Today’s Guest: Marc Guggenheim, showrunner, “Arrow” and “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” novelist, Overwatch
Watch this exclusive Mr. Media interview with Marc Guggenheim, writer of The CW’s ‘Arrow’ and author of the novel Overwatch, by clicking on the video player above!
Mr. Media is recorded live before a studio audience of DC Comics characters such as Black Lightning, Bouncing Boy, Red Tornado, and the Wonder Twins patiently waiting their turn to be selected by The CW so they can be considered cool, too… in the NEW new media capital of the world… St. Petersburg, Florida!
I don’t know what it is with guys who write for modern TV dramas but they can imagine government conspiracies and intrigue where I just see incompetence, waste and featherbedding.
Take Marc Guggenheim, for example.
By day, he is on the writing staff of the most excellent superhero drama, “Arrow,” on The CW. It takes place in a world of corporate intrigue, government corruption and, oh, yeah, this guy with superhuman physical attributes and an astounding talent with a bow and arrow.
MARC GUGGENHEIM podcast excerpt: “There hasn’t been any pressure on ‘Arrow’ (to follow the comic book). From jump, we’ve always said, ‘This is our version of Green Arrow. It’s going to take inspiration from the comics but it’s not going to follow the comics religiously.’ Part of the advantage of doing Green Arrow instead of Batman or Superman is that Oliver Queen’s origin is not as set in stone as Spider-Man’s, Batman’s or Superman’s. We have license to deviate from the comics. What we often do is use the comics and the expectations they create against the viewer. We use the comic books to set up the expectation and then we subvert the expectation.”
By night – and weekends, I suspect – Guggenheim is now a writer of fiction, having just published his first novel, Overwatch, about a super-secret, out-of-control spy agency operating within the CIA without the CIA even knowing of its existence.
MARC GUGGENHEIM excerpt: “I learned, over the course of my writing career, that I write without an outline at my peril. At the same time, I always give myself permission to deviate from the outline.”
Its unlikely star? A young attorney, Alex Garnett, desperately trying to get out from under his father’s shadow. Which is a little tough when your old man is also a lawyer, but one who has served two presidents as chief of staff and solicitor general.
Why a lawyer? Possibly because that’s what the Arrow writer was before giving up Boston legal for Hollywood & Vine.
I’ve interviewed a series of novelists with deep roots in TV and film of late. And all I can say is – keep ‘em coming. These guys know how to write!
MARC GUGGENHEIM excerpt: “I learned so many lessons working on ‘Overwatch.’ And one of the lessons was that I’ve had it easy in all the other media I’ve worked in. If I’m writing a screenplay or a teleplay and I want a character to walk into an office, I just write, ‘INT. OFFICE” and the time of day. That’s it. Maybe one sentence just to set the scene. But in a novel, you have to describe the paintings on the wall. And you have to describe the crown molding and the carpeting — all of those things you take for granted and outsource to the production department or the location department in TV or film. In a novel, you’re responsible for it all. It’s an interesting challenge.”