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Arrow Boss expresses frustration with paparazzi leaks, discusses impact on next season

Tonight’s all-new episode of Arrow, “Eleven Fifty-Nine,” promises to be a game-changer, finally revealing who lies in the mystery grave teased all season long. And in case you have doubts, executive producer Marc Guggenheim tells TVLine, “I think promos have made it clear this is the episode you find out who’s in the grave.”

This will, of course, be just the latest in a long string of character deaths on Arrow (though admittedly there have been a few resurrections, as well). According to Guggenheim, though, this is more than just par for the course:

“Arrow, much more so than Flash or Legends [of Tomorrow], traffics in death. We started off the series with the apparent death of Sara Lance and the actual death of Robert Queen, and a hero who murdered people. For better or for worse, death is part of the show. And what we’re now finding is that the concept of death — as it should, by the way, when you are pushing into Season 5 – has to evolve, it has to change.”

Previous interviews have indicated that the writers and producers actually didn’t know themselves who was going to be in that grave when it was first revealed in the Season 4 premiere. Guggenheim went on to discuss how the (un)lucky victim was chosen:

“We started off this year with the promise of a death, and when we worked our way through our various creative choices, we realized that the thing that will give us the most pop going into the end of the season, into next season, unfortunately would be”

As you can imagine, TVLine didn’t print the rest of that sentence.

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In a separate interview with EW, Guggenheim talked about those leaked set photos last month that seemingly revealed the identity of the mystery death. (Note: since that leak occurred just before Arrowverse.tv launched, it hasn’t been covered here. Rather than reveal it now, I’ll leave it to you to Google and find the images — if you dare). Guggenheim is blunt with his feelings about the leak: “Look, it’s not cool. Straight up … I’ll just say it: Shame on those people.”

“I just look at these paparazzi as they’re ruining the party for everybody. Unfortunately, when you’re dealing with a cemetery, we have to go out on location. We have to be out in the world. We can’t produce the show just on our soundstages. We have extra on-set [production assistants] patrolling. We try to put things up to block people. It does happen and it just sucks.”

The Arrow boss also talked about how the leaks impact more than just fans, but the entire production team:

“Honestly, all I can say is that we’ve had the paparazzi on Legends and Arrow, so you’re talking about two shows’ worth of crews, people who work really, really hard to do the jobs that they do, who care a lot about the shows, who care a lot about the stories that we’re telling. I just look at these paparazzi people like they’re just spoiling it for everybody. They’re kind of taking a big steaming dump on the work that all these people do. They work in Vancouver [for] unbelievable hours — [often] in the rain, terrible conditions — and they do it all to produce shows that everyone can be entertained by and part of being entertained is being surprised.”

Personally, I’m conflicted about these kinds of leaks. As the editor of this site, I have an obligation to cover them, but I actually wish they didn’t happen. I know we’re all extremely anxious for answers, but these kinds of leaks just ruin the surprise for everyone, and the impact when the episode actually airs is severely dampened.

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It seems, though, that there are at least a few surprises in store in the episode, as Guggenheim states:

“There are a couple revelations in this episode. [The]’s death looms large, but there is a pretty seismic change for the Diggle-Andy relationship that we’ve been teasing.”

Arrow airs tonight at 8:00 PM on The CW. We’ll have a full recap up after the episode; be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates.