‘Arrow’ Gets a New Villain Inspired by Idris Elba’s ‘The Wire’ Role


It was a vivid, powerful portrayal of life on the streets. One that told the story of a ruthless man using education and the facade of privilege to further his wealth — even if it meant flooding the streets of Baltimore with drugs and death.

Yes, the role of Stringer Bell on “The Wire” made Idris Elba a star. And now it has inspired… the villain on a superhero show?

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According to TV Line, Season 5 of “Arrow” will revolve around a super villain, “loosely inspired by Idris Elba’s “Wire drug kingpin Stringer Bell.” The character is currently named Anton Church, an “apex predator” who “cuts his way through the shadows” and seeks to destroy “the biggest threat first.”

According to Stephen Amell, the Church most likely will not have superpowers.

So, for those “Arrow” fans who haven’t watched “The Wire,” what does a Stringer Bell-like villain indicate? Read on for a few memorable character traits from Elba’s memorable performance:

  • An awareness of those who’ve come before him, attempted to undermine justice and failed; a willingness to learn from their mistakes.
  • A desire to win battles not by brute strength, but through self-education and being the smartest man on the battlefield.
  • An inner fury that he can turn on when he needs it, particularly when reprimanding an underling.
  • No desire for glory or fame, but instead a preference to remain in the shadows and pull the strings of those around him.
  • His fatal flaw? The expectation that money can buy him status and respect — and wash the blood from his hands.

How much Stringer Bell will really be inside Anton Church? That much remains to be seen. But this is clear: If Season 5 of “Arrow” also introduces a character based on Omar Little, Oliver Queen had better watch his back.