Haynes, who joined the series midway through season 1, became a series regular in season 2 but left the show in season 3 — Roy Harper, a.k.a Arsenal, faked his death, taking the fall for being the vigilante then known as Arrow to protect Oliver (Stephen Amell).
Since then, Roy has returned in a handful of episodes, including Holland’s recent final hour as a series regular, “The Thanatos Guild,” which set up a major off-screen storyline for Roy, Thea (Holland), and Nyssa (Katrina Law); Roy’s return in a full-time capacity raises an interesting question for that story line next season. The episode also featured Roy appearing in a DC Comics-esque Arsenal costume, which should be an indicator for next season’s suit.
“We’re very fortunate and excited to welcome back Colton to Arrow,” the Arrow executive producers said in a statement. “While we’ve always enjoyed Colton’s returns to the show, we couldn’t be more thrilled to have him return as a proper series regular and we’re very excited about all the creative opportunities Roy Harper’s return affords us.”
Added Haynes: “I could not be happier to return to my role as Roy Harper alongside my Arrow family.”
This is not the first time a series regular has left Arrow and returned as part of the main cast. Katie Cassidy’s Laurel Lance was killed off the show in season 4, but she returned as her Earth-2 doppelgänger full time in season 6.
Arrow airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.