Arrow Casts Glee Villain as The Flash

The Flash Cast Grant GustinGlee alum Grant Gustin has landed a Flashy new role.

Arrow has tapped the 23-year-old actor to play the pivotal role of Barry Allen (aka The Flash), TVLine has confirmed.

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Gustin’s Barry will be introduced in Episodes 8 and 9 of Arrow Season 2 (which premieres Oct. 9) as an (UPDATED) assistant forensics investigator working for the Central City police department — “just an ordinary man,” EP Andrew Kreisberg has said — who arrives in Starling City to look into a series of robberies that may have a connection to a tragedy in his past. A comic book fan boy, Barry is obsessed with Oliver’s crimefighting alter ego.

Barry will also appear in Episode 20, a formal backdoor pilot for a potential spin-off more focused on this new character.

DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, Kreisberg and fellow EP Greg Berlanti will cowrite the three Barry Allen episodes, while Arrow/Smallville pilot director David Nutter is on board to direct Episode 20.

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Though the show’s creatives had said a blonde actor “would be preferred,” ultimately they wanted “the best actor for the part” — and/or “someone who look good in red,” Johns quipped.

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102 Comments
  1. Mark says:

    I like the guy, it’ll be good to see him in something where I don’t have to FF his scenes.

    • theMicronian says:

      you might like him but he wrong for the part. Putting aside anyone from Glee is a joke. The CW just makes these great characters into pretty boys. It’s sad. They should be stopped. Super Man, Green Arrow. Now this.

      • Alan says:

        “anyone from glee is a joke”, what about mike o malley? he recently guest starred in justified and was absolutely fantastic. im not going to ignorantly write someone off just for being a working actor and taking whatever parts they can find. maybe we should wait until we actually see him in the role before complaining, stephen amell worked out quite well in the end so im not going to say anything against the casting until there is reason to complain.

        • theMicronian says:

          Mike o Malley was around long before Glee. So was Jane Lynch who was on a great show (Party Down. That’s why I wrote from Glee. As in that’s their main credit. And honestly, do you know where you are? That’s all these comments are for is to complain or praise. If you’re into the gayness of Glee that’s great but this actor is wrong for the character but that is not something the CW cares about. They just want cute hunks.

          • Alan says:

            please dont use gay as an insult, it makes you sound like an ignorant moron. anyway ive seen about 5 seconds of glee, i have no interest in the thing but im not going to ignorantly say he will be terrible just because he took a job, actors need to eat just as much as everyone else. maybe we could all wait until we actually see him in the role before declaring world war three? nothing worse than entitled idiots on the internet prejudging things and insulting people just because they are anonymous.

          • D says:

            i don’t see the Micronian (go Robotech) using gayness as an insult rather a statement of fact, Glee is really really gay. They focus on the gay characters more then anything else and try to push a gay agenda or gay acceptance whatever you want to call it. Glee is a gay show. It became too much for me when they added that horrible and horrendous Unique character

          • murley says:

            And what, exactly, is ” the gay agenda”?

          • D says:

            i was trying to present both interpretations. Gay agenda for people that see glee as pushing an agenda to try and normalize homosexuality, Gay acceptance, for people that see glee as trying to educate and inform people about homosexuality.

          • theMicronian says:

            @D. thank you. that is exactly what I meant. I don’t see gay as a negative.
            @Alan. you’re the only person here insulting someone.

  2. Alex says:

    So 23 year old Grant Gustin is a forensic scientist?

    ….ok.

    • BB says:

      I don’t see how that’s weird. If he graduated HS at 18, he’d have his bachelor’s degree at 21, and the on-the-job training (the apprenticeship) would be done before he was 23.

      Also, he may have graduated a year early (which quite a few bright American HS students do) and finally – although it goes without saying – he may well play someone 24-25.

      • regardingalex says:

        If he was in college for four years (as most students are) he’d be 22/23 when he graduated undergrad. In order to be a scientist I’m pretty certain you need to go to additional school to get your doctorate/masters. Then enter the workforce and kick around long enough to actually end up getting to work as a scientist.

        All of this may seem like nitpicking but regardless of the numbers he LOOKS like a baby. It seems laughable that anyone would buy him as a SCIENTIST. Intern, sure.

        • wordsmith says:

          Yeah, I think the problem is more that last year we were all looking at him as if he was about 16 on Glee, so it’s a bit of adjustment to suddenly have to see him as an adult.

        • Drew Melbourne says:

          Sorry, guys. If you get your Bachelors in Forensic Science, you can get a job as a Forensic Scientist when you graduate college. If you graduate in 4 years, you are not 21/22, not 22/23.

          • regardingalex says:

            Well again, regardless of numbers he doesn’t pass for someone who could be a forensic scientist. He looks like a kid.

        • 80s says:

          Actually, you don’t necessarily need a masters or a doctorate to be considered a forensic scientist. There are different levels of forensic scientists that necessitate different trainings. Flash could be at an entry or training position. Sure you can get a advanced degree there are higher chances of advancement, but I don’t think this casting is entirely unreasonable.

    • He went through high school and college in a…flash!

    • Quinn Mallory says:

      The spinoff would be another origin story so either he’s just work in forensic while getting an advanced degree or he’s another TV super genius.

    • For perspective, Greg Sanders on CSI was 25 in season 1, and he wasn’t even a CSI. Nick, the youngest member of the CSI team and the junior member, was 33.

      This actor is not going to play older than his own age, so Barry as a 23 year old CSI on a level other than one that a junior like Nick Stokes defies credibility.

      And before ANYONE comes in with the tired “it’s based on a comic book, it doesn’t have to be credible” or/and “it’s a guy who runs at super speed, it doesn’t have to be credible” or any of that crap, save it and spare us.

      These characters may be fantastic in some ways but they are grounded in others. Yes, as Flash he may be able to defy physics, but as Barry Allen there is no way he can be a 23 year old senior CSI, not unless he’s depicted as being a super genius who managed to skip several steps due to his talent.

      I for one hope he is depicted as a 23 year old junior CSI. There really is no need for him to be any level higher than that. If this is “Flash Begins” or “Central City” for Flash like Smallville was for Superman, then making him a lab specialists starting out on the road to becoming a CSI, like Greg on that show, makes sense.

    • Alan says:

      1 he is an actor and since most actors tend to have an age range of about 5 years either side of their real age so it wouldnt be that inconceivable.
      2 we need to see him in costume first before deciding if he looks old enough for the part, no point comparing how he looked in glee to how he would look in this.

    • Mitholas says:

      Don’t you just love the people who say this guy can’t play a forensic scientist because he doesn’t ‘look like one’, but probably have no issue with teenage characters with crazy inventing capacities (e.g. Spider-Man, depening on the incarnation). Also, I know 19-year olds who look 16 and others who look easily into their mid-twenties. Age is often not something you can mark on sight.

  3. John says:

    Wow I’m disappointed. Not really sure who I was thinking would fit this role, but he seems like a terrible choice. Doesn’t have the look, the swag, etc. He was very predictable and rather annoying in Glee.

    • Josh says:

      To be fair predictable is more on the writers part, though annoying is on his. My main issue is he can’t act. Not that Amell is a fantastic actor(especially in the beginning. He was a charisma dark hole, but has definitely improved), but this guy stood out as a bad actor on Glee…acting opposite Darren Criss…That says a lot about ones (lack) of acting skills.

    • CBWBDK1 says:

      I agree. I hated him on glee. He is a punk.

  4. Morgen says:

    First casting choice on Arrow I’ve questioned.
    Still say they NEED John Wesley Shipp in the backdoor pilot, somehow!

  5. Josh says:

    Such a horrible actor! And a 23 year old(who looks about 19)as a forensic scientist. Gotta love the CW consistency.

  6. Tori says:

    I honestly thought they would go with Matt Barr becauae he fit the image of Barry Allen but I guess Grant must have something special that the producers liked more. Grant is a talented actor and singer. I hope he brings his A game, in order to bring the Flash to series.

    • Christy says:

      Auuugh, Matt Barr would have been perfect!!! Seriously, CW, put him as the hunky male lead in a comic show. I’d be so into that.

      • sabrina says:

        I also think that Matt Barr would be good as the Flash. I think Grant Gustin does look too young and it would only be believable if he was playing an intern.

    • Jules says:

      Exactly what I was thinking… why not Matt Barr?? He looks the part (especially the age) and he has played in at least two CW shows as far as I know, One Tree Hill (only a couple of episodes) and Hellcats (which was cancelled after the first season, but he was one of two male leads). So, the CW knows and likes him (his looks).. why not choose him for this?
      Also, he was amazingly creepy as the psychopath in OTH!

  7. BGM says:

    Well, I guess I need to add Arrow to my DVR!

  8. ggny says:

    Dear god why?

  9. Mary says:

    This casting makes me wanna zzzzz. The dude has no charisma just another boring pretty boy actor on the CW. Oh joy.

  10. Ashley says:

    Keeping an open mind to this, leaning towards excited though. I really like Grant, so I can’t wait to see him jump into it.

  11. Christy says:

    That’s a strange casting choice. I don’t really think of this guy as a lead actor. I liked him in what he did in other shows, but I’ve only seen him play the same evil weaselly guy in 90210 and Glee.

  12. Fox says:

    First casting fail by the Arrow crew. Not feeling this guy as Flash.

  13. Grant says:

    Amell is already boring, yeah lets add another boring white guy who cant act to the mix. Couldn’t they give us someone with actual charm to play along boring Green Arrow. That’s what you get with the CW casting, as long as you have 6 pack abs you’re good to go.

  14. Alex H says:

    Ugh. I usually try and stay positive when they cast actors that I don’t really have in mind but this guy? As a forensic scientist? and he looks a lot younger than his age. I don’t know CW… He better be really good.

  15. james says:

    I’ve never watched an episode of Glee in my life, so I don’t mind it too much for a few epusodes. However, if they do make a Flash series and this guy is the lead, I won’t be watching it. He just seems so typical amd bland.

  16. Jellymoff says:

    Not impressed. Just doesn’t seem like Barry Allen to me.

  17. Amanda says:

    Well, I love grant. Now Arrow isn’t losing a viewer.

  18. ninamags says:

    He was deliciously bitchy while on Glee.

    Should be cool.

  19. Emily says:

    Horrible actor. At least Colty Haynes will have some eye-candy for himself to enjoy with Grant.

  20. carrionne says:

    I tought that role was for the guy from Orphan Black?

  21. Jimmy says:

    Meh. Matt Barr would have been a much better choice. This guy looks more like Kid Flash.

  22. Aleana says:

    He good actor like him on Glee but can we get a woman superhero show

    • Drew says:

      They’ve had Huntress already, with Speedy (Thea, I’m guessing) and Black Canary working their way into the business. With two of the series regulars playing characters based on female superheroes, what’s to complain about?

      • log says:

        The characters are the opposite of strong, resilient, independent women. They’re written as such: a stereotypical crazy stalker ex that murders people, a rich spoiled brat, and an annoying plot device. All motivated by men. That’s what.

  23. Wayne Webb says:

    this is not good casting from my view, but that’s because i’m always going to see him as a douche like on Glee, if he’s good he can change that…but i’m not convinced he is

  24. Mareen says:

    Hmm, probably not who I thought would be cast as I thought of Barry as being older.
    Still, I will try to hold back my judgement until I have actually seen him on the show. Maybe he’ll be great, but for now I’ll stay skeptical.

  25. GoT Snow says:

    I tried getting into this show but just wasn’t feeling the lead.. I mean, Oliver is supposed to be the jolly green, old-school lefty archer.. But this casting news has me excited. He was the most exciting thing I’ve seen on Glee.. Smooth Criminal is still one of my favs.

  26. Heather says:

    I’m so disappointed. He is completely wrong to play Barry Allen.

  27. Nina says:

    I don’t think he can act on Glee, but I always love to see pretty face on CW, so… ;D

  28. At just 23 and with barely a handful of guest spots to his name on Glee and 90210, he’s too green to lead his own show. I think the producers just sealed the fate of “The Flash” TV series with this casting. Oh well, at least we still have ARROW!

    • Drew says:

      Acting doesn’t really work that way. First of all, there could be other credits that aren’t listed online. Theater or indie projects, for example. On top of that, the number of years that a person acts really doesn’t say anything about whether or not they can lead a series. Ben Affleck has been acting since he was a kid and he still only has one facial expression. Yet an actor can come in off the street, with no real credits to his name, and knock it out of the part. We’re talking about talent and artistry here, not military command.

  29. Kristina says:

    Really enjoyed watching him on Glee. Looking forward to seeing him in this role.

  30. alistaircrane says:

    Sorry, but the Flash series should focus on Wally West, not boring-ass Barry Allen.

  31. Nick says:

    I don’t get it, I just do not understand why they would cast this kid as Barry Allen. Barry is supposed to have Blond hair and blue eyes, this kid’s got neither. His appearance is actually more like Bart Allen(Kid Flash/Impulse) who has brown hair and green eyes. I’m not a stickler for appearances. At least Amell’s got the Blue eyes that are key for any person portraying Green Arrow. In my mind if you are playing a comic book character you should have some thing in common with the character you are portraying. Gustin doesn’t as far as I can tell. Manu looks like Slade Wilson, Colton doesn’t have red hair but those blue eyes sell me on him as Roy Harper as well as the attitude he brings to the character. Jessica De Gouw’s acting wasn’t perfect but she made a great Huntress because of those eyes that mirrored her comic counterpart and she made Helena’s suffering believable.

    As a minor comic book aficionado; I, like everyone, have certain expectations of the characters portrayal, Batman should be 100% non lethal, Aquaman should be antisocial and Lois Lane should be a bit of a ball buster who isn’t afraid to question and challenge Superman himself. The Flash is supposed to be one of Green Arrow’s peers the age gap between these actors doesn’t really work. If Gustin was playing Wally West a peer to Roy Harper I would understand, but how is a baby faced actor with a little under a 10 year age gap to Amell supposed to play a man who fights along side the justice league as an equal and founding member of the group?

    Amell’s acting off the start was wooden but that actually helped sell him as a fledgeling hero. He was supposed to be confident and a jerk before the island then the Island changed him, so he lost the confidence and became a survivor. Amell’s bad acting was good because anyone going through that wouldn’t be good at hiding it and as a result be a bad actor since everything they are would be a facade to hide the fact he’s killed people. I was wary about Colton and he still has to prove himself before i accept him as Roy but Manu is perfect for Slade.

    I’m not going to stop watching but I might not watch a Flash spin off unless he really surprises me.

  32. Jillian says:

    I guess I’m going to have to watch Arrow now. Hopefully the backdoor pilot gets picked up. As a Glee fan, I am proud of Grant for booking a leading role.

  33. Fernanda says:

    He is handsome but he is not a leading man for Arrow spin off

  34. Kaye says:

    I’m starting to think nobody actually understands comic books… Lmfao. I mean, Tony Stark’s character took over as CEO at 21. 21, people. And most superheroes are some form of super genius for whatever reason.

    Ergo, this guy’s a little ahead of his time. He’s going to be played smart. It’s used all the time in comic book land. Suddenly, it’s a problem, because he looks like a baby. But if someone that was actually 33 came around and played a 23 yr old, oh, that’s fine. Now, at least he looks matured.

    Right. I forgot how TV land works. Seriously…

    • Nick says:

      I know how comics work, age isn’t important but in comics they can look older, or younger depending on who’s the artist is. This is a CW show so they are going to use young actors but the fact of the matter is Gustin probably hasn’t outgrown his baby face stage, Stephen Amell is 32, Colton Haynes is 25, David Ramsey is 41 and Manu Bennett is 43. Colton is playing a character in his late teens because his face hasn’t fully matured in 2 to 3 years he will not be able to play teen roles because his face will have matured too much for it to be believable. As a person gets older their face matures. Gustin regardless of talent doesn’t look even half as weathered as Amell and that difference is my problem with the choice. How can he be Green arrow’s peer when he looks the same age as Thea his baby sister?

      • liz says:

        well said. Ya, a comic book rendering is more interpretive than a real life actor in a role.
        .
        And Amell looks like a man; like someone who has experienced stuff. It is interesting when they do island or pre-island flashbacks how the makeup department is able to de-age him a bit, making it totally believable. But you’re right there’s no way this kid looks like a peer of Amell. Whereas the rest of the cast does.

  35. Katie_Mead says:

    Well, this one apparently poor casting decision is not going to stop me watching Arrow, but Matt Barr seems to be the better choice of those two, especially since there was meant to be some possibility of the actor carrying off the lead role in not only the TV spin-off, but the potential Justice League movies.
    So, with Gustin taking the TV half of the role (and lessening the likelihood of the spin-off getting picked up), there is now more fodder to the McIntyre Flash rumors for the big-screen outings.
    If Gustin can prove the majority opinion wrong and actually pull off the role, more power to him.

    • KJ says:

      Grant gustin beat Matt barr to the role, means he was better. Matt barr lost fellows, so stop talking about him, he had his chance and he wasnt the better man

      They must have seen something in grant so lets wait and see

      • theMicronian says:

        you clearly do not know how Holly Wood works if you think it’s about the best man/woman who gets the job. There’s a little more to it than that.

  36. liz says:

    I enjoy Arrow, but I think its too soon for a spinoff. Season one was….all over the place to be honest. They have their groove now, but they still need to get comfortable there. Launching a new character + series this early is risky for both Arrow and the new one. Stretching the creativity too soon and also risking the stability of Arrow. We’ve just gotten to know Oliver, Felicity and Digg – now is the time to focus on building that, not making something new.

  37. Aris says:

    Really really disappointing casting… as someone already pointed out he looks much more like Wally West or something… Matt Barr was the obvious choice and they ruined it. Ofc it’s my opinion only but come on… put him next to Stephen Amell who’s perfect as the GA… I mean even Colton who’s supposedly what? 18-19-ish? he seems older and more superhero-ish… I would like nothing more than to be pleasently surprised by him but I seriously doubt it… I am (not so) secretly hoping that he might be a curve ball or something and he’s something like an assistant to Barry -maybe even his nephew Wally!- and they cast someone else as Barry… something like this I remember was with Michael Rosenbaum’s return to Smallville’s finale… one day it was official that he won’t return and the next they say he will…both announcments were official…idk…seriously not happy…and all this coming from a person who’s seen Grant acting…no no and no…sorry! I know the kid has got feelings but no!

  38. Maki says:

    Sooooo I´m not thrilled by the choice but he is a soli actor. He can play a 25-27 year old even though he is 23! It will be interesting to see how they introduce Flash. The spinoff will probably feature Thea and Roy going to Central city and getting to know the new crew!

  39. Babar says:

    According to TV Guide, “Barry is a Central City assistant police forensic investigator”.

  40. Azerty says:

    Well, everybody seems disappointed with the choice of actor, I can’t tell I never watched glee. But I don’t understand the “ordinary man” thing. They don’t want to go with the superpower storyline so how will they introduce him and more important how will they make a pilot for a possible spin off? They can avoid the superpower stuff with Green Arrow but is it possible with the Flash? Would have preferred a Dick Greyson/ Nightwing announcment!

  41. Lucian says:

    At this point I’m neither super happy nor mad about the casting choice. I’ve seen him on Glee and I can’t say that he is a bad actor but he does seem like an unusual choice for Barry Allen. As looks go (hair and eyes) I’m not worried, I’m sure they’ll make him fit the par, just look at Matt Smith in Doctor Who the guy is practically bald and they still made him perfect for the Christmas Special. Before I judge the acting I’ll have to wait and see him actually do it. I mean we can’t compare the role he had on Glee with this one. I, for one am a huge fan of The Flash/Barry Allen so I will watch the spin-off, I just hope they don’t mess it up like they did with Arrow. I still watch the series but I’m a little disappointed with the whole reality take and what they did with Laurel/Black Canary(still hoping she still becomes her but I’m curious to see how they will explain the Canary cry or Flash’s super speed for that matter).
    In short I’ve jumped to conclusions about actors in the past and they ended up proving me wrong so I hope this one will too.

  42. AT says:

    Eh… I was expecting them to choose someone closer to Stephen’s age. I really hope they figure out some way to age him up a bit. He seriously looks more like he should be hanging out with Thea and Roy versus Oliver.

  43. Drew says:

    The Glee thing sets off alarms, but that show sucks because of bad writing, so I will try to reserve judgement on the actors. Let’s see how this plays out before complaining. Nobody could look like a good actor on Glee.

    • Alan says:

      mike o malley is in glee, that doesnt make him automatically a bad actor, he is still great in everything he does (even the very small bit of glee i saw with him in it). im not going to ignorantly write someone off just because they had the audacity to take a job when it was offered to them.

      • Drew says:

        Yeah. His other work is much better. Glee is so horribly written that I really don’t think any actor could make the dialogue sound good. Talented people end up looking really bad. I honestly don’t know why so many people are eager to be on that show.

  44. RD says:

    Hmm…cute young hottie instead of someone who can act. Well done,the CW!

    • Drew says:

      I think we should see before we criticize. I mean, I am the ultimate anti-Affleck Batman fan, but that is based on 20 years of witnessing his inability to act. This guy could be perfect in the role as it is written on this show. It obviously isn’t a direct copy from the comics, so who knows? And he hasn’t done enough work on screen for anyone to really judge his ability.

  45. Jerri says:

    I don’t really see him as The Flash.

  46. Brendan says:

    At least this guy looks like a better flash than the tool that played him in Smallville.

  47. Jase says:

    Stephen Amell, Colton Hayes and now Grant Gustin? This show is turning into a gay guy’s wet dream (and I’m not complaining). Please have all three of them running around sweaty and shirtless in the same scene.

    • Brendan says:

      I know, right? :) Well if they did it to vampires (Twilight) and werewolves (Teen Wolf) then why not do it to superheroes too. After all, they are supposed to be good looking guys in the first place, so it’s really not a stretch.

    • Cy says:

      It’s like they want us to believe those casting couch rumors

  48. Jason says:

    Oh, hell yes!

  49. Mikael says:

    I was hoping they’d go for someone older and manlier like Stephen Amell. This seems like the old CW “Gossip Girl style” casting. I thought they were going in a new direction and trying to get away from the “pretty boys who look 16″ image. Maybe he’ll surprise me.

  50. Jason Dragon says:

    Hm… “Gay Agenda”: The unreasonable wish for people to recognize that being a citizen of the so-called Land of the free, with “certain inalienable rights, endowed by our Creator…” will actually mean that everyone is treated with the same rights, responsibilities, protections and privileges as everyone else. How silly of people to think that in the 21st century, it might actually be possible to coexist with people who insist on living in the 11th century. Oh well!

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