While the bulk of Arrow Season 5 has focused on Oliver Queen’s struggles in the mayor’s office and his efforts to build a new team, the flashback story has also taken on new life. After years of teases, we’re finally learning how Oliver came to get involved with the Russian Bratva. One of the biggest surprises still to come is the reveal of the Bratva leader, Konstantin Kovar, played by legendary actor Dolph Lundgren.
The Siberian Bull Comes to Arrow
Lundgren was a huge action-movie star in 1980s, appear as Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, He-Man in Masters of the Universe, and many others. In recent years, he’s appeared in The Expendables movie series with fellow action stars Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, and others.
Originally, Lundgren was set to make his debut in Arrow episode 5×07, ‘Vigilante,’ and only appear for three episodes altogether. Speaking to EW, Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim says that’s no longer the case. Guggenheim says Lundgren will first appear in episode 5×06, ‘So It Begins,’ and has extended his stay beyond the original three episodes.
Explaining the decision to expand his role, Guggenheim was full of praise for Lundgren:
“Dolph brings so much presence. He really holds the screen incredibly well. It’s an enormous amount of fun to see him and Stephen [Amell] in scenes together. Kovar is very much a villain certainly in the Arrow vein, which is to say he’s pretty badass, he’s pretty evil, but he, of course, does not think of himself as such. He thinks of himself as doing the right thing, which, in that sense, makes him very similar to a lot of the villains that we’ve had in the past. What is interesting about Kovar is he has a mix of intelligence and physical presence that we haven’t necessarily seen. He’s physically bigger than a lot of our villains that we’ve had in the past.”
The More Lundgren, the Better
Considering the profile of bringing in an actor like Dolph Lundgren, it’s a bit surprising to hear producers had originally planned to keep him for so short a time. The good news is they’ve changed their minds, at least.