Dolph Lundgren will be playing Kovar, previously referred to in the Season 4 flashbacks between Oliver Queen and Taiana, and will be appearing in the flashback story arc where the audience will finally see how Oliver becomes a member of the Bratva.
Executive Producer Wendy Mericle said:
In our flashbacks in Russia — we’re set in Russia this season — we are going to be bringing in Dolph Lundgren as one of our big bads. He is somebody we heard about in season 4. Kovar. We are going to bring him in and he’s going to be this super big badass guy who works for the Russian government, and is not a friend of Oliver or the Bratva. It’s part of Oliver’s promise to Taiana at the end of season 4 and it’s going to be interesting because it’s going to get complicated and very messed up very fast.
Meanwhile Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim revealed that this will be the final year for the flashbacks, saying:
We always said that Oliver had a five-year journey when he was marooned on the [island]. This year, Oliver spends his time in the flashbacks in Russia. We know from various seeds we planted back in the pilot that he knows how to speak Russian, he became a Bratva captain. Sort of the flashback story in the first half of the year is going to involve Oliver’s introduction into the Bratva.
Guggenheim then went on to state how the current timeline and the flashbacks will mirror each other:
He’s basically recruited into this crime organization while at the same time in the present day Oliver has recruits of his own. He’s a trainee in the past, trainer in the present, and I think that will give the audience the connect-up thematically between present in the past.
It’s quite a coup to bring in Dolph Lundgren into the Arrowverse, be it flashbacks or present day. It’ll certainly put interest for the viewers back on the flashbacks which have been rather dull in recent seasons. Dolph Lundgren will be joining a cast of newcomers this season that includes Rick Gonzalez (Wild Dog), Josh Segarra (Vigilante), Madison McLaughlin (Evelyn Sharp/Artemis), Chad Coleman (Tobias Church), Tyler Ritter (Detective Malone) and Carly Pope (Susan Williams).