‘Legends of Tomorrow’ Producer Talks Title Twist: ‘It Raises the Stakes’

“This gives the audience something to relate to in a group of characters who might otherwise be unrelatable,” Marc Guggenheim tells TheWrap

“Legends of Tomorrow,” the CW spinoff of “Arrow” and “The Flash,” premiered Thursday night, and in addition to sending off a new team of superheroes to fight a very evil villain, it also threw a curveball at them.

Turns out, Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) wasn’t exactly truthful when he told the likes of White Canary (Caity Lotz), The Atom (Brandon Routh), Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller), Heatwave (Dominic Purcell), Hawkman (Falk Hentschel), Hawkgirl (Ciara Renee) and Firestorm (Victor Garber and Franz Drameh) that they would become legendary heroes in the future.

Instead, Hunter chose this team of ragtag heroes and villains because history forgot all about them, which makes it easier for them to travel through time without disturbing the timeline too much.

“It raises the stakes for our characters,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim told TheWrap. “We liked the idea that Rip was a little bit of a Harold Hill [from ‘The Music Man’], a little bit of a shuckster. He is kind of sending the wrong message – for good reason – but he’s not above lying to persuade people.”

Hunter is out to save his own family after the revelation that the young woman and boy Savage killed in the show’s opening were Rip’s wife and son.

This twist also gives the newly formed team pause on whether they continue on their mission, of course.

“We like the effect of that revelation on our team,” Guggenheim said. “It’s a lot harder to go into something thinking less of yourself than thinking positively of yourself. It’s like ‘Rocky III.’ It really sucks to wake up one morning and you think you’re great, but really you’re a loser. That’s just so much more relatable. When you’re doing a series with all these superpowered people, the fact that you give the audience something they can relate to…. Most people wake up and they don’t think of themselves as destined for greatness. They think the opposite. This gives the audience something to relate to in a group of characters who might otherwise be unrelatable.”

“Legends of Tomorrow” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

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