Tuesday, July 29, 2014

ARROW Casts J.R. Ramirez as Wildcat

Well, that didn't take long.

Just days after the character was announced at this year's San Diego Comic Con, Deadline reports that the CW series Arrow has cast J.R. Ramirez in the role of Ted Grant, better known to DC Comics fans as Wildcat.

The 34-year-old actor recently appeared on the television series Power as Julio, on Emily Owens, M.D. as Dr. A.J. Aquino, and House of Payne as Diego Hernandez.  He's also been featured in small roles on 90210 and 24.

According to the article, Grant will be "a former boxer who now runs a gym for underprivileged youth.  A man with a mysterious past, he will play a pivotal role in Laurel Lance’s arc this season."  The role will be potentially recurring, presumably as Ted Grant continues to train Laurel Lance in how to fight.

Created in 1942 by Bill Finger and Irwin Hasen, Wildcat first appeared in Sensation Comics #1 as Theodore "Ted" Grant, an unemployed city orphan who saved the heavyweight boxing champion "Socker" Smith one day from a mugging and was trained by Smith until Grant became a heavyweight champion in his own right.  Framed for the murder of Smith, Grant took on the name of Wildcat and vowed to clear his name.  After proving his innocence and getting justice for his dead mentor, he continued to fight against crime as Wildcat. 

Later, after joining the superhero group the Justice Society of America, Wildcat trained the second Black Canary, Dinah Laurel Lance, teaching her various boxing techniques suited to her build without her mother's knowledge.  It seems this small factoid will be the basis for bringing Ted Grant into the series.

This will be the first significant depiction of the character in live-action, after Roger Hasket briefly cameoed as the character in the Smallville episode "Absolute Justice."  Wildcat has appeared in the animated series Justice League Unlimited (voiced by Dennis Farina) and Batman: The Brave and the Bold (voiced by R. Lee Ermey).

Arrow returns to The CW for Season 3 on October 8, 2014.

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