Former Barry Allen Actor to Join ‘The Flash’ Series in Mystery Role

Published 1 year ago by

John Wesley Shipp The Flash Former Barry Allen Actor to Join The Flash Series in Mystery Role
The Flash, CW’s modern spin on DC’s famous super speedster, was already on our radars as one of the big shows to look out for in 2014. Now, fan interest has been piqued even further with the announcement of an exciting new cast member.

It seems that young Grant Gustin, who first appeared as Barry Allen (a.k.a. The Flash) in CW’s current show Arrow, won’t be the only actor on set to have donned the famous lightning bolt.

According to THR, John Wesley Shipp – who starred as Barry Allen in the short-lived 1990 TV series – will appear as a mystery character in the pilot episode of The Flash. Shipp is probably best known for his role as the crimson speedster, but he also played the father in The Neverending Story II, the father in Dawson’s Creek, and an evil father in Teen Wolf. (Basically, he’s played a lot of fathers.) If the new Flash series gets a full series order, Shipp will become a recurring cast member.

So who might Shipp end up playing? As soon as the news broke, fans everywhere immediately speculated that Shipp could play a version of Jay Garrick. For those not in the know, Garrick was the original Golden Age Flash (you might recognize him from his winged, metal helmet), so having Shipp play that role would be a fun, tongue-in-cheek acknowledgement for fans of the 1990s series.

John Wesley Shipp as Jay Garrick in Flash TV Show Former Barry Allen Actor to Join The Flash Series in Mystery Role

Of course, that could just be wishful thinking. Still, Garrick makes a certain amount of sense given Shipp’s background and age. Then again, he could also be playing Barry Allen’s father, who was falsely imprisoned for the murder of Barry’s mother and will likely play a large part in the show’s story. On Twitter, DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns has been playing coy abut the casting, and it’s doubtful we’ll get much confirmation in the short term.

Whatever role Shipp does end up in, he’s fortunate to be involved in a production like Flash. While there’s still a long way to go for the series, the strength of Arrow is working in its favor. Additionally, a greater emphasis on sci-fi storytelling as opposed to the straight crime drama/soap opera of Arrow, could help bring in a wider audience.

Let us know what you think of this surprise casting and who Shipp might play in the comments.


The Flash is expected to air on The CW in the fall of 2014.

Source: THR

Follow Rob Frappier on Twitter @robfrappier
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  1. I don’t care what he does as long the show is good, preferably as good as Arrow is now.

  2. I think either of those choices for who he plays are going to be it, or maybe they’ll meld the two together. i kind of hope he’s Jay Garrick would be a good juxtoposition between the old and the new, perhaps if the show is successful they’ll bring on Wally West as Kid Flash. we know he exists since Irene West is in the show.

  3. I guess he might play as Henry Allen, Barry’s father. It would make sense. Whatever role he plays, it’s cool to have him appear in this show.

  4. Good News!

    • I’d say it is excellent news!

  5. I am even more enthralled with the flash with this new casting.

    I predict that it will have some potholes in the first season, but it will really finish strong and find its stride, much like Arrow has.

    The fan base for Arrow is huge thanks to the personal outreach on Facebook by Stephen and now Colton. Manu Bennett even does some networking as well.

    I hope Grant reaches out to the fans in this manner as it can only help the series grow.

    And the Gotham casting is excellent.

    Ah. Maybe DC is hitting all pistons on tv right now, but the only way up, is up.

  6. luv that guy. thanks to him the Flash was exposed to the general public back in the 90s.

    He would be perfect as Jay Garrick. to play as mentor/father-figure for the younger Flash

    • I was just thinking that same thing!

  7. The Flash died when Wally West died. Though Wally wasn’t originally the Flash, he did say to Jay that he missed The Flash and Barry’s Flash after Anti-Moniter killed him, but now who misses Wally West? I do.

    • Wally West didn’t die, he just hasn’t been introduced to the New 52 yet. By the way, it was announced last month that he’s coming back soon, so…cheer up.

  8. I got to meet John at a convention appearance a few years ago. He was a great guy, knew his Flash trivia fairly well, and even discussed playing Jay Garrick if they ever do another Flash series. He took the time to talk and never seemed to want to move the line along and get you out of there. If anyone deserves to succeed and do well in life, it’s John.

  9. YES!! Welcome aboard John aka The Flash.

  10. Professor Zoom.

    • They have already casted Reverse Flash

      • Like who?

        • Rick Cosnet

  11. Thats great casting. Its a nice nod to the history of flash. And it would be awesome if he was playing Jay Garrick, if he’s playing barry’s father in a recurring role, or some other role…his appearance on the show is quite fitting.

  12. So cool. I loved the old show… and was happy to see him in Dawsons Creek. Really looking forward to the new Flash!

  13. I think it’s cool when they tip the hat to the previous actors, like when Christopher Reeve was on Smallville.

    They should have Justin Hartley do a cameo in Arrow.

  14. Huh…makes you wonder why the guys who do the casting for shows like Arrow and Flash don’t do the casting for their movies.

    Then, you could also wonder why the guys who do the animated stuff don’t get to write for the live-action stuff.

    Not that I have anything against everything DC/Warner has done (I’ve been skeptical of some of their decisions, but I withhold judgement until I see the final products,) but seeing how disjointed things are, it makes you wonder.

    Anywho, this sounds like a fine idea. Either as Jay or Mr.Allen.

  15. I haven’t read the article yet but HELL YEAH!!!

  16. Cool.

    While I’m sure it hasn’t aged well, I enjoyed the 90′s Flash TV series.

  17. I am thrilled to hear this. This is how you honor the previous show/storyline. DC comics itself could learn a thing or two from the people at CW on how to do things right.

    Can’t wait to see John Wesley Ship again!!! Come on Jay Garrick, he could be Barry’s Obi Wan helping him deal with the speed force!

  18. I watched the 90′s flash pilot/movie with my 4 year old nephew a few months ago and he loved it. It’s the speed thing, he was zipping around after, bouncing off the couch and then running across the house like the flash. He even drew a lightning bolt and taped it to his chest. Nice to see them bring this actor back.

  19. If this show bombs, they will never make the movie. He’ll just appear in the Justice League film.

  20. His dad. He’s gonna be Barry’s dad.

  21. Garrick or Barry’s father were my first two guesses. Hey, if they bring in Garrick, maybe later a Justuce Society show? Dr. Fate, Dr. Midnight, Flash, Spectre, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Hourman (who is getting a show)….hmmmm, lots of possibilities open up!

  22. that Jay Garrick helmet is gangsta….

  23. Why not both? What if Barry Allen’s father is also a speedster in this series?

  24. Thats probably the best news Ive had all day! Being a kid who watched the 90′s Flash TV series this is gonna be awesome, exspecially if he ends up playing Jay! It’ll be great (if he plays Jay) cause then no matter what hes still the Flash! But even if hes cast as Barry’s dad hes still part of something hes widely known for!

  25. He will play Kid Flash, via time travel from the future…

  26. Been watching the series and have a memory for faces! I watched the first Flash series! I reconised his father as being the Flash from the 90[‘s series!