Next fall, The CW is going to double down on DC Comics superheroes. Arrow, their adaptation of Green Arrow, has become a big hit for the network, and they’re using that popularity as a launching pad for The Flash. This won’t be the first time the character has appeared on your TV screen. There was a short-lived series in the early 1990s that was a critical and popular flop, and the star of that show, John Wesley Shipp, has been attached to the new version, though there has been no word about his role, until now.
The cover has been pulled back, and Shipp’s character has been revealed. Grant Gustin will take over the lead role in this new endeavor, and though Shipp is the metaphorical father of the title character, he will also play the very literal father. Gustin plays Barry Allen, a scientist who, after a bizarre accident, gets the power of super speed, which he then uses to become a super hero. Shipp will play Barry’s dad, Henry Allen.
There’s more to their backstory than just a simple father-son relationship. See, Henry was accused of killing his wife, Barry’s mother, which probably makes for some awkward family gatherings. Using his newfound powers, one of Barry’s first aims is to clear his father’s name and prove that he is innocent. You have to assume that this also means he hopes to catch the real killer, though I suspect there’s something bigger and more complex going on behind the scenes. Some of you may remember Shipp as Dawson’s (James Van Der Beek) dad on Dawson’s Creek.
In a statement, executive producer Greg Berlanti said:
Given his history with The Flash, Andrew [Kreisberg], Geoff [Johns] and I could only think of one person we wanted to play Barry’s father and that was John Wesley Shipp…He gives a fantastic and emotional performance in the pilot and we are looking forward to his presence in many more episodes. Also, personally, it was just wonderful to work with him again since my days at Dawson’s Creek. He’s a great actor and a great guy.
Check out the extended trailer for the new series here:
The Flash has been confirmed for a 13-episode first season, though if ratings are good, you can rest assured there will be more coming. In addition to Gustin and Shipp, the cast also includes Tom Cavanagh, Candice Batton, Jesse L. Martin, Carlos Valdes, Rick Cosnett, and Danielle Panabaker. DC fans will also see some familiar faces. Cisco Ramon, AKA Vibe (Valedes), will show up, Panabaker will play an early incarnation of Killer Frost, and Eddie Thawne (Cosnett), better know as Professor Zoom, among other aliases, will also appear.
The Flash will air on The CW on Tuesday nights at 8:00 pm this fall.