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Arrow Casts Riddick Actor as Ra's Al Ghul (No Liam Neeson on your TV)

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Despite all hopes, Liam Neeson will not be reprising his role as Ra’s Al Ghul in what would be the greatest crossover in DCU history. Instead, the creators of Arrow decided to cast Australian actor Matt Nable to portray the role in show’s upcoming third season.

The leader of the League of Assassins has been mentioned in the show on a number of occasions and his daughter Nyssa (played by Katrina Law) already appeared in season 2, but for the longest time we didn’t know whether or not the character would actually show his face. It speaks to the level of trust DC has in Arrow as more and more “big names” have been appearing within the CW universe.

Arrow‘s version of Ra’s Al Ghul has been described as “proud and unforgiving, a ruthless strategist, a master of martial arts, and a shaper of history.” He is scheduled to make his debut on the show’s 50th episode (which will be episode 4 of season 3).

Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg said about the character:

He doesn’t have any personal animus towards the Arrow, and he actually in some ways has a very similar worldview. [But] the Arrow is thinking too small. In some ways, as Oliver is struggling with whether or not he can be the Arrow and Oliver at the same time, the villain of season 3 is saying, ‘Being Oliver Queen is what’s holding you back from fulfilling your true destiny.’ The theme of identity is tied up very much in how the villain is presented to Oliver.

Nable, a onetime rugby player, when his pro career ended he took up boxing and fought for the “state light-heavyweight title as an amateur” in England. He, most notably, appeared in the third installment of the Riddick franchise.

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