcoming fifth season will introduce a new villain loosely inspired by Idris Elba’s Wire drug kingpin Stringer Bell.

The character, tentatively named “Anton Church,” is a ruthless crime lord who sets out to fill the sizable void left by 960Damien Darhk and H.I.V.E. The initial casting notice describes him as an “apex predator” who “cuts his way through the shadows” by taking down “the biggest threat first.” (Um, he’s looking at you, Ollie Q.)

While the role is being likened to Elba’s classic Wire baddie, the breakdown also references ex-Game of Thrones actor Jason Momoa as a physical prototype.

In a recent interview with our sister site Variety, star Stephen Amell said this of the show’s new Big Bad (who is slated to debut in the show’s Season 5 premiere this fall):  “As far as I know, they don’t have superpowers. I’ll tell you that.”

As TVLine reported last month, Arrow is also casting series regular role of “James,” an “irrepressibly charming” contemporary of Oliver’s who is described as “a man on a mission” — out as he is to avenge a tragic, violent loss from his own, years-ago past.

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  1. 134sc says:

    I like everything I’ve been hearing for season 5. Here’s hoping the execution is as good as the idea.

  2. Lily says:

    See this sounds more like Arrow. It’s very much like The Mayor in s2, but I hope it’s well executed.

  3. dragon2heart says:

    We might be back on track after S4 derailed. We can certainly do without: Magic/mysticism; boring, irrelevant & horribly acted flashbacks; an impersonal big bad with a ridiculous evil plot. Relationship drama for the sake of drama, etc. etc. etc.

  4. ABG says:

    I don’t want any more big bads. Do smaller arcs pls.

    • Totally agree. No more full season arcs, Too much filler episodes when they do that.

    • ScottJ says:

      I agree too. Arrow would work much better without a season long villain. Every episode doesn’t need to be part of some grand threat, and there’s nothing wrong with 2 or 3 or 4 episode villains.

  5. isee says:

    oh for cryin’ out loud… just do the Outsiders War story arc. Have the first seven episodes be a case of the week that ties into one of the seven clans, then do your episode 8 crossover episode, then episode 9 can reveal the full scope of the clans and hint at the oncoming war. Then boom, mid-season break. There, took me 37 seconds. It’s not that hard.

  6. Mike says:

    I wish we could get a proper interpretation of Komodo. He is an amazing villain in the New 52! At least they could bring back the character and flesh him out more. Also, what happened to Anarky?

  7. Michelle says:

    Sounds good but knowing that Guggentroll is behind it, it will end up being Season 4: part 2. Damien sounded good as well … Started off good and then derailed badly.

    • Lex says:

      I tend to be an end-of-season Pollyanna (it’ll be all better in the next season!) and I think I got that for most of season 4’s first seven episodes. “Look! Oliver’s happy!” “Look! The OTA band’s back together!” “Look! Sara’s back… in a convoluted way, but at least she’s back!” and, best of all, “Look! Olicity’s stable, so it can fade into the background!” (The haters don’t realize *that’s* what the shippers want ~they hate the drama rama too. My motto for season 5? Put a ring on it and MOVE ON).

      Then the crossover episodes became “Look! Let’s introduce all of the characters on the other shows instead of in the LoT pilot like they should have been!” and “Look! Oliver’s Baby Mama is demanding Oliver lie to Felicity! Pretty sure that’s going to end well!”

      It really was a sub-par season, especially in terms of long-game plotting. I was initially intrigued when they said “someone’s gonna die, but we don’t know who it’s gonna be!” but that became a travesty. I personally think Laurel should have moved to Gotham after season 2, but her death was terribly anticlimactic, and it became all about her dad (the reason DD killed her) and about the “epic” relationship between Laurel and Ollie (“let’s pretty much snuggle on Tommy’s grave! who cares that he died?! let’s think of a future together!”)

      Season 4 burned me, yet here I go again, holding out hope. Stringer Bell is one of the most fascinating, iconic characters on The Wire (second only to the magnificent Omar), his “crime lord” schtick brings everything back to street-level badassery (something my friend convinced me is needed after lunch today), and hand-to-hand, someone with Jason Momoa’s physicality or someone as compelling as Idris Elba (#Idris4Bond2k16) would be a challenge for Oliver on both a physical and intellectual level.

      Whatever happens, Arrow needs to MOVE FORWARD. Oliver needs to give up his “darkness” and stop self-sabotaging his relationships with his biggest allies, Diggle and Felicity. And there might actually be some pretty cool parallels comparing the Stringer Bell guy in the present and the Bratva guy in the flashbacks, which would actually be cool (as long as seeing the parallel doesn’t make Oliver go “woe is me, I’m dark and horrible and blah blah blah stay I’m pushing you away because I love you!1!!1!”

      Put a ring on it, and move on. Give Oliver a metaphorical Percocet, and move on. MOVE ON, MOVE ON, MOVE ON.

  8. Lizzie says:

    Cool. I like what I’m hearing for next season. The trouble is every season of Arrow (bar season 3 which was terrible) starts out really well and then gets lost in the middle. So I’m hopeful but I’ll wait to really judge until mid season!

  9. Jason says:

    The pull off a character like that the show needs subtly. Something Arrow has never had even in its good seasons otherwise he would just be a stereotype.

  10. dragon2heart says:

    As much as I like the show, I think Arrow would benefit from a shorter season – perhaps 20 eps instead of the normal 23. Keeps things tighter without all the filler in trying to stretch out the storylines.

  11. Joey Padron says:

    Glad new big bad won’t have powers. It will be interesting to see who they cast for the role.

  12. Dj says:

    A bad guy who cut his way through the shadows. The hero facing a contemporary in A man who is out to avenge a very tragic loss in his own past. Sounds like Daredevil season two.

  13. Ash says:

    Interesting. All I want is for Arrow to go back to its original roots, a better flashback, no more propping other shows & for god sake NO more magic bullcrap . I still don’t not know why DD powers were even relevant to his nuclear destruction other than him using it to freeze Oliver and Company every time they got in his way & to tie up that useless flashback. And please can somebody remind OQ/GA that he knows how to fight? Thank you!

    • Lex says:

      I said it somewhere else, but Stringer Bell guy be bringin’ organized crime to the streets of Star City. Anatoly What’s-His-Face be bringin’ it to the streets of Moscow. Dear sweet baby Jesus, give us parallels that will make the flashbacks more than bathroom breaks!

  14. jar says:

    Could the character be played by Elba, too? I mean, I know he can’t be in everything, but I really wish he’d try.

  15. Caelinae says:

    My guess is James will get a new name now that James from Supergirl might have the opportunity to cross-over with Arrow.

  16. Paul D says:

    So there’s going to be a character named “James” who is out to avenge a tragic violent loss from years ago? Could that James be Jim Corrigan?

  17. Nik Ptro says:

    Apex Predator, Who cuts his way through the shadows. Cue quick perusal of Green Arrow Villain, discount ones already used by Arrow writers or fail to adhere to the description and Voila! My money would be on the Green Arrow villain ‘Big Game’ or his son. Both characters were created by Andrew Kreisberg who works on Arrow, which allows them significant creative control on the characterization and avoids any roadblocks from the DC executives.

    If I’m right about this Ausiello, I’d like a written acknowledgement when you or Mitovich break the news, if possible. Not because I am seeking fame or some such thing. I’d just like the validation. TVLine has been my source for TV related news for almost 5 years now and acknowledgement would be a huge feather in my cap.


    P.S. If I’m wrong, there’s no need to mention this, just pretend I’m one of those idiots on the internet spouting unfounded theories… oh wait. ;)

    • Nik Ptro says:

      My brother just pointed out it could just as easily be KGBeast as the son/protégé of Anatoly Knyazev. So credit Rob Ptro if he’s right.

      • Lex says:

        That would mean Bringing on Daddy Issues– could be a Tony Stark/Howard Stark thing; like Captain America, Anatoly Jr. could have a chip on his shoulder because Daddy always thought Oliver was the better killer/goon/whatever. And Oliver will then be reminded of his terrible past and the flashbacks will actually be relevant… and Oliver will continue to make stupid decisions because. he. just. feels. so. GUILTY.
        I’ll be okay with the repetitive self-flagellation cycle once again effing everything up if it makes the flashbacks less snooze-worthy.
        So I might be backing your brother now

    • Lex says:

      A friend and I recently discussed how much of the lackluster season 4 should be blamed on Geoff Johns and his Daddy Issues. Creative control could be a big factor in choosing what happens in season 5, so I’m backing you in this horse race.

  18. Geno Segers who was in the third season of Banshee. Would be perfect. Make it happen Arrow!