Legends of Tomorrow
So even this lighter tone of the series may not be permanent?

Even on the show it’s not permanent. There’s real pathos on this show. When our characters are forced to go back and look at their own mistakes in their own lives, people like Mick Rory have horribly just grisly backstories. Yeah, it’s happy go-lucky, we’re going through time, we’re fighting Vandal Savage, but there are moments in the show where we have to go back into our own histories and look at the events that made us who we are. That’s real pain and pathos. I feel like the sort of light, absurd quippy tone, that is used to leaven the real heartbreak that our characters will encounter.

How far back could we go? Could you go to the Stone Age or dinosaurs?

Sure, sure. I think the idea is the farther you go back, if you throw a pebble in the pond, the longer you let those ripples go out, the more unforeseen consequences. So far we’re focused on the 20th century and the near future just because I’m a history nerd and I like going back. The conceit that Vandal Savage was there secretly whispering in people’s ear and changing the events that we all learned about in history class, that’s primarily what we’ve dealt with so far. Also the idea is the farther you go back, the more debilitating it is on your body, so by the time you get back to the dinosaurs you’d be pretty well f***ed up.

But we are talking about the breadth of human history?

Yes. I would love to do a Land of the Lost episode though. Especially since we shoot up in Vancouver, we can do an awesome primitive land before time.

They’ve done Egypt on Arrow. Would Rome or Greece be possible?

Yeah, I mean, I’m a classics major so we will see the ancient world in Legends.

There was a line, “I’ve seen men of steel die.” Is that one man of steel in particular or several?

Oh man, are you trying to get DC to put a gag order on me? No comment.

These shows are always careful about how they address the big characters. Is that paying homage to the bigger world but keeping it in your world?

Absolutely, although I will say that DC has been incredibly generous with loaning us familiar names from their compendium. So far, there hasn’t been a time where we called Geoff Johns and asked him to use a name in which he said no.

Does that line suggest you might tell us the fates of characters who are not portrayed by actors in the Arrowverse?

Yes. I will say this. If you pay a lot of attention to Rip’s parlor, I think there’s about a dozen Easter eggs that our art department put in there. Little clues that come from the DC universe. Some of them are red herrings and other of those clues are ones that give hints to storylines we will address in episodes of Legends this season.

I always admire the fights on Arrow and there’s continuity with them on Legends. Is there a formula with how they do the fights, when you shoot the acrobatic stunt doubles and where you block the actors?

It depends. A lot of actors like to do their own stunts. Stephen Amell wants to be there with the camera in his face. Other people don’t like to do their own stunts. Caity Lotz has an Olympic Judo champion as her stunt double and yet a lot of times she does her own stunts because she’s that good. It’s up to the performer but we do have the same stunt team. J.J. Makaro is our stunt coordinator and he coordinates all three of the shows, he and his team. That’s why there’s a similar style but it’s up to the performers and it’s up to the directors how they choose to shoot that action.

Legends of Tomorrow was not a DC comics title, but were there any issues of any series that informed the show?

No, it really is the characters. The fact that these people have never breathed the same air before, we use the characters as they existed on the Flash and Arrow shows. Then obviously Rip Hunter was up for grabs. He is the glue that holds the show together but his backstory is something completely of our own invention.

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Legends of Tomorrow premieres January 21 on The CW.

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