The start of Arrow season 2, highly anticipated after the success of the show's first season, is mere weeks away and with an established trend of bringing other DC characters on for guest roles there have been a lot of questions raised about who Oliver Queen might be teaming up with - or fighting - next. One thing we know for sure is that Barry Allen, AKA the Flash, will be speeding into the screen for several episodes of Arrow's second season.
News on the Flash's casting heated up earlier this week when we heard that the shortlist of actors had been whittled down to three names, two of which (James Mackay and Matt Barr) were known but with one name remaining a mystery. Perhaps predictably, it's the mystery actor who's been handed the role, and if you're a fan of teen dramas then he'll already be familiar.
THR reports that Grant Gustin has been cast in the role of Barry Allen, who will appear in a guest star role on season 2 of Arrow and may later star in his own TV show. The Flash is just one of many classic DC characters who will be coming to Arrow this fall, including new villain Isabel Rochev (Summer Glau) and Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Spartacus) as Amanda Waller.
Gustin is best known for his guest role on jukebox musical drama Glee, in which he played Sebastian Smythe, the smarmy and underhanded captain of rival show choir the Dalton Academy Warblers. His tactics for beating the New Directions included driving a wedge between cosy couple Blaine and Kurt, nearly blinding Blaine with a rock salt-spiked slushie attack and trying to blackmail Rachel with a photoshopped naked picture of Finn. Show choir is a pretty serious business.
In addition to appearing on Glee, Gustin also had a guest role on 90210, but other than that he's pretty much a newcomer. He has quite a lot of charisma, though, and it will definitely be interesting to see what he can do when placed in a superhero's shoes. Gustin will appear in episodes 8, 9 and 20 of Arrow's second season, and his final episode will also serve as a potential back door pilot for a spin-off Flash show. When asked by THR about the role, Gustin indicated that he's already got a lot of his research in hand:
"I'm unbelievably excited. I've been a lifelong fan of DC Comics, so I can’t be more honored and can’t wait to get started."
Unlike Oliver's gadget-based vigilantism, Barry Allen has a pretty clear-cut superpower and Arrow's producers have said that he is going to be just as extraordinary in the show as he is in the comics. Allen will be introduced as an ordinary forensic scientist and will presumably get his powers by the end of season 3, though whether they've come from an impromptu chemical shower or whether there'll be another explanation remains to be seen.
It's hard to be sure with such a relatively unknown entity, but tell us in the comments if you think Gustin is a good casting choice for Barry Allen, and whether or not you'd be onboard with a Flash spin-off series.
Arrow season 2 premieres October 9th, 2013 @8pm on The CW