"He does need powers to become The Flash," said Geoff Johns. "He will be The Flash," echoed Andrew Kreisberg.
That was the big takeaway from a late Tuesday conference call between producer/writer Andrew Kreisberg, producer/writer/DC Entertainment CCO Geoff Johns, and various press outlets, discussing how The Flash will be coming to Season 2 of the CW's Arrow , and how that will potentially spin-off into a TV series featuring Barry Allen as his own hero.
While previously, in season one, the producers did not want to bring powers onto Arrow, Barry Allen will be the first for a simple reason: they all just love the character.
"He's obviously been a strong personal favorite of both Geoff and mine," said Kreisberg on the call, "So when Greg [Berlanti] approached us and said 'Hey, what would you think if we did The Flash as a spin-off?' all of us lit up!" Kreisberg went on to mention that Barry Allen, unlike the other powered members of the Justice League, isn't a demi-god, an alien, or a king, but rather gets his powers through a freak accident and has a "human and grounded" reaction to it.
"Olver Queen is a very dark and tortured soul, and Barry is not. I think it will be fun to see these two characters together because they have distinctly different world views while both caring very deeply about right and wrong," Kreisberg teased about the dynamic between the pair. "As excited as we are to write for Barry, we're really excited about what Barry's arrival is going to mean for Oliver, for Diggle, for Felicity, and everybody." Johns added that Barry being a cop (he's a forensic scientist in the comics, and that's how he'll be introduced on Arrow) means "he follows the law, he follows the rules; he's the last thing in the world you would ever think about as being a vigilante."
The two characters will "learn from each other," Kreisberg said, and Barry Allen will really challenge the way Oliver Queen thinks about what a hero is.
While he'll be a regular forensic scientist in his inital appearance in Starling City, Geoff Johns clarified that this won't be a "Smallville - The Blur" kind of appearance. He'll wear a version of his red comic book costume, and he will be identified by his comic book superhero name. "There will be no sweatsuits or strange code names. He will be The Flash."
Barry will first appear on Arrow in episodes 8 and 9 of season two, though they were unclear whether he'll become The Flash in one of those two episodes, or not until his third appearance, episode 20 of the season. That final appearance will serve as what's known commonly in television as a "backdoor pilot." Rather than a traditional pilot, Barry's new status quo and some supporting cast members will be introduced in the episode, written by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, and Geoff Johns, and directed by David Nutter. If that director's name sounds familiar, it's because he directed the pilots for both Smallville and Arrow, as well as last season's critically acclaimed (and deeply disturbing) "The Rains of Castamere" episode of Game of Thrones more commonly known as "The Red Wedding."
"David Nutter is a fantastic director," said Johns of the choice. Kreisberg added, "As much as people talk about Greg, Marc [Guggenheim] and I for Arrow, David really made it what it was with his amazing direction and his unparalleled advice and leadership."
While the pair did not address whether the character will be the same in both the TV series and the upcoming film (also being developed by Berlanti and Johns), they said that casting will be open "to everybody" and they'll be looking both at "name" actors as well as newcomers.
Of course the last important aspect of Barry Allen, The Flash is his power itself: the speed. Johns and Kreisberg said that they'll be handling his ability in a "very different" way, "something new that people have never seen." For inspiration, Johns mentioned both the "wonderful visuals in The Flash comic book" by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccelato, as "really inspiring." He also said that yesterday's release, the animated Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox will also be looked to. "There's some sequences in there, I've never seen super-speed like that before."
Arrow season 2 begins October 9, 2013 at 8pm on The CW. Barry Allen's first appearance on the show should come mid-December.