After a season of keeping their superhero action grounded and (relatively) realistic, the producers of “Arrow” are set to give the series a super-powered boost with the introduction of the lightning-quick hero the Flash.
The character’s introduction will set up a possible spinoff series about the Flash, but according to executive producer Andrew Kreisberg and writer Geoff Johns, in the Flash’s first two appearances on the CW show he’ll just be forensic scientist Barry Allen.
“He’s an ordinary man when we meet him” in the season’s eighth episode, Kreisberg told reporters on Tuesday at the Television Critics Assn. press tour. “We wanted to keep it as grounded and realistic as possible.... Before life got a little faster.”
Though the role has not been cast yet, and producers are looking at both big names and no-names, it’s expected that Allen will appear in episodes eight and nine and again in episode 20 of “Arrow’s” second season. It’s in episode 20, to be directed by noted TV director David Nutter (he directed the “Red Wedding” episode of “Game of Thrones”), that Allen is expected to get his superpowers and the world of the “Flash” spinoff series will be established.
And while producers have played around with the name of Oliver Queen’s hooded vigilante character, they’re not disguising Allen’s status as a full-blown superhero.
“At the end of the day, the character will go by the Flash and will wear a red costume. No sweat suits or code names. He will be the Flash,” Johns said.
Johns, who wrote the character for DC Comics for a time, said they were looking at the current “Flash” comic book, drawn by Francis Manapul, for inspiration for just how the Flash’s super-speed would be dramatized on-screen.
“It won’t be blurring around,” Johns said of the Flash effect.
Despite the news and excitement surrounding the addition of a new DC Universe character to “Arrow,” Kreisberg says they’re not doing this as a gimmick. They’re really trying to tell the best story possible and keep it focused on the character.
“There’s something very relatable about Barry. He got his powers by accident. He’s not a god. He’s not an alien. He didn’t seek these powers out,” Kreisberg said.
“Oliver Queen is a very dark and tortured soul. And Barry is not. It will be a fun byplay to see these two characters together.”
[For the Record, 11:51 a.m. PDT July 31: An earlier version of this online article and its accompanying caption incorrectly spelled the name of the Flash comic-book artist. He is Francis Manapul, not Francis Manpaul.]