At the end of recent Arrow episode “The Magician”, we finally got our first look at Ra’s al Ghul in the Arrowverse. Many were surprised by his different appearance from his comic book counterpart, yet as Producer Marc Guggenheim explains, there was a method of casting this Ra’s.
“In our casting process, we didn’t want to go with the willowy, sinewy Ra’s that was established in the comics,” he reveals. “We wanted someone who would be a formidable physical presence. You can get away with that live sinewy Ra’s when it’s being drawn by Neal Adams, but when you actually have to put something in front of a camera, we thought it was better to have someone who added a good physical presence to that.”
An important statement made at the end of said episode was that the League of Assassins would be going to war with Oliver Queen. So does that make Ra’s the big bad of the season?
“He’s definitely the main antagonist of the season. He’s responsible for a lot of the events that kick off the year, and reverberate throughout the season. He’s our Big Bad, and he’s a very different kind of Big Bad than we’ve had, Malcolm Merlyn and Slade Wilson. Ra’s exists above it all. He’s so much more powerful than Malcolm or Slade. He has so much deeper reach, and he has a much larger organization at his beck and call. He’s just a very different kind of foe.”
Interesting, it’ll be fun to watch as this season unfolds!