The CW's shared superhero universe began with Arrow in 2012, and has since grown to include The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl - the last of which will be joining the network for its second season. The Flash's Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) first appeared on Arrow before spinning off into his own series focused on his speedster powers and the metahumans he could battle in Central City.
For each of The Flash's first two seasons, Barry has faced a different evil speedster - in season 1 it was Eobard Thawne a.k.a. Reverse-Flash (Tom Cavanagh/Matt Letscher) followed by Hunter Zolomon a.k.a Zoom (Teddy Sears) in season 2. Season 3 will utilize two new villains from the DC Comics library, Dr. Alchemy and the speedster Savitar. Now, for fans of The Flash wondering how this particular villainous speedster will be different from Reverse-Flash and Zoom, one of the show's producers weighed in.
While speaking to IGN, The Flash executive producer Todd Helbing explained that it's necessary for Barry Allen to face off against a metahuman whose powers can rival or overpower his own, saying, "You need somebody on an equal level to provide that threat that a lot of these other metas can't do." Further discussing Savitar specifically, Helbing teased the upcoming season 3 villain:
"Savitar is more of a psychological villain in a weird way. I think the Hindu word for Savitar means God of Speed; he's all about speed. Everything about this guy is different. I can't go into super detail, but he's not like Zoom or Reverse Flash."
But, although Savitar may differ from previous evil speedsters depicted on the show, Helbing did tease the return of Letscher's version of Reverse-Flash - who will go on to appear in Legends of Tomorrow's Legion of Doom - for the Flashpoint story arc, saying, "I think that anytime we can have Reverse Flash on our show - in a lot of ways, to me, Reverse Flash is my favorite villain." When asked to explain, Helbing elaborated:
"Because the psychological torment, and just this whole idea that I need you to sort of exist but in that existence, I'm going to make your life a living hell. For me personally, it's the best version of a villain because it's not only about the powers at that point. That's why we try to get some of the psychological aspect in with Savitar."
Certainly, although Helbing's comments don't offer much in the way of specific details in terms of how Savitar will be adapted from the comics, the original character does have many differences to other speedsters we've seen on The Flash. For instance, his powers include being able to lend or steal speed from moving objects and generate a null inertia force field. That said, stealing speed was a major throughline of season 2, so it remains to be seen how The Flash puts a new spin on the evil speedster for season 3.
As for another aspect of season 3 that many fans may be looking forward to, Helbing additionally spoke about the musical crossover episode with Supergirl that was recently announced during the TCAs. The two-episode musical is expected to arrive after the four-show superhero event crossover and Helbing revealed it's an idea that's been in the works for some time:
"I know Greg [Berlanti] is very close to this story. He's been thinking about it - I don't know how long, probably not just yesterday, you know what I'm saying? He's been percolating. Seeing Jesse [L. Martin] sing, seeing Grant [Gustin] sing, it's just one of those - like whoa, we can totally pull this off. I don't know why we wouldn't do this. Let's go for it. This year in general we're really swinging for the fences."
A report following the announcement of the musical crossover episode claimed that The CW had already locked down Marvel's The Avengers director Joss Whedon to helm the two-part event and would be featuring Batman: The Brave and the Bold villain Music Meister. Certainly, if this report turns out to be true, it would fall in line with Helbing's comment that this season is "swinging for the fences." That said, since the crossover isn't expected to arrive until around episode 13 of The Flash season 3, it's likely we won't know more official details for a little while yet.
The Flash season 3 will premiere Tuesday October 4th at 8pm on The CW, Arrow season 5 will premiere in the same timeslot on Wednesday October 5th, Supergirl season 2 on Monday October 10th, and Legends of Tomorrow season 2 on Thursday October 13th.