Those tuning into The Flash have already been treated to not just one DC Comics superhero, but the introduction (and superpowered set-up) of a second: ‘Firestorm the Nuclear Man‘ played by Robbie Amell. Set to reappear as his nuclear alter ego before the show’s mid-season finale, Amell has offered up a few more details of just what to expect from his new role, and what the writers may have planned in the future.
When Firestorm a.k.a. Ronnie Raymond was last seen, he was sacrificing his own life to save the crowds gathered at S.T.A.R. Labs from the particle accelerator disaster (including his fiancee, Caitlin Snow). But when the mysterious explosion turns out not to have killed him, it won’t be a happy reunion, or a glorious superhero origin story. Amell has promised that Ronnie will return “schizophrenic, “confused” and “dangerous” to himself and others.
Comic fans will know what’s likely behind Ronnie’s mental state, as the original version of the hero has his mind fused with that of brilliant scientist Dr. Martin Stein (Victor Garber). As for the danger, well, nuclear fire pouring out of Ronnie’s body puts everyone at risk. Speaking with Access Hollywood, Amell claims that he’ll arrive back on the scene looking “like all hell broke loose”:
“I look ridiculous when you see me next. Most people probably won’t even recognize me for at least a couple of seconds when they see my character return. But you’ll know it’s Firestorm shortly after.
“I hate wearing wigs… My friend sent me a picture of Tom Cruise from Rock of Ages when he saw a picture of it on me, so it’s pretty good. But even worse than that is the fake facial hair because I can’t grow mine at all. I get a neck beard, I can’t grow the cheeks in.”
With Barry Allen’s own tale of coming to grips with his new powers being a dream come true for any superhero fan (including Barry), it’s promising to see The Flash‘s writers taking the opposite route with Ronnie Raymond. Barry was a tortured soul given the means to make a difference, where Ronnie had his life laid out ahead of him, losing it all to a horrific accident. Just like Arrow‘s take on Ray Palmer a.k.a. ‘The Atom’ being more secretive than comic fans expect, Amell says Ronnie may not be a hero to begin with:
“You don’t know if I’m good or bad when I first show up. You will find out that there’s something going on mentally; I’m not exactly the same person I was when I left… I’ve got [Martin Stein actor] Victor Garber in my head, which is terrifying because Victor Garber is this amazing, incredible actor, and I have to do a Victor Garber impression for a bit of an episode, which is an actor’s dream and an actor’s nightmare… I’ve worked with him before which is nice, because I know that he’s a great guy and he won’t hold it against me.”
The question remains as to exactly how the show will choose to portray Firestorm on-screen. Apparently Ronnie will arrive dishevelled, boasting wild hair and beard, but the exact nature of the Ronnie/Dr. Stein dynamic has varied wildly over the years. One may call the other to them in time of need, fusing to form the ‘Nuclear Man,’ with one or both left completely unaware of what has taken place; Dr. Stein may exist permanently in Ronnie’s mind whether in the nuclear form or not.
Only the show itself will solve the mystery, but an image captured by Amell on the set of The Flash gives another intriguing tease of how he and Garber will co-exist:
Wearing identical wardrobe – aside from Amell’s being burnt to shreds – sheds some light on the need for a ‘Victor Garber’ impression; it seems that both actors may get their chance to act as the face of the split-character. That may result in viewers getting to see when Dr. Stein takes control of Ronnie’s body, while his outward appearance remains unchanged (hence Amell’s need to embody Garber’s voice and mannerisms).
While we await the chance to see that challenge tackled, it’s another double-act for which many CW fans have been holding out hope. Ever since Robbie was announced to be joining The CW’s shared universe – launched by cousin Stephen Amell’s Arrow – many fans have wondered if the pair would get the chance to share the screen.
Having previously combined their respective Tomorrow People and Arrow audiences in a night referred to by the cousins as ‘Amell Wednesdays,’ Robbie confirmed that viewers will get to see them share an episode before long:
“We will both be in the same episode of The Flash coming up, but I have not crossed over to Arrow yet. I would really like to, and I have a pretty good relationship with Greg Berlanti, so I’m trying to push that on him. We’ll see what happens.”
Given how much the Arrow star has been talking up the benefits of a shared TV universe, we would wager the joining of forces will happen before long (once Ronnie gets his powers under control, that is). That’s assuming that the producers solve the problem of bringing superpowers into Starling City; as it stands, even Brandon Routh thinks The Atom would have to move to The Flash to show off his own superpowers. That being said: where there’s a will, there’s a way.
What are your thoughts on the apparent plan for introducing Ronnie Raymond as Firestorm? Will you be hoping to see the Amells share scenes in the future, or is it Arrow and Firestorm you wish to see fighting side by side?
The Flash airs Tuesdays @8pm on The CW.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce for updates on The Flash as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.
Source: Access Hollywood