The actor heard something different from an executive producer, however.
John Barrowman fans were left disappointed earlier this year, when it was revealed the actor wouldn't be returning to his role as Malcolm Merlyn in 'Arrow' and the wider 'Arrowverse' following the character's death. Though it's not a direction Barrowman himself wanted to take the character, it's a move that was made for creative decisions, and he parted from the CW shows with little fanfare.
John Barrowman thought his 'Arrowverse' journey was over
Though it would seem he'd then have to move on to other projects, it's now being suggested that Barrowman could in fact return as Merlyn at some point in the near future. The villain was instantly a staple of 'Arrow' upon its debut, proving to be the main antagonist of the first season but later returning in a more heroic role. Of course, the villainous tendencies of the character were always present, but with the reveal that Thea Queen was his daughter, he softened at times.
That wasn't to last however, with his role on the last season of 'Legends of Tomorrow' seeing him as a member of the Legion of Doom, before his character succumbed to his many wounds and died.
Producer Marc Guggenheim says Barrowman has an 'open invitation' to return
According to Green Arrow TV, producer Marc Guggenheim was asked about the possibility of Barrowman making a return as Malcolm Merlyn in the future of the 'Arrowverse', to which he replied: "That’s up to John. We told John when we called him to tell him about the events of the finale, every single person on all the shows has come back in some shape or form. We’ve got flashbacks, we’ve got time travel, we’ve got parallel universes. Goodbye is never goodbye. He has an open invitation to return to the show any time he wants."
It seems that there are some crossed wires behind-the-scenes however, as Barrowman admitted he had had a chat with 'Arrow' executive producer Wendy Mericle about how he wouldn't able to make a return in the future.
He explained on his Instagram: "I am surprised and very happy to hear Marc Guggenheim’s comments about Merlyn’s future in the Arrowverse, because in a very decisive phone conversation we had with Wendy Mericle, I was led to believe that there were no plans to bring Merlyn back. If they have changed their mind, awesome! I have LOVED playing Malcom Merlyn and was SO disappointed to be told the news of his death and to no longer be part of a fantastic team and show. If they want me back, they just have to ask! The ball is back in their court. Write Merlyn an amazing storyline and I will be there."
Whatever the case may be, it's unlikely we've heard the last of this story. It seems like one that could run and run, but with some tension likely to arise because of the difference of comments and assumptions being made by all involved, we hope egos don't get in the way of good storytelling.
'Arrow' season 6 premieres on Thursday, October 12 on The CW in the US and will return to Sky1 in the UK shortly thereafter.
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