As the hit DC superhero series Arrow moves toward its second season's final arc of episodes, work on a spinoff series has begun to gain a thematically appropriate velocity. In previous weeks, casting news for The Flash has taken off – including the additions of Barry Allen's father figure Detective West and two potentially awesome villains.
This week, a key member of the The Flash's central cast has been recruited by the production – Barry Allen's lifelong friend and secret crush, Iris West. Television actress Candice Patton (The Game) will apparently step into the shoes of the headstrong graduate student.
A scoop shared by Deadline revealed that Patton will play Iris West in the pilot episode of The Flash. If The Flash is picked up for a full-season order (something that seems highly likely at this point), Patton will likely remain as one of the series' main cast members. In a separate, but related report, Variety has learned that Broadway alum Carlos Valdes will portray scientific-minded genius Cisco Ramon (a.k.a. Vibe, from the DC comics) in the pilot.
Iris West is one of the oldest recurring characters to appear alongside The Flash, first appearing in 1956. She remained a side-character and love interest for many years, eventually marrying Barry Allen, dying, and returning as comic book figures are wont to do. Even after Barry Allen died saving the universe and the mantle of The Flash passed to her nephew Wally, Iris remained a constant element of The Flash's corner of the DC Universe.
Obviously, the Iris West of The CW's The Flash television series will be a different character than even the journalist version currently appearing in DC Comics. It will be interesting to see how the show's writers (and Patton herself) craft the character and her dramatic arc.
While far from a rookie actress, this is easily the biggest role of Patton's career. Previously, Patton has appeared primarily in one-off roles in television series such as Rizzoli & Isles, CSI: Miami, and Grey's Anatomy. Will The Flash provide the spotlight necessary to launch a more robust career? More to the point, will Patton be able to match the amiable, nervous energy displayed so far by star Grant Gustin (Glee)? With much riding on the success of its pilot, Patton will be but one aspect eagerly awaited by fans of The Flash.
The Flash will zoom onto The CW in the Fall of 2014.