Fall TV Preview

Arrow Meets The Flash: Powering Up, Casting Leads and More Burning Questions Answered

Arrow Season 2 Introduces The FlashThe Flash is on the fast track to visit Arrow this season, raising many questions. How will Dr. Barry Allen’s alter ego manage to be fleet on his feet in the CW series’ powerless world? What exactly will his fancy footwork look like? Will The Flash clash with Green Arrow?

DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and Arrow showrunner Andrew Kreisberg were lightningquick to field those queries and others in a Tuesday afternoon press conference. Here’s what was learned:

* Barry Allen will be introduced in Episodes 8 and 9 of Arrow Season 2 (opening Oct. 9), as a forensics scientist working for the Central City police department — “just an ordinary man,” said Kreisberg. “That’s how the audience will get to know him before life gets a little bit faster.” Barry will also appear in Episode 20, a formal backdoor pilot more focused on this new character (and possibly planting fun Easter eggs along the way).

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* Addressing the sticky wicket of creating The Flash in a world that has purposely been established as free of superpowers, Kreisberg said, “Part of the fun is for the audience is to go on that ride and see how we do our ‘Arrow take’ on the Flash legacy. Some of it will feel very familiar, and some will feel different.” All that said, Johns asserted, “He does need powers to be The Flash.” And as such, Kreisberg added, “Our characters will react to the extraordinary changes to their world in a realistic way. These ‘powers’ wont be treated as commonplace.”

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* Why introduce and potentially spin off this particular DC character? Arrow EP Greg Berlanti counts The Flash as his favorite superhero as a kid, and the character ranks high with  Johns and Kreisberg as well. “So when Greg approached us and said, ‘What if we did The Flash as a spinoff?’, all of us lit up,” Kreisberg reported. Especially since the speedster differs greatly from Arrow and other DC heroes. “Barry got his powers by accident — he isn’t a God, he isn’t an alien — so his reactions to that feel very human and grounded.” And whereas Oliver Queen is a dark and tortured soul, “Barry is not, so it will be a fun byplay to see these two characters together, because they have very distinctive world views.”

* Along those lines, a la DC lore, you can expect Barry and Ollie to not exactly be besties when they cross paths. “As excited as we are to write for Barry, we’re really excited about what his arrival means for Oliver, for Dig, for Felicity, for everybody. He’s going to affect everybody’s lives,” said Kreisberg. Added Johns, “Barry’s a cop, so he follows the law, he follows the rules. The last thing he would ever think about is being a vigilante.”

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* Once Barry does evolve into The Flash, “He will not be blurring around” Johns said when asked about rendering the speed effect for TV. “We want to do something fresh and exciting and give people a cinematic experience,” he added, pointing to recent Flash comics — as well as the animated release Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox — as possible visual cues.

* With casting now about to get underway, “A blonde would be preferred,” Kreisberg said, though as with Arrow, they’ll go with “the best actor for the part” — and/or “someone who look good in red,” Johns quipped.

* Johns, Kreisberg and Berlanti will cowrite the three Barry Allen episodes, while Arrow/Smallville pilot director David Nutter is on board to direct Episode 20 aka the backdoor pilot for the prospective spin-off.

* Just to be clear, I had the guys double-secret officially confirm: Allen’s ultimate alter ego will be called The Flash, and he will wear the iconic, colorful costume.

* Lastly, there is no word on if The CW’s Flash will be compatible with Macs. (Just kidding. Computer nerd humor.)

Want more scoop on Arrow, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Joey says:

    Glad Barry Allen will get to be on Arrow for a few episodes. It will be interesting how Oliver and Barry will meet and interact with each other.

    • Mooredoor says:

      I have a copy of the script when Arrow & Flash meet. They meet in Int. Queen Consolidated – Applied Science Lab were Barry is working on chemical samples. Flash doesn’t want to be fast and Arrow tells him that he can use his powers to good use.

  2. johnhelvete says:

    Usain Bolt would be my casting choice.

  3. Deathstroke says:

    This is going to be stupid. He needs to have powers to be the Flash, if they don’t plan on breaking the “no powers” rule then there’s absolutely NO NEED for The Flash to show up at all. I’m sick of this prequel BS the CW continues to try. I bet the series won’t even be called “The Flash” they’ll use some other name for him just like the Green Arrow series is called “Arrow” and he’s not even called Green Arrow (or Arrow) on the show! he’s “the hood guy” CW should do a Superhero series with the actual name, villains, costumes or quit wasting everyone’s goddamn time.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      You need to read between the lines up above…. And yes, I confirmed he will be called The Flash, and he will wear the infamous costume.

    • Cherry says:

      Did you even read the article Deathstroke?

      Barry will have powers and he will have the traditional costume.

    • Alan says:

      did you actually read the article or just go straight to the comments section to start whining? because if you read the thing you would know you look a bit foolish right now.

    • Andy says:

      While it’s clear Deathstroke didn’t actually read the article, it still is true that we don’t know for sure what the potential series would be called. We know he’ll be called The Flash but we don’t know if that would be the name of the show. But I’m not trying to defend anyone here. That is one big rant.

    • Nick C says:

      the CW rapes these great characters and turns them into shirtless hunks. It pains me to see this because the Flash is a favorite of so many.

      • Alan says:

        please dont trivialise the victims of actual rapes by using that word in this context. it disgusts me that that word gets thrown around without a thought on the internet, imagine if you were the victim of a rape would you be ok with people using it to describe a show they dont like? have some respect for people please.

        • Mattias says:

          I agree with you, Alan. I also think that things such as “facerape” on Facebook is a stupid expression. However, I do think that CW doesn’t handle the characters as well as they should! I dislike Smallville a lot!

        • Tookie Clothespin says:

          Rape has many definitions and not all of them have to do with forceable sexual intercourse. The above poster used the word rape in proper context. As in to despoil or to strip of value.

        • Tookie Clothespin says:

          The word rape has many definitions and not all of them have to do with forceable sexual intercourse. The person above used the word in the correct context. As in to despoil or rob of value.

          • Tookie Clothespin says:

            Sorry for the double post, the first one didn’t post immediately so I retyped it. Faux outrage at a correctly used, yet scandalous word that has many definitions is a pet peeve of mine.

          • liz says:

            Well I just can’t decide what I loathe you for more, being a rape apologist or using ‘rob of value’ as a replacement word for rape. Either way you reek of misogyny. The OP had clear intentions as to what he meant when he used the word rape. Unless he was referring to the plant oil or mispelling a name for a sword, his meaning was very clear. And its NOT okay. And neither is you ‘its grammatically correct’ excuse.

      • Joseph says:

        No one suffers from becoming a shirtless hunk.

    • Mooredoor says:

      It will be called the “Flash” & Barry or The Flash does have super powers and he moves at the speed of light.

  4. Quinn Mallory says:

    More excited about this, given the character and the people involved, than the “Amazon” idea.

  5. I just hope he’s not a rehash from the comics of the 60s, with the bowtie and dumbstruck look. He should be the cool CSI type. That’s the modern execution of this type of character.

  6. Drew says:

    If powers will exist in the Arrowverse, the question I have is where the show fits in with the movie universe. Will this Green Arrow be worked into the eventual Justice League movie?

  7. liz says:

    I just don’t know if this ‘hey, powers totally exist now’ stuff is going to work. Arrow has been set up as a realistic grounded series, I don’t want one of the villains to be all ‘hey look at my evil deathray, it’ll change physics!’. This ‘new world’ he’s talking about worries me a bit.
    But there were similar concerns for Avengers; how they’d blend the myticality of Thor with Iron Man’s very reality-based world. But Whedon pulled it off….so maybe they can too? (Not that I’m comparing them to Whedon, that’d be silly :P)

    • Many of these characters have existed for over half a century. How could there be any cause for concern? Nobody in the world was concerned about the Avengers being able to work together, they’ve worked together since the 60s.

      • liz says:

        In comic form, sure they worked fine….but comics and film are two very different mediums. And Joss Whedon expressed his concern when he first started the project and several editorials in Entertainment Weekly pondered the same thing. Iron Man (the films) were so clearly established as being ‘realistic’, constrained by the laws of the world as we know it whereas some of the other Avengers are very clearly not. Nowhere in Iron Man 1 or 2 had there been any allusion to powers, so suddenly pushing those two worlds together took some finesse to make it believable.
        It wasn’t about the ability of the characters to work together, it was about mixing the worlds of the films as they’d been created.

        • Alan says:

          realistic being suits of powered armour, interactive holograms and a.i. that could have conversations with humans and display emotions; i really dont get this “iron man was realistic thing”, it never was and it didnt take much for them to be in the same world as a result. if iron man had been a movie about a detective solving a murder and then crossing that over with thor it would have been weird but not with what they had to work with. ive never understood this criticism because once you are working with vigilantes youve already given up on any sense of realism.

          • liz says:

            powered armour, interactive holograms and almost-sentient AI systems are at least within the realm of possibility. I think its conceivable that those technologies could (and probably will be) invented – and rather soon. I think thats a heck more realistic than the various ways characters get super powers (though I will grant Captain America’s origin is at least somewhat sound in theory, as is the Hulks – accidents of science I suppose). But xmen-esque powers (where the reality of the narrative is based in evolution/gene mutation….well thats really not very realistic. Even less realistic is some God from another planet who hasn’t aged in millennia, etc.
            Iron Man is essentially James Bond, a bit more with the hyperreal, but still rooted in an acceptable area of ‘reality’

    • Drew says:

      The Avengers didn’t really work for me at all, but I did have concerns with how Superman would come across in Man of Steel and I wound up loving that movie. If handled well it can work, but I agree that this show should never become Smallville.

      • liz says:

        Did Avengers not work for you in the world building-believability way or was it something else? I liked Man of Steel as well (not as much as Avengers, but liked it nonetheless). And ya, Arrow really shouldnt become Smallville.

        • Drew says:

          It was the writing in general. Too many plot holes and too much nonsense. After I initially watched the movie and didn’t like it, people kept asking for specifics. So I recently rewatched it on Netflix and walked away with a four page list of things that just made the movie bad. And really, it boiled down to writing and directing because for the most part, the cast was solid. It’s just that 99% of the movie’s plot depended on the characters being complete morons. I could post the whole list, but it is long.

          One thing that made it even more frustrating was that the studio sacrificed other movies in order to set up The Avengers. Captain America could have been so much better if they weren’t forced to set up The Avengers. And in the end, it just wasn’t worth the sacrifice.

          • Jason says:

            Let’s be honest, there was a LOT of stuff about the Avengers and the plot that was a little off, but my god was that a fun movie and finally someone was able to put a superhero ensemble group together in a movie.

          • Drew says:

            I really couldn’t enjoy it. It seemed like every scene had some example of bad writing in it. Any time I tried to sit back and enjoy it as a popcorn movie the absurdities got even more absurd.

  8. This is great news. I’ve been hoping for a new Flash series for a while. I will never understand why WB hasn’t done a better job of using these DC properties. They have a movie studio and several TV networks yet Marvel is still seen as the leader in live action media.

    I hope DC pushes the envelope with this and instead of just going with a connected movie universe, connect the movies and TV shows together. Have this Flash be the Flash for the JLA movie. Have Arrow be a part of it. And then have characters from the movies do special guest roles during sweeps or something. Ratings would go crazy if Henry Cavill’s Superman or the new Batman pops up for an episode of Arrow or Flash. WB has so many tools at their disposal, they could do something revolutionary with their connected universe that even pushes the bar farther than Marvel has.

    My only gripe is that they’re using Barry Allen instead of Wally West. Bart Allen has been a non-factor since 1985 until recently. I think to the vast majority of comic readers these days, Wally West is the only Flash they’ve really known and the version they’re more connected to than Allen. And Wally West brings a different vibe, a more fun, wise cracking, sarcastic Spiderman type vibe. Allen is just another square jawed, straight laced, do-gooder hero. Placing him next to Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, etc…he’s just more of the same. West injects some humor and is a nice change of pace in a room full of serious people.

    • Oh, God, please, don’t! I’d be deeply disturbed if they inserted our Arrow into the cinematic DC Universe, for two reasons: first, even though they said this Flash will have his ability, I don’t think it’s gonna be superpower-like, they’re gonna try and ground it in reality as much as they can the same way they have been doing with the show, so to put this realistic world inside Man of Steel’s universe would be a travesty. And second: IT WASN’T MADE FOR THIS. The show was created with a purpose and changing it so it could suddenly fit into something bigger would spoil it, and that is my issue with the sudden “Let’s make a Justic League movie and use what we already have” thing, Marvel purposefully crafted the movies so they fit in the same universe, DC (WB) is just desperately trying to mimic it, tying stuff together like they were meant to from the beginning when they clearly were NOT.

    • Unfortunately, Wally and the Flash Family in general got lost to the New 52. Now it’s just Barry Allen and as much as I loved the art on the new Flash series I had to stop reading it because it’s just not “my” Flash. Kinda like Hal Jordan isn’t “my” GL(except Geoff Johns did such a good job bringing him back that I’m over that. In Johns We Trust.)

  9. Morgen says:

    They SO need John Wesley Shipp to do a cameo in the backdoor pilot.

    • Jeff says:

      I would love them so much if they also played the epic theme from the 90’s flash show.

    • Jason says:

      That show was so ahead of it’s time it just got jerked around a lot because of schedule interuptions and schedule changes that it never caught on and was apparently way expensive. I really dug the suit and the fact that at least someone attempted to do it. I still remember the awesome theme song (Elfman) and John telling his cousin that if he ever needed him, he would be there “quick as a Flash”.

  10. Shamus Cockhorse says:

    Yeah I’m gonna be that guy and point this out but your last line about flash being compatible with macs, while funny and I got it, but its actually iOS devices like iPads and iPhones that flash won’t work on. Flash works just fine on macs.


    That Guy

    P.S. Zeppelin Rules

  11. Ram510 says:

    Hy does this have to be a Arrow spinoff? I’d prefer this to start as a standalone series instead. It sounds like it’ll be a procedural with some elements of The Flash thrown in there, doesn’t sound enticing.

    But looks like we will get a Black Canary after all and with powers

    • Maki says:

      They want to see if there is chemistry and if the audience will get hooked up. I believe Barry will be a small love interest for Felly! Maybe even take her with him to Central city. For the role Chad Michael Murray,Geoff Stults,Warren Christie or Eric Winter could be a nice choice,

  12. AM says:

    Jason Dohring could dye his hair blonde / look good in red…

  13. Laura says:

    Justin Hartley

  14. RichieS says:

    Kyle Gallner..played Flash on Smallville.

  15. Lane says:

    I would not mind seeing Trevor Donovan as The Flash.

  16. Talmidge says:

    Neil Patrick Harris is looking for work next year.

    • Mattias says:

      I like NPH, but I’m not sure he’s right for the part. I would like to se him audition before I make up my mind. How about Usain Bolt instead? ;P

  17. Mikael says:

    It’s nice that The Flash isn’t one of those characters that WB/DC has banned from tv like Batman & Superman, so there can be a tv show as well as a movie franchise. I think it’s stupid that they ban them, as if they think the audience is too stupid to realize they’re separate universes.

  18. Sarah says:

    “Lastly, there is no word on if The CW’s Flash will be compatible with Macs. (Just kidding. Computer nerd humor.)”

    I love you, Matt. (From a fellow computer nerd.)

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  20. Toby says:

    Warner brothers is planning on using the series Arrow to crossover into the movie universe! Zack Snyder said his man of steel version is the first superhero in his world which still will be accurate! The Arrow show started before the man of steel movie but the first season shows their isn’t superheroes in his world and shows that Ollie himself isn’t a hero but a vigilante! Season 2 isn’t out yet but will introduce Barry Allen to lead into a Flash spinoff! Now remember Man of Steel just came out before season 2 of Arrow, so that introduces superheroes into the picture for now the Flash will become a hero after Superman already exists! Remember season one of Arrow, Oliver Queen is a vigilante not a hero! It all fits together!