The Flash is one of the few DC Comics heroes outside of the big 3 of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman to have gotten the live-action TV treatment. In the 1990-91 season, John Wesley Shipp played Barry Allen, the fastest man alive, in a drama for CBS.
More than two decades later, Barry may be returning to the small screen in live-action form in an upcoming episode of the CW’s “Arrow.”
At an executive session at the Television Critics Association press tour, CW president Mark Pedowitz said that an “Arrow” season 2 episode would feature Barry Allen, the police scientist who will become the fastest man alive.
“We’re planning an origin story,” Pedowitz said. “We’ll see how it goes. Hopefully it’ll go well. We do want to expand on the DC universe.”
Warner Bros. and DC Comics are planning to introduce their own version of the Flash in the movies, and in the past DC has put the kibosh on simultaneous TV and movie adaptations of its characters. (An attempt to do a young Bruce Wayne series for the WB was nixed because “Batman Begins” was in development.) But Pedowitz said both Warner and DC had signed off on the plan to try a Flash TV series.
Asked if there might be an attempt to tie the continuity of TV Flash and movie Flash together, Pedowitz said, “We haven’t had those discussions yet. It could happen, but they may exist in separate universes.”
He added that he’d love to do series with Superman and/or Batman, but DC would rather keep those characters in the movies for the time being.
And with the Flash potentially coming up, and with “Arrow” also introducing the Black Canary, Pedowitz has put plans to do a Wonder Woman reboot, titled “Amazon,” on hold.
“The script isn’t quite where we want it,” he said, and with Black Canary and Flash coming up, “it’s better to wait and get it right.”
Live-action superheroics are tough. “Smallville” ran ten seasons between the WB and CW, but the last attempt at a “Wonder Woman” show was David E. Kelley’s horrible, never-aired take on Wonder Woman. Green Arrow is a power-less, street-level hero, which isn’t hard to pull off on a weekly schedule and CW budget; special effects have become much better (and cheaper) since the Shipp version of Barry Allen, but can “Arrow” producer Greg Berlanti (who’s done well with Green Arrow, but was one of the writers on the Green Lantern movie) make us take the Flash seriously?
Berlanti will be here later to discuss his new CW drama “The Tomorrow People,” and I’m guessing there will be some Flash talk in there.