Arrow Has Found Its Ra's al Ghul

By LizRaftery

Sep 04, 2014

Arrow has cast the iconic role of its newest villain, Ra's al Ghul, and it's not Liam Neeson even though we tried very hard to wish that into existence. Instead, Riddick star Matt Nable has won the coveted gig, TV.com has confirmed. 

Ra's al Ghul is the leader of the League of Assassins and a master of martial arts. He will stop at nothing to keep some secrets buried. He's also the father of Nyssa, played by Katrina Law, who was last seen in the Season 2 finale.

The character will first be introduced in Episode 4 of the show's upcoming third season and will recur for an undisclosed number of episodes. According to the show's producers, Arrow's version of Ra's will stay true to the character that is depicted in the comic books, but with a new spin.

Series star Stephen Amell confirmed the casting news on Twitter, writing: "Please welcome Matt Nable to Arrow. You know who he's playing," along with a picture of Ra's al Ghul from the comics.

What do you think of this casting? Are you bummed the role didn't go to someone with a bigger profile? Perhaps with an Irish accent? Who sounds very threatening? Hit the comments!


Arrow returns Wednesday, October 8 at 8pm on The CW.


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  • Kerkesh Sep 10, 2014

    It has been one of my chief disappointments that in movies the role of Ra's El Ghoul, Ogre Head, is not played by a Middle Eastern Actor. Even Tony Shalhoub , in the sense that he's not known for his super villain's roles, would be better at it than any other non ethnic actor for this embodiment. I am never in favor that ethnicity be related to roles, and this is the only exception, which should tell that it means a lot to me.
    Unlike both Marvel properties Apocalypse,En Sabah Nur, the "Eye of Dawn" and not "the first one", by the way; or even The Sphinx, Anath Na Mut , "I Do Not Die", who can be played by any actor, Both have maintained a link with their Egyptian mythological past but have become something else.
    Ra's El Ghoul is the only character of that line who has maintained the closest link with the very idea of immortality because unlike the others he is not an immortal himself, and thus needs to replenish himself in the miraculous Lazarus Pits. His other side, as a scourge of humanity, leader to the League of Assassins, and bound for global genocide every now and then makes him the most distorted vision of the Ancient Egyptian creed.
    I know, it's complicated :-)

  • Pnascimento Sep 07, 2014

    I want to see him in action as Ra's to comment. I think it will be very hard to top Slade Wilson/Deathstroke, for me the best villain of this past season, in any show, no doubt about it (well, maybe head-to-head with Malkovich's Blackbeard, but I don't know).

  • JT_Kirk Sep 05, 2014

    Eyeroll. He doesn't have remotely the right look, he's got the wrong kind of accent, and he seems to have limited acting experience, thanks producers for just picking at random.

  • hhpb Sep 06, 2014

    He just changes his accent like Paul Blackthorne and Katrina Law who is a New Jersey girl.

  • JT_Kirk Sep 07, 2014

    Paul Blackthorne's accent is always on the edge of breaking down, it's his slobber that keeps us too distracted to care.

  • Whedonrules Sep 05, 2014

    As long as Katrina Law is going to be back its all good. 3rd season is the one where shows prove they can sustain greatness or flop. Anxious to see if it can keep up its pace. Gonna miss having 'Crixus' around because Manu Bennett is just completely awesome; hopefully with the legend that is John Barrowman coming back full time 'Arrow' Season 3 is going to be the best one yet.

  • marcandredias1 Sep 05, 2014

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO....... We wanted Liam you bastards!!!!!!!!!! but I have to admit that Matt Nable does look like Ra's..... Anyways we've seen worst choice of actors for a DC character!!! (Ben Affleck as Batman)

  • MikeClark Sep 05, 2014

    liam would have been too good to be true, even though he publicly stated that he WANTED to do it.

  • ltngrcr9051 Sep 05, 2014

    I, too, was hoping for Liam Neeson, but I recognized that it may not have been practical/financially feasible. The other way that I wanted Ra's portrayed would be as never being seen on camera, remaining silent, and always in the shadows with his face (partially) obscured.

  • MandySCG Sep 05, 2014

    Liam Neeson would have been great, but I'm sure Matt Nable will be good.

  • alister2310 Sep 05, 2014

    he'll do great, it's just we prefer Liam.

  • MandySCG Sep 05, 2014

    Thanks to Key & Peele I like to think of him as Liam Neesons :)

  • DrXabregas Sep 05, 2014

    liam neeson was to good to be true... LOL

    Only True Detective could cast someone like liam neeson, and btw that should be an amazing cast for True Detective 2nd season LOL ;)

  • MightyMad Sep 05, 2014

    'Kinda feel sorry for Nable - if Neeson didn't say he would have love replaying al Ghul on Arrow, I guess he would have been a good choice.

    But now? Oh boy...

    Now, it will be very hard for all of us to not think 'what if...' all the time, especially if Nable doesn't hit it out of the park on his very first guess appearance.

    Anyway, 'knew all along Neeson wouldn't get the job, because, you know... DC/Warner.

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