At the Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour today, The CW presented its latest DC Comics adaptation, The Flash, and it’s a winner, chronicling the adventures of forensic scientist Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), who, through one of those mysterious sci-fi accidents that can only happen in comic books, is transformed into the fastest human alive.
From executive producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, the men behind the network’s hit Arrow, the new series is, in the words of DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, who was also on the panel: “probably the most faithful DC Comics adaptation ever, as deep as we’re going to go and as many characters as we’re using, especially in the first nine episodes we’ve planned out pretty tightly.”
One of the more famous characters is referenced in the pilot episode, a nice Easter Egg to Flash fans, when, in a lab, an empty, damaged cage with the word “Grodd” is briefly seen, clearly a reference to Gorilla Grodd, a chief foe of The Flash. The producers went to great lengths to keep that scene in the script.
“Well, it’s funny,” said Kreisberg, “because obviously that Easter egg means the world to us. And all along the way, there are people who are less familiar with the mythology, who were like, well, we could save ten seconds if we cut that. And we’re like, nnnn, you can cut anything else.”
“We do find other ways to hint at it as we move forward,” added Berlanti, “and sooner rather than later.”
Among other villains featured, the pilot includes a criminal who appears to be Weather Wizard, though not by name, and today it was announced that Wentworth Miller (Prison Break) will be playing another famous Flash enemy, Captain Cold, in episode 4. Berlanti said that viewers will see the origin of Captain Cold (real name Leonard Snart) and the origin of the Rogues.
The pilot episode features another notable, and familiar to CW viewers, character — Oliver Queen, the Arrow (Stephen Amell), makes a cameo, giving advice to Barry about his newfound powers. And it was announced today that Stephen’s cousin, Robbie Amell, will be on The Flash, playing Ronnie Raymond, one half of the hero Firestorm, “who keeps popping up on the screen every once in a while,” according to Kreisberg.
And what of our hero, The Flash, himself? According to Kreisberg, “Obviously Grant joined Arrow first, and it was a very conscious decision on our parts that we weren’t looking to do the same show twice and we weren’t looking for the same kind of hero that Stephen portrays. Stephen is sort of the more prototypical hero, and we wanted somebody who was more normal, who had greatness thrust upon him. And also … that spirit of hope and just somebody that you would just fall in love with. And I know people probably don’t believe this is true about Stephen having been the first person to read for Arrow, but Grant was literally the first person to read for Barry. And after that, it was sort of over.”
Joe Magnani/The CW — © 2014 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.