This morning at the bi-annual TCA presentation in Los Angeles, The CW President Mark Pedowitz addressed early buzz about Dr. Barry Allen aka The Flash coming to the network by noting that he would be making an appearance in this upcoming second season of Arrow to potentially spin-off into his own series later. All of this while the Wonder Woman pilot still remains in development.
“We’re planning an origin story. We’ll see how it goes. Hopefully it’ll do well. We do want to expand on the DC universe,” Pedowitz addressed critics regarding Flash, LA TV Insider Examiner included.
“Amazon is on pause. The script is not quite where we want it…It’s such an iconic [character], it’s better to wait and get it right.”
We took part in a special post-TCA conference call with Arrow EPs Andrew Kreisberg and Geoff Johns to get more information on their project, where they reiterated Pedowitz’s early remarks that Barry’s entrance into Starling City is an origin story, and they talked about the “why” and the “why now” behind this introduction.
“It really started with Greg Berlanti. The Flash was his favorite character as a kid growing up, and he’s obviously been a strong personal favorite of both Geoff and mine, and so when Greg approached us one day and said, ‘Hey, what would you think if we did The Flash as a spin-off?’…all of us lit up,” Kreisberg said.
“Despite the fact that he’s got superpowers, I think there’s something very relatable about Barry. Of all of the big seven of the Justice League, he got his powers by accident. He isn’t a God…he wasn’t seeking it out; it sort of came to him; and his reaction to that is very human.”
Though Berlanti, who is also an executive producer on Arrow, dreams big and sees the potential for The Flash to carry his own show at some point, right now he is just being introduced into the Arrow world to test the waters with The CW audience. It’s hard to know what iconic characters will hit them hard– and what brand new ones may hit them even harder. Case in point: Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards), who from her first brief appearance as a foot-in-mouth IT girl had audience members sitting up and saying ‘Who is that?’ and ‘When can I see more of her with Oliver!?’
There is a journey to tell with Barry-turned-The Flash, and Kreisberg plans to do that on Arrow season two first, so should the spin-off not end up happening, there is a solid base and place (with room to grow) for the character in an already established (and high-rated) show. He’s not getting too far ahead of himself yet but instead focusing on these episodes of Arrow in which Barry is appearing.
“Oliver Queen is a very dark and tortured soul, and Barry is not, so I think it will be a fun by-plate to see these two characters together because they both have very distinctive world views while both caring deeply about right and wrong,” Kreisberg said.
“When we first meet Barry Allen, he’s just a forensic scientist…so he’s just an ordinary man when we meet him. As we always do on Arrow, we try to keep them as grounded and realistic as possible, and that is a way that the audience will be introduced to Barry and get to know him.”
One of the ways the world of Arrow has been able to keep their characters and stories “grounded,” though is by keeping them humans who dig deep to find incredible strengths and resolves within themselves but not literal superhuman strengths. The character of Barry Allen, though, as we know him from the DC Universe, develops his super-speed from chemicals. Though Allen won’t be coming to Starling City after being chemical-covered, so to speak, the event will have to take place in some form in order to introduce The Flash everyone knows, loves, and expects, right?
“Part of the fun for the audience [is] to derive how we’ll do our quote-unquote Arrow take on The Flash legacy. Some of it will very familiar to the comics, and some of it will hopefully feel fresh and exciting. The same way we approach the Arrow is the way we’ll approach Barry,” Kreisberg said.
But all that said, Johns confirmed he does need powers to be The Flash.
“These quote-unquote powers won’t be treated as commonplace,” Kreisberg went on.
“They will be extraordinary events, and the world and our characters in them will react accordingly.”
Arrow airs on The CW on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. The second season premiere is October 9 2013.
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