If The CW has some official announcements to make regarding the next Arrow/Flash spinoff, then they had better make them quick. After word arrived that the team-up series would be adding DC Comics superheroine Hawkgirl to the cast (played by Ciara Renée), now comes confirmation of the actor who will be anchoring the series - as DC's resident Time Master, Rip Hunter.
After previously released casting descriptions teased 'The Traveler' among the cast, it seemed Rip Hunter would be the version of the 'man out of time' appearing in the spinoff series. Now we know that Arthur Darvill - best known for his role as Rory Williams on Doctor Who - will be bringing the character to life (alongside still-unannounced cast members).
The news comes way of Deadline, offering a description of the role in keeping with that previously released. In short: a tortured soul in a "Han Solo-esque" wrapper:
“THE TRAVELER” | Described as a “Han Solo-esque rogue who gets by with his charm, this hero hails from the future, and has journeyed back in time on a secret mission. His razor-sharp wit hides the pain of a man who has lived through serious conflict. He also harbors many secrets, always leaving both his teammates and the audience unsure of his true allegiances."
Though some comic fans may still be disappointed to see that the time traveler in question is not Booster Gold, the new description of the typically no-nonsense Rip implies that some of Booster's wit and charm could be adopted this time around. Unfortunately, the presence of a comic book character so clearly tied to time travel makes the structure and purpose of this new spinoff both more and less mysterious.
On the surface, the presence of a time traveler helps make sense of the fact that Caity Lotz (who played Sara Lance, the first Canary on Arrow) is set to appear on the series, despite her character's fate. However, it remains unclear if Lotz will be reprising her role or will return in the guise of yet another DC Comics character (viewer confusion be damned).
Since Rip Hunter is usually depicted as a man intent on keeping space and time stable, using time travel to weed out anomalies or others meddling with the past, his future in the same universe as The Flash could already be clear. With Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) only recently stepping into the realm of time travel (and acting quite irresponsibly), continued re-writes of history in The Flash's future could help usher in Rip Hunter. But where the show goes from there is still a total mystery.
Fans will need only wait until the 2015-2016 midseason when the series launches, although official details on the show (anthology, time-hopping sci-fi, alternatue universe?) should come before then. For now, what do you make of the new casting? Are you happy to see them added to The CW's DC shared universe, or are you holding off excitement for another hero or heroine? Sound off in the comments.
The untitled Flash/Arrow spinoff is expected to premiere during the 2015-2016 midseason.