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Arrow Will Be A 'Different Kind Of Show' In Season 6

The season 5 finale of Arrow ended with a huge cliffhanger, and the sixth season is shaping up to bring lots of changes to the CW hit.

Executive producer Marc Guggenheim opened up about what we can expect in an interview with Variety, and he said the theme in season 6 will be "family," which can mean "biological family but also extended family and found families."

At the end of season 5, Oliver (Stephen Amell) and his estranged son William (Jack Moore) watched from a boat as the entire island of Lian Yu explode with his team still on it. But we shouldn't expect to see too many of the key members perish. "We spent season 5 building up this idea of Team Green Arrow, and we sort of built an engine and a car," Guggenheim said. "Now we're going to put that car through the paces in season 6. We're really going to focus on the ensemble this year."

One big change, however, is that Oliver's flashbacks seem to have finally caught up with the current timeline. "We definitely felt that we were starting a new era in the sense that we're no longer telling serialized flashbacks," Guggenheim said. "Oliver's arc came to a clear and definitive end."

Then there's the matter of Oliver as a dad. The producer didn't want to spoil whether or not William's mother is alive, but he did hint that Oliver's life is going to be different. "Oliver will be taking a greater role in William's life than he had up to this point. It's a real different kind of show this year. We've got scenes with Oliver and William that we've never done before. We're always talking about how we avoid repeating ourselves and change things up, [and] William is definitely a big part of that answer."

Meanwhile, a fan favorite will get more screen time in season 6: Manu Bennett will return as Slade Wilson (aka Deathstroke) for multiple episodes. "We love Manu, and working with him," Guggenheim said. "There is a reason he's a favorite of so many fans. It was something that we had always wanted to do, and I just watched episode 6.06 which is the second part of the Slade Wilson story, and it is a deep dive. You're going to get a lot of Slade Wilson and hopefully some insight into his character that will be revealing some layers to him that you didn't know were there."

We'll get more answers very soon as season 6 returns to the CW tonight (Oct. 12).