‘Arrow’ Executive Producer Talks Writing & Casting ‘The Flash’

Published 2 years ago by , Updated October 2nd, 2013 at 10:53 am,

The Flash Casting Writing Interview Arrow Executive Producer Talks Writing & Casting The Flash

Although The Flash in a Warner Bros. shared movie universe may still be little more than a hope, The CW will be testing public interest when they bring Barry Allen to his very own TV series, after helping bolster the cast of Arrow Season 2. While some might see that as a consolation prize, the writers and executive producers of the show feel differently.

Early signs have pointed to a more traditional take on the comic book speedster – from costume to character details – and the latest comments from Arrow executive producer Andrew Kreisberg (who will be taking point on the Flash series) imply that the assembled team planning The Flash’s live-action debut are more confident than ever.

It didn’t take long for the announcement of a Flash TV series to get tongues wagging, sparking debate over the shortlist of actors in the running before Glee alum Grant Gustin landed the coveted role. Speaking with FlashTVNews, Kreisberg explained that selecting Grant Gustin to bring ‘The Flash’ to life wasn’t quite as difficult a decision as they might have expected.

“We met with a lot of other really talented people. Not just talented, but good guys, and it was funny, because as each of us – Geoff [Johns] and Greg [Berlanti] and I — were working on individual scenes, we all sort of came together and said ‘we’re all writing Grant.’ It was just him.”

Grant Gustin to play Barry Allen AKA The Flash in Arrow season 2 Arrow Executive Producer Talks Writing & Casting The Flash

Fans will likely reserve judgement until the episodes in question air, but with Geoff Johns – DC Comics’ Chief Creative Officer and one of the most influential, forward-thinking and critically-praised comic book writers in decades – backing up Gustin as a fit for the character, we’d say he gets the benefit of the doubt for now.

And while some might be skeptical about introducing a character as strong as Barry Allen in another hero’s series, Kreisberg believes that the strategy is a major benefit for those charged with writing The Flash down the line:

“With Arrow, we wrote it without anybody in mind. This time, as we were writing these episodes, we cast Grant in the middle of it.

“That was different, because now when we go into writing the actual pilot in Episode 20, we already have our guy, and we’ve already seen him on the screen, so hopefully we’ll actually literally be able to look at things and learn.”

So what can fans expect when Barry Allen comes into Oliver Queen’s stomping grounds in the first half of Arrow Season 2? With his first appearance in Episode 8, and a follow-up in Episode 9 now finished, Kreisberg offers a few teases on the dynamics that will be formed, potential flirtations (or even love triangles?,) and a bit of hero-envy from the forensic scientist:

“Episodes 8 and 9… it’s been really interesting to write those, because you literally have those two characters in the same show. In some ways it actually may be easier because you can say ‘That’s something Oliver would say; it’s not something Barry would say.’ Barry has a very easy relationship with Felicity, because Barry is a forensic scientist, and he’s young, and he’s a little bit socially awkward like she is, so there’s a lot of fun with that.”

“Barry’s a fanboy. He comes to Starling City and he says to Felicity, ‘so I heard the vigilante saved you. What’s he like?’ So I think for Barry, it’s one of those things where it’s sort of like ‘be careful what you wish for.’”

The announcement that The Flash would be uniting with Green Arrow on TV screens sent the hopes of every Justice League fan soaring, but with the task of introducing Barry, developing him pre-superpowers, and writing what Kreisberg confirms will be a backdoor pilot for his own TV show coming in Episode 20, an authentic team-up between the pair of heroes is at least a season away.

For now, the showrunners maintain that the fantastic side of The Flash won’t be eroding the grounded, realistic tone of Arrow. But Kreisberg’s slight details on what might send Barry Allen back to Central City hint that the same grounded style might not be the plan for The Flash’s own series; beyond Barry, that is:

“If you look at the Justice League, you have Superman and Aquaman and Wonder Woman. You have all these gods. And then you’ve got Barry Allen, who’s just a guy. That’s, I think, why the character appeals so much to Greg and to Geoff and to me, and it’s also why he’s a really good fit to the world of Arrow, because while we’re obviously introducing some fantastical concepts to things, we want to still keep the show as grounded and realistic as possible.

“So I think that the events that happen to The Flash, and what’s going on in Central City… I think some people will be like ‘that’s not happening. There must be an explanation for it.’ Barry’s a good guy, and he’s seen that it’s possible to put on a mask and change the world.”

The Flash TV Series Arrow Executive Producer Talks Writing & Casting The Flash

It’s far too soon to discern what Kreisberg could mean by those comments, or what ‘unbelievable’ crisis might be affecting Central City (but then, a massive plot to erase part of a city was handled surprisingly well in Arrow). It IS the right time, however, to decide if a heightened, perhaps more ‘comic book’ mythology could work around a character as unique as The Flash.

What’s your take? Does the relationship hinted at between Ollie and Barry scream small-screen success to you, or does the idea of blending tones down the road seem like an accident waiting to happen? Share your thoughts in the comments.


Arrow Season 2 premieres October 9th, 2013 @8pm on The CW.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: FlashTVNews, Stephen Amell

Follow Andrew Dyce on Twitter @andrew_dyce
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Their comments do not encourage me. I’m still of the mind that the CW is a terrible place for superheroes and I’m also hoping that they keep it separate from the movies. Just make them different versions like TDK trilogy is separate from the new DCCU.

    • True they need to seek out larger networks for these types of shows and get their cinematic universe up and running first and foremost and then worry about these shows. There’s no shame in copying Marvels technique it obviously worked. And I feel like they should keep Goyer and Snyder Light Years away from anything other than Man of Steel

      • Honestly, between the two mediums, I would focus more on television. Films are essentially one, big payoff but there’s more potential for payoff and probably even more fun to be had on the small screen.

    • Totally agree no crossover from TV to Film… Chris Pine is The Flash!

      • Yo! Chris Pine + Flash = Perfection

      • Wrong, Sheldon Cooper = The Flash LOL

        • Sheldon Cooper is The Flash. I cringe when people say Chris Pine as The Flash. I don’t see it, no thank you!

          • Well you’re gonna start cringing more when they cast him for the role.

            • He’ll be too old when that time comes

  2. Just can’t get into Arrow, tried watching it twice, meh, I loved the Flash tv series back in the days tho, will keep my eyes open for this new Flash.

    With Geoff Johns behind Green Lan.. cough.. I mean Flash, what could possibly go wrong.
    Loved the GL movie btw.

    • Me too I thought the movie was a diamond in the rough and if they made a second they would ratify the errors and use some feedback from fans to see what made the first film fail

    • I just bought the whole TV series for Flash on DVD, cuz why? Cuz what the heck, that’s why.
      And I liked the Green Lantern movie, despite some flaws, as well. I would like to see Green lantern #2 be done as a team-up between Flash (Barry Allen) and GL (Hal Jordan) against professor Zoom (The Reverse Flash) and Sinestro. Now that would be a 2 on 2 slobber-knocker worth seeing if done seriously, and I bet it would do great!

  3. Maybe it’s just me, but does it bother anyone else that neither Grant Gustin nor Stephen Amell are blonde…?

    • No.

      • Nope.

        Plus, you get different shades of blonde, from really light to almost brown.

      • I am blond, and I do have more fun!

        • Originally a slogan from the Roman era because prostitutes wore blonde wigs or dyed their hair for ease of picking out of a crowd.

    • That isn’t going to change the character for me so no

    • I’m more bothered by the fact that he’s far too skinny to be playing the Flash.

      • Fast metabolism

  4. Im actually quite entertained by the fact Flash will be shaking things up for us. A bit worried about him being romantically involved with Felicity, but if it works, then fine. Im looking forward to a more comic booky DCU.

    • I’d like to be romantically involved with Felicity. Here, I’ll solve the triangle problem for Barry and Oliver. I’ll take her off both their hands for them!

  5. Barry Allen-GOOD!
    Traditional Costume-GOOD!
    Little boy kiddie-face playing part-uh, Not so good. But will still watch and be hopeful, tho. Love BA Flash character.

  6. Will Flash pull a “fast one” with Felicity?

    • +1

      • Thanx, Ned. And with your moniker, I bet you could be the actor on Sleepy Hollow playing the headless Horseman ghost!

  7. I’m surprised to see they cast Barry Allen before Hal Jordan, seeing as that Hal is more important to Oliver’s character in the comics. I’m not all that optimistic; I just can’t see Grant Gustin playing the role. What I am looking forward to is Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Amanda Walker.

    • I kind of agree. I think they’ll introduce Hal Jordan in future seasons. They already reference Ferris Aircraft, we know that Hal Jordan exist in this universe. Though, the question is, will they introduce Green Lantern?

      • I wouldn’t mind Green Lantern/Hal Jordan getting a look-see up on the ole TV tube. I would also like to see them introduce Kent Nelson (Doctor Fate) and Rex Tyler (Hourman) and spin them off into a series (a couple of my other favorite DC heroes).
        Remember the show Smallville? They pretty well hamburgered up Doctor Fate in an appearance, at least the character by portraying him as a little shrimpy guy and half a dozen other problems with their portrayal, but I will say at least they tried to get the helmet and costume remotely somewhat right.

    • Yes, this actor looks too aby-faced with a weird-shaped head and haircut. Alot of us old-time comics fans will have to try and suspend belief/disbelief or whatever that saying is, to accept that Diaper-man is actually The Flash. Still, I am trying to be hopeful, as Flash along with Green Lantern are pretty much my two fave DC heroes.

      • “baby-faced”.

    • If you hadn’t noticed Ingrid, nothing about this show is like the comics…at all.

  8. Guys, let’s take a break from our skeptical critic selves and let’s be honest……. This is going to be awesome.

    • No Wade, it probably won’t. It’s going to be badly written CW crap and won’t do justice to the character. Then audiences will just be confused when someone else plays the Flash in the movies. Arrow is going to go the way of Smallville and get worse with each season.

      • Sir. You’re obviously smoking something if you think Smallville and Arrow are crap shows. And no… People will not be “confused” when somebody else plays the Flash in a movie. So Grant Gustin plays Flash in Arrow, and maybe somebody like Chris Pine plays Flash in a movie… Who cares?

        • I’m not disillusioned for thinking they’re crap shows. Smallville was cool until it turned into a half ass version of half the justice league but as teenagers. The Red-Blue Blur? Are you kidding me? Arrow is a bit better than Smallville but if they start off calling the Flash “The Red- Gold Blur” I’m gonna stop watching. I like the more serious tone but I have a problem with the predictable writing and them calling him “The Hood.” I know they alluded to calling him Green Arrow this next season but come on. That’s a stupid name. I love the stuff on the island but most of the supporting characters in Starling city annoy me. All in all, it’s not that impressive and the only episode I really considered well done was the season finale. If I have to wade through mediocre writing and bad soap opera acting every season to get a great season finale, it’s not worth it.

          • The Hood was a stupid name? Honestly, there are worse names and it’s actually not a bad name. Green Arrow, I always felt, wasn’t that cool a name in all honesty anyway.

            Also, who’s to say that they don’t just use a different Flash for the films, thus justifying why two people can play Flash. Wally and Bart could both be picked to play Flash in the films.

            • Its a temporary name too, he obviously didn’t see the trailer, he’s going to be called Arrow in this season. But they’ll definitely call Flash by that name, because they won’t want to upset audiences and also that will be the title of his new show, honestly, I don’t care what they call him at first, as long as I know he’s Barry Allen and that he will inevitably be called The Flash.

          • You have to understand that Smallville was supposed to be corny like that, you also have to understand that Smallville and Arrow are both alternate universes and deal with origins and different incarnations of comic book characters. The Justice League was not half-assed in Smallville, because they were just starting out as teenagers, you’re not going to see them in their full glory as we know in the comic books. Chill out bro, we haven’t even had a Justice League movie yet, so don’t expect to see the whole league on the small screen before the big one. You also have to cut them slack because they air on the CW, which mostly hosts female based shows, so they’re doing pretty good for the resources they have. I better not see you trolling on the “Gotham” TV series boards about wanting to see Batman in the show. If you’re gonna complain about this post, then you might as well stop watching the DC Comics shows because you can’t comprehend them.

  9. Im actually quite entertained by the fact Flash will be shaking things up for us. A bit worried about him being romantically involved with Felicity, but if it works, then fine. Im looking forward to a more comic booky DCU.

  10. Only problem I have with Arrow so far (1/3 done with first season) is the melodramatic/soap operatic tone. It’s counterintuitive to what a show set in the DC universe should feel like (this is why I hated Smallville). I think shifting towards the more fantastical aspects of DC canon will be a good thing. Still taking the wait and see approach with CW’s the Flash, and I’m still eagerly hoping for a DCCU Flash.

  11. My take is that any comic book TV series will get my support because I want it to do well in order for it to become a big budget film. I mean, lets be real. The chances of a Flash movie right now is very slim to none unless this TV series does well. Read between the lines with what WB and DC is saying when it comes to movies. Yes, we might get a Justice League movie but that’s not to say that it’s going to be anytime soon. I suspect the realistic timeframe for a JLA movie would be around 2020 if we’re lucky

  12. I just don’t get it…. why are all these superheros being talked about. The one that needs to be done is Wonder Women. Why, why, why is she always excluded. I just don’t get it.

    • WB/DC want to make a Wonder Woman movie, but since she’s female (so some guys that would see a superhero movie won’t watch) and she’s a superhero (so some girls will think it’s too nerdy) they’re not sure how to proceed. A Wonder Woman TV show would still be a huge investment, but since they haven’t explicitly stated that the Arrow/Flash TV shows tie into the Man of Steel/World’s Finest film universe, they’re keeping their options open.

      Of course, any arguments against a Wonder Woman film could be countered. She’s female, but The Legend of Korra has a powerful female lead and as far as I’m aware, guys don’t care too much about Korra being a girl. ‘Superheroes’ and ‘comics’ aren’t such ‘dirty’ words in general society and don’t make you a nerd/outcast if you like either. New 52 Wonder Woman (the version they’d probably have to base their movie Diana on) is probably one of the most consistently highly rated comics of the re-launch.

      She has the character, the powers and the interesting backstory to make for a great film, but WB/DC don’t want to screw up, so they’re taking their time. Time will tell if they add Wonder Woman in as a cameo in World’s Finest (because I still don’t like the title ‘Batman vs. Superman’ and ‘Superman vs. Batman’ isn’t much better) or if they make a Wonder Woman film or go ahead with this ‘Amazon’ TV show which is supposed to be ‘Arrow’ for Wonder Woman. This would worry me, though – Arrow’s soap-drama-romance subplots grate a little with me, but a TV show with a female lead… the writing better be good.

  13. I am susprised no one asked the big question are dc going to copy marvel and have a shared television and movie universe because that would be awesome. We all our life for one and two come at the same time

  14. Sorry but CW just screams crap. I tried watching Arrow, just couldn’t get into it. I don’t like the soap opera format of CW shows. I don’t like how they make shows about lesser characters like Arrow before the main characters like WW, Flash, etc. It’s like they don’t have confidence and are just guessing and thinking, if it doesn’t work it’s just Arrow. The Flash as a spin off of Arrow. That’s like Superman being a spin off of catwoman.

    • Better to have the Flash in something rather than nothing because a Flash movies isn’t being done anytime soon

  15. Lets face it, aside of Man of Steel, DC seems to be concentrating on bringing some of their heroes to life on the small screen, which I’m ok with. I love “Arrow” its fun and the writing is great on it. And its slowly getting more in tune with who the character really is. Giving an appearance of Barry Allen and letting him get his powers in another heroes series is smart. It whets peoples appetites to make them want more of it. Instead of having a first Flash episode taken up by an origin, they can launch right into a full episode of an already established character. It makes perfect sense.
    As for the movie, it doesn’t meant hat they wont make their own movie universe Flash. As comic book enthusiasts, we should welcome any of this. Now that its possible to do it all, why not enjoy it. Some of you have all become way to critical. Sign on for the ride.