Arrow sleuths were quick to figure out after Laurel’s Season 4 death that Katie Cassidy hadn’t necessarily sought out a next gig, potentially keeping an Arrow-verse return in play. Cassidy even supposedly signed the same “franchise regular” contract as a few `Legends, though producers now explain what’s holding up another appearance.

TVLine previously stated Cassidy would serve as a recurring presence on all the Arrow-verse series this year, though the character has only appeared in three episodes, including the Season 5 premiere, 100th episode, and recent “Who Are You?” as her Earth-2 doppelganger. Now, TVLine confirms with executive producer Marc Guggenheim that Cassidy isn’t actually a regular anymore, and might time have a hard time returning in the immediate future:

We have an idea for how to see [Katie] again, but we haven’t made a deal with her. She’s not a series regular anymore, so we have to make a contract with her, and she’s got to be available. We haven’t had those conversations. But… we know exactly what we do want to do. […]

We try to make the process invisible in terms of our storytelling, but there are just human realities and contractual realities that not only tie our hands, but tie the hands of everyone running a show these days — unless you’re Game of Thrones and you can just literally afford to, like, hold people for an entire year for ungodly sums of money.

Cassidy’s Black Siren character remains in play as an A.R.G.U.S. prisoner, and producers have expressed in interest in bringing Quentin Lance face to face with a sinister version of his late daughter from another world. Others have stated that the series will always have a Black Canary of some kind, most recently exemplified in Juliana Harkavy’s Dinah Drake.

Still, is Arrow better off making a long-term plan for Cassidy, or letting the character go?

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