Executive producers announced today at the Television Critics Association’s press tour that Dolph Lundgren has joined the cast of Arrow as the new villain for season 5.
“In our flashbacks in Russia — we’re set in Russia this season — we are going to be bringing in Dolph Lundgren as one of our big bads,” executive producer Wendy Mericle revealed.
The character of 'Kovar' was mentioned toward the end of season four by Taiana.
“He is somebody we heard about in season 4,” Mericle commented. “Kovar. We are going to bring him in and he’s going to be this super big badass guy who works for the Russian government, and is not a friend of Oliver or the Bratva. It’s part of Oliver’s promise to Taiana at the end of season 4 and it’s going to be interesting because it’s going to get complicated and very messed up very fast.”
Executive producer Marc Guggenheim also announced that this will be the final year of flashbacks for Oliver. “We always said that Oliver had a five-year journey when he was marooned on the [island],” he said. “This year, Oliver spends his time in the flashbacks in Russia. We know from various seeds we planted back in the pilot that he knows how to speak Russian, he became a Bratva captain. Sort of the flashback story in the first half of the year is going to involve Oliver’s introduction into the Bratva.”
Oliver's storyline in Russia will be going on during the same time he is rebuilding Team Arrow. “He’s basically recruited into this crime organization while at the same time in the present day Oliver has recruits of his own,” Guggenheim said. “He’s a trainee in the past, trainer in the present, and I think that will give the audience the connect-up thematically between present in the past.”