Kirk Acevedo, who plays Ricardo Diaz on Arrow, has been promoted to series regular for the show’s seventh season. Acevedo’s character is based on The New 52 version of kung fu master Richard Dragon. Diaz, who was the main villain of season 6, will continue to be a threat to Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and his friends in season 7.
At the beginning of season 6, Diaz was a drug dealer and a member of a cabal of villains, led by Cayden James (Michael Emerson). It was eventually revealed that both Team Arrow and James had been manipulated by Diaz, the true mastermind of the plan to hold Star City hostage. After rising through the ranks and gaining a position of power at the massive criminal organization known as the Quadrant, Diaz continued to push Oliver to his limits. Oliver had to give up his secret identity – and his freedom – to defeat Diaz. Unfortunately, he was unable to prevent Diaz from escaping, which means that Oliver hasn’t seen the last of the Dragon.
Deadline reports that Kirk Acevedo has been upped to series regular. This makes Diaz the second character to become a series regular after spending a season as the main antagonist. Malcolm Merlyn, played by John Barrowman, was the big bad of season 1 before going on to become a major supporting character during seasons 3 and 4.
The news indicates that Diaz will continue to be a thorn in Oliver’s side for quite some time. As for what Diaz will be up to, the SDCC 2018 trailer for season 7 reveals that Diaz will be out for revenge. Diaz will be looking to take out his frustrations on everyone Oliver cares about, which suggests that Oliver’s family and Team Arrow could be in his crosshairs.
To accomplish his goals, Diaz will recruit a team of his own, the Longbow Hunters. Teased in the season 6 finale, the Longbow Hunters were confirmed to be joining the series at SDCC 2018 and were introduced in a recent trailer. Joining Diaz in his hunt for the Green Arrow are Red Dart (Holly Elissa), Kodiak (Michael Jonsson), and the Silencer (Miranda Edwards). Since the name of the second episode is “The Longbow Hunters”, fans may not have to wait long for the supervillain team to make their Arrowverse debut.
Arrow season 7 premieres Monday, October 15th on The CW.