Arrow Producer Further Explains the Casting of Baron Reiter

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inferiorego

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Edited By inferiorego  Staff  Online
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Recently, it was announced that British actor Jimmy Akingbola would be cast as a villain in the next season of Arrow, as Baron Reiter, more commonly known to comic book fans as Baron Blitzkrieg, a Nazi super-villain. In an interview with EW, executive producer Marc Guggenheim explained the casting and the character's role on the show.

As it happens in almost every single television show, characters from their perspective comics do not appear the same on the small or big screen. Pieces of each character are taken and putting Reiter on the show was less about the Nazi aspect of his character and much more about having a great villain for Oliver to take on in flashbacks, as Guggenheim explained. They wanted the best actor for that role and it turned out that Akingbola was the man for the job.

“We never planned on actually telling a story about a bad guy who is a Nazi... In fact, when people meet this character, he’s not German, he’s not a Nazi, he doesn’t subscribe to any Nazi philosophies. We were attracted to an organization that actually in the comics had been associated with Deathstroke called Shadowspire. In the comics, Baron Reiter became associated with Shadowspire.”

Guggenheim went on to discuss the reaction from fans and how it made sense, since the creators behind Arrow had been so engrossed in the show.

“I totally get it... 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.”

So what's happening with Reiter on the show? Well, Guggenheim continued to say there's a surprise in the season premiere for the flashback sequences and there's a big twist in the opening episode to season four.

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Ramior

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What is the point to adapt a Nazi charecter if is not to make him a nazi ?

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GreenLanternDeadpool

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Feel like they could've just came up with an original character & would've gotten the same results.

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deactivated-59d945143d79a

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What's the point of using a character if they are going to completely change the character? Might as well make a new character.

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Jonny_Anonymous

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So why use the character at all? I would be surprised if he was even going to be called Blitzkrieg

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deactivated-5c901e667a76c

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Then why not just give him a new name?

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dan12456

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I don't know anything about the baron, but if Arrow does Shadowspire, and his role in it, justice this makes sense. If not then they should've just made a new character. Really comes down to how close Shadowspire ends up being to the comic iteration.

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jayc1324

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#9  Edited By jayc1324

I like how all the comments are telling them to just make a new character. People still don't understand what an adaptation is. They take bits of the character that fit their point on the show, and use the character how they need to. If you want the same character as in the comics, then read the comics. But I am excited to see this interpretation of him. Just remember, Deathstroke on Arrow has tons of differences compared to comic Slade, but he is still awesome.

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Jonny_Anonymous

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@jayc1324: Is this really an adaption or is it just a character that may or may not possibly have the same first name? Deathstroke at least was both conceptually and looks wise pretty much the same.

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Lurkero

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Shadowspire sounds like a good idea...but just make up a new character if you are going to completely change this one.

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obsidian_raindrop1

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Sachmoo

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Oh... So now their can't be a black guy in the Nazi? Now THATS racist!!!

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inferiorego

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#14 inferiorego  Staff  Online

@jayc1324 said:

I like how all the comments are telling them to just make a new character. People still don't understand what an adaptation is. They take bits of the character that fit their point on the show, and use the character how they need to. If you want the same character as in the comics, then read the comics. But I am excited to see this interpretation of him. Just remember, Deathstroke on Arrow has tons of differences compared to comic Slade, but he is still awesome.

ding ding ding!

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obsidian_raindrop1

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@jayc1324 said:

I like how all the comments are telling them to just make a new character. People still don't understand what an adaptation is. They take bits of the character that fit their point on the show, and use the character how they need to. If you want the same character as in the comics, then read the comics. But I am excited to see this interpretation of him. Just remember, Deathstroke on Arrow has tons of differences compared to comic Slade, but he is still awesome.

wow wow wow. Easy there, you're asking for people on the internet to be reasonable. Maybe you should try for a more something more possible, like world peace.

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Doc-Holiday

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@ramior said:

What is the point to adapt a Nazi charecter if is not to make him a nazi ?

So they can call him by a famous characters name. It's a lazy way they have done things in Arrow, changing Count Vertigo from an actual royal to just some drug dealer/crime boss with no powers. They changed the Dodger from a super villain into a jewel thief.

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Rag_man

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Why not a black Nazi? Isn't the new attitude today one of inclusion? Why can't a black man who hate the Jews join a hate group too? Reminds me of this clip...

Loading Video...

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Dernman

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I actually wanted to see a black Nazi.

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JonSmith

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"We were surprised because we assumed everybody was on the same page as we were, after all, why would they expect us to use more than just the name of a character? I mean, that's the important thing, right? The name? Long as that's recognized, the rest of the character doesn't REALLY matter, does it?"

I'm not going to say, as others have, that they should make an entirely new character for this role. What I AM going to say is that they should have dug through and found another character to use. Even if they don't have connections to Shadowspire in the comics, as long as it'd make sense for the character to join up with Shadowspire, it'd be better than having a character with the connection pre-established, and then completely changing them up.

Then again: What do I care? I have yet to even watch the previous season of Arrow, I doubt I'll watch this one unless I hear glowing reviews.

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Doc-Holiday

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@jonsmith said:

"We were surprised because we assumed everybody was on the same page as we were, after all, why would they expect us to use more than just the name of a character? I mean, that's the important thing, right? The name? Long as that's recognized, the rest of the character doesn't REALLY matter, does it?"

I'm not going to say, as others have, that they should make an entirely new character for this role. What I AM going to say is that they should have dug through and found another character to use. Even if they don't have connections to Shadowspire in the comics, as long as it'd make sense for the character to join up with Shadowspire, it'd be better than having a character with the connection pre-established, and then completely changing them up.

Then again: What do I care? I have yet to even watch the previous season of Arrow, I doubt I'll watch this one unless I hear glowing reviews.

I agree, when studios just say "The name is all that matters" they're literally saying the character has no value. That would be like casting Whoopie Goldberg as Superman and the studio saying "We feel the name is what's most important"

You can do more than just taking a name off a famous character and taping it to the forehead of a good actor.

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MadeinBangladesh

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@jayc1324 said:

I like how all the comments are telling them to just make a new character. People still don't understand what an adaptation is. They take bits of the character that fit their point on the show, and use the character how they need to. If you want the same character as in the comics, then read the comics. But I am excited to see this interpretation of him. Just remember, Deathstroke on Arrow has tons of differences compared to comic Slade, but he is still awesome.

THANK YOU BROTHA MAN

~MiB

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NeoMantis

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I have to ask: Why use the character if you're not going to, y'know, use the character?

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Rubear

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@ramior said:

What is the point to adapt a Nazi charecter if is not to make him a nazi ?

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nappystr8

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The Shadowspire connection explains this a little bit, but still, obviously this version of Reiter was never going to be a Nazi. I realized that, that's not why this is stupid casting. It's stupid casting because removing the Nazi story-line from a guy named Baron Blitzkreig in the first place is ridiculous.

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IDontLikeBirds

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Eh, I'll give it a shot since the show has been pretty decent so far. They've more or less managed to make things work. No sense in wasting energy complaining about it, especially since I'm assuming most people on here don't really feel strongly for the character (which if that's true, why are so many people complaining about it?).

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Doc-Holiday

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@jayc1324 said:

I like how all the comments are telling them to just make a new character. People still don't understand what an adaptation is. They take bits of the character that fit their point on the show, and use the character how they need to. If you want the same character as in the comics, then read the comics. But I am excited to see this interpretation of him. Just remember, Deathstroke on Arrow has tons of differences compared to comic Slade, but he is still awesome.

Tons of differences verse literally just taking a name tag and pinning it to his chest so it reads "Hi my name is Baron Reiter" is completely different. This character will only share the name of a famous character, Deathstroke in the comics and the show are at least both mercenaries, both hand to hand combat masters, both hold grudges against super heroes, both even have/had super powers (or augmentation) but this guy has nothing in common with the character he is named for.

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wbr17

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@jonsmith said:

"We were surprised because we assumed everybody was on the same page as we were, after all, why would they expect us to use more than just the name of a character? I mean, that's the important thing, right? The name? Long as that's recognized, the rest of the character doesn't REALLY matter, does it?"

I'm not going to say, as others have, that they should make an entirely new character for this role. What I AM going to say is that they should have dug through and found another character to use. Even if they don't have connections to Shadowspire in the comics, as long as it'd make sense for the character to join up with Shadowspire, it'd be better than having a character with the connection pre-established, and then completely changing them up.

Then again: What do I care? I have yet to even watch the previous season of Arrow, I doubt I'll watch this one unless I hear glowing reviews.

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Bonzi161

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Im sorry, I know this show is popular and folks seem to enjoy it... but I have not even finished the first season... I just cant stand this show... Im not even a big Green Arrow fan and every call they make makes me cringe.

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bloggerboy

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Another missed opportunity.

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CheeseSticks

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And this is why I stopped watching Arrow after season 2

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killraven4334

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Wow, you whoever wrote this failed to realize he is not african American at all, hes a british actor. Not all black people are african american...

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the_stegman

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#32 the_stegman  Moderator

Meh, fine by me. Not like the character has a strong, loyal fan base to get upset over this.

I didn't even know he existed before this.

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Mrnoital

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I was hoping that at some point in the flashbacks Ollie would join an Ashram

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dan12456

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#34  Edited By dan12456

@idontlikebirds said:

Eh, I'll give it a shot since the show has been pretty decent so far. They've more or less managed to make things work. No sense in wasting energy complaining about it, especially since I'm assuming most people on here don't really feel strongly for the character (which if that's true, why are so many people complaining about it?).

Yeah I've literally never heard anyone mention him until yesterday haha. Everyone complaining that they aren't using the real character probably don't even know what his character traits are.

For all we know he could end up being the exact same character he is in the comics without the Nazi connection, but no one will realize it cause they've never actually read about him.

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dan12456

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@jayc1324 said:

I like how all the comments are telling them to just make a new character. People still don't understand what an adaptation is. They take bits of the character that fit their point on the show, and use the character how they need to. If you want the same character as in the comics, then read the comics. But I am excited to see this interpretation of him. Just remember, Deathstroke on Arrow has tons of differences compared to comic Slade, but he is still awesome.

Tons of differences verse literally just taking a name tag and pinning it to his chest so it reads "Hi my name is Baron Reiter" is completely different. This character will only share the name of a famous character, Deathstroke in the comics and the show are at least both mercenaries, both hand to hand combat masters, both hold grudges against super heroes, both even have/had super powers (or augmentation) but this guy has nothing in common with the character he is named for.

We literally know nothing about him at this point except that he's not a Nazi. We didn't know all those things Slade has in common with the comics when his casting was announced either.

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Doc-Holiday

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#36  Edited By Doc-Holiday

@dan12456 said:
@docholiday said:
@jayc1324 said:

I like how all the comments are telling them to just make a new character. People still don't understand what an adaptation is. They take bits of the character that fit their point on the show, and use the character how they need to. If you want the same character as in the comics, then read the comics. But I am excited to see this interpretation of him. Just remember, Deathstroke on Arrow has tons of differences compared to comic Slade, but he is still awesome.

Tons of differences verse literally just taking a name tag and pinning it to his chest so it reads "Hi my name is Baron Reiter" is completely different. This character will only share the name of a famous character, Deathstroke in the comics and the show are at least both mercenaries, both hand to hand combat masters, both hold grudges against super heroes, both even have/had super powers (or augmentation) but this guy has nothing in common with the character he is named for.

We literally know nothing about him at this point except that he's not a Nazi. We didn't know all those things Slade has in common with the comics when his casting was announced either.

Not a Nazi, not German but he is going to be Baron Reiter? He is going to have an incredibly German name? Or worse he's going to go by Baron Blitzkrieg (a German word if you weren't sure)? How does that fit?

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buttersdaman000

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@jayc1324 said:

I like how all the comments are telling them to just make a new character. People still don't understand what an adaptation is. They take bits of the character that fit their point on the show, and use the character how they need to. If you want the same character as in the comics, then read the comics. But I am excited to see this interpretation of him. Just remember, Deathstroke on Arrow has tons of differences compared to comic Slade, but he is still awesome.

It's not the same thing really. I honestly don't care, but it seems like this character is primarily known for his Nazi affiliation. Whimsically changing it just to have a named character would be like adapting Red Skull and making him communist from China instead of a Nazi lol

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Doc-Holiday

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@ramior said:

What is the point to adapt a Nazi charecter if is not to make him a nazi ?

He could have been plenty of other characters connected to the Shadowspire;

Wise Son http://www.comicvine.com/wise-son/4005-59910/

Fade http://www.comicvine.com/fade/4005-44621/

Masquerade http://www.comicvine.com/masquerade/4005-44786/

But nope, lets take the name of a famous character, a famous German Nazi character and make him a Non-German black man with the same name...yeah...perfect! Said no one

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wbr17

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This is worst than making Mandarin a British actor.

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Nite_Nite

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Hmmmm. He tried with that BS cover up excuse.

Oh well I don't watch the show anyways.

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Golden Cod

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Whimsically changing it just to have a named character would be like adapting Red Skull and making him communist from China instead of a Nazi lol

Actually with the Red Skull there's a precedent for that - Schimidt disappeared after WWII so the Soviets decided to capitalize on his reputation and gave the identity to Albert Malik. He likewise fought an anti-Communist doppelganger of Captain America.

In terms of publication history, both the Red Skull and Captain America of the 50s were Stan Lee's first attempt at reintroducing the characters and were intended to be the original characters. Sales were lackluster so Marvel ignored their existence until Steve Englehart retconned them as imitators.

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deactivated-57dd84d2af8d3

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Now I don't know anything about Baron Blitzkrieg, and I'm not sure if I'll even watch Arrow anymore, but why use a Nazi villain if he's not a Nazi? You don't get more villainous than a friggin' Nazi.

I also want to point out that Guggenheim called a British man African American.

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StMichalofWilson

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@xwraith said:

Then why not just give him a new name?

^This

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marcohtx

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Its amazing that people were shocked and outraged by this, when in that universe Ras Al Ghul is Australian white dude.

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HandOfPrometheus

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Why are you guys complaining over a character that NO ONE cared about 3 days ago........

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HandOfPrometheus

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#46  Edited By HandOfPrometheus

Wow, you whoever wrote this failed to realize he is not african American at all, hes a british actor. Not all black people are african american...

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Doc-Holiday

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Why are you guys complaining over a character that NO ONE cared about 3 days ago........

Primarily it's because if we say "only the name matters" and a character doesn't then it gives an easement for them to basically do that with every character, it starts with a lesser known like Baron Blitzkrieg and grows into other villains and heroes.

Consider this, it's no big deal, yes? So we can simply take any character and give them any identity and just keep the name.

What if they cast Justin Long to play Static? Or James Franco to play Green Lantern John Stewart?

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@dernman said:

I actually wanted to see a black Nazi.

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wmarshal

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@marcohtx:Oh you mean the dark knight. Good point.

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@cheesesticks said:

And this is why I stopped watching Arrow after season 2

I'm on the fence after season 3.

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