Today we’re presenting yet another installment of our superhero movie fantasy casting feature, this time for the still-in-development big screen adaptation of The Flash. This film has been stop-and-go (pun intended) for awhile now, with previous versions of the script having been turned in by big name writers (David S. Goyer), and some big name actors having been eyed for the role (or so rumor would have it).
As of last week we have word that The Flash is coming along at a good pace, so as the story of the ‘The World’s Fastest Man’ steps closer and closer to becoming a cinematic reality, we stop to ask ourselves:
Who should play The Flash?
THE RACE TO GLORY
The Flash is one of the oldest heroes in the DC Universe, but it would be a stretch to call him one of the most famous (despite the 1990s TV series). Sure, the character is well known by the comic book fanboy nation – and any JoBlo off the street could probably tell you that “He’s the guy in the red suit who runs really fast.” However, I’d be surprised if that same JoBlo could tell you the names of Flash’s alter egos over the years (Jay Garrick, Barry Allen and Wally West) – or if you could even find a handful of fanboys willing to tell you that The Flash is “The most awesome superhero ever!”
By current estimate, I would place The Flash just a couple notches under Iron Man (before the film came out) in terms of public recognition/love, hovering somewhere around the same plane as Green Lantern. Of course, I must acknowledge that both The Flash and Green Lantern have made serious comic book comebacks over the course of the last half decade – thanks in overwhelming part to DC Comics writer Geoff Johns, who resurrected both Silver Age Flash and Green Lantern (Barry Allen and Hal Jordan) and has written storylines for both characters that have gone on to become modern comic book classics.
Did I mention that Geoff Johns is also acting as a consultant on The Flash movie?
Like Iron Man, The Flash faces the daunting task of elevating a C-list superhero to blockbuster movie height$. There is no doubt that Iron Man got a head start in that same department by casting Robert Downey Jr. – so when casting The Flash, I say forget all this talk about “getting a no name” to play the part; in this case, name recognition is a MUST.
WHO IS THE FASTEST MAN ALIVE?
Back during Comic Con this year I had a chance to toss Geoff Johns a question about the treatment he did for The Flash script (which is now in the hands of screenwriter Dan Mazeau). In the Johns’ response (which you can read HERE), he alluded to several things hinting that we might be seeing Barry Allen, the “Silver Age” Flash in the movie version, instead of “Modern Age” Flash, Wally West, as many fans initially assumed. Of course this all just speculation – but it makes for one doozy of a job for those of us in the fantasy casting business!
That said, I’ll have to cast BOTH versions of The Flash just to be safe. So, if you’re interested, here are my picks for who should play Barry Allen or Wally West, based on the criteria that the actor for either role needs to be both funny and dramatic and able to exude heroism – not to mention having the physical body type of a long distance sprinter (let’s not forget that!).
[And no, Ryan Reynolds is NOT a candidate! He's already Green Lantern AND Deadpool! That's enough!]