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1990s Barry Allen John Wesley Shipp Talks About Grant Gustin & The Flash

John Wesley Shipp reflects on playing the Flash and looks forward to Grant Gustin’s take on the role.

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flashshippTwenty-three years ago, CBS premiered a high-budget series based on The Flash that they had so much confidence in, they put it on Thursday nights opposite some of the toughest competition on television. At the time, it was one of the most expensive TV series ever.

Playing Barry Allen in that series was John Wesley Shipp, who many may remember from his many other roles which have included soaps, Dawson’s Creek, and even a short recent run on MTV’s Teen Wolf.

Shipp recently did a guest spot on the “Out Loud and Live!” podcast with J.C. Alvarez, where he looked back on his Flash experience but also looked to the future, as Grant Gustin who, after 22 years of no Flash on TV, finally takes up the red suit.

“The first thing I thought when I saw Grant, I thought he’s aerodynamic,” Shipp said about his reaction to the casting of TV’s new Barry Allen. “That’s the modern sensibility. Back in the 90’s, everything had to be big muscle, but let’s face it: We had to cut down the suit. If you’ll watch, we pared it down as it went on, because it just didn’t make sense. But I thought he’s very aerodynamic, the way he’s built. It’s a good look.”

theflashThe former Flash is also aware of the many connections he and Grant Gustin have. “There are striking similarities between Grant and I. People were complaining. ‘Why is this guy playing a superhero? He just got through playing a villain!’ Well, both my Emmys were as a psychotic would-be rapist and a woman abuser. We were both born in Norfolk, Virginia. How’s that for a coincidence?” Mr. Shipp enthused.

Shipp has encouraged his fans to watch the Barry Allen Arrow episodes if they want to see more of the character and an actual spin-off show. “I wish him all the best. In fact, I’ve said ‘come on. How long have we waited? You want a Flash series? You better get into Arrow and support Grant, because they can say they’re gonna spin off, but you need to give him and them support so the series actually materializes,” he said.

If a Flash series does go, would Mr. Shipp be willing to return to Central City sometime, in a different role?

The Scientist“If it was the right fit. You know what? I’m not holding my breath. In fact, I so wanted my audience not to go in critically judging Grant so that I put a series of things saying that. ‘Let’s get behind him, let’s support him,’ and I stopped, because people began to say ‘well, you need to be on that show, and if you’re not on that show…’ and I said ‘Okay. Now it’s looking like I’m campaigning to be on that show, which I’m not’,” he said. “If that happens and it works, that’s great. And if it doesn’t, that’s great and I wish them well.”

You can listen to the entire [very fascinating] podcast appearance of John Wesley Shipp on “Out Loud and Live!” here.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Austin

    December 28, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    He has to play Jay Garrick. They need to do an adaptation of “Flash of Two Worlds,” and Shipp has to play Jay Garrick. It would make sense, especially since the writers have already established that the new TV Barry is something of a superhero fanboy, just like the earliest Barry Allen Flash comics. It would be perfect.

    • Miguel

      December 30, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      Completely agree! He would kill in the role of Jay Garrick. Or, at least, they should consider him to be Barry’s dad, Henry Allen, who’ll probably be behind bars.

      • MikellerAllen

        January 1, 2014 at 9:04 am

        I totally agree with you Miguel…Shipp can fit perfectly as Barry’s Dad (A recurring role) where by he’ll be seen in afew episodes (Maybe 5) heard if CW green-lit the series for a 2014/2015 schedule it’ll end up having 13 episodes unless they later change it.

  2. Arby

    December 31, 2013 at 5:11 am

    Well, I remember the original Flash series. I just loved it. And, as with other shows we grew up with and then revisited (which I did when I downloaded and re-watched a number of eps), it was like, “O my goodness that’s cheesy!” But I loved the show and that’s what it’s all about. You work with what you have. Maybe what we got then was the best they could do.

    What you have that makes it work, mainly, is your imagination. It was just so cool. But it is funny watching the old Flash zip around in a blur, when he’s sometimes not going much faster than you can if you can sprint, lol.

    As for the new Flash, We’ll see.

  3. Freefinger

    December 31, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Let’s not push the envelope.. The guy says he doesn’t NEED to be on the show. He says he’ll consider it if they ask, and at some point I think they will as they did with the Smallville series where many ex-Superman people were brought in at some point.

    I don’t see him as a regular, maybe a guest appearance would be the choice for him.

  4. Will

    January 3, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    I also agree with Miguel.
    He would make a great Henry Allen!

  5. Nivek

    January 22, 2014 at 12:07 am

    I would prefer to see him play Jay, it would be awesome seeing the 90’s Flash mentor the new guy.

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New CW Head Throws Shade At The Flash

New CW President Brad Schwartz has thrown shade at The Flash while propping up another series.

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New CW Entertainment President Brad Schwartz today threw some shade at The Flash when propping up one of The CW’s better new performers, Wild Cards, when doing an interview with Deadline.

“You’ll probably be hearing more announcements from us very soon,” he said. “That show did great. It grew 10% versus what The Flash did in the same spot the year before. So, here we are beating shows that everyone’s very romantic about. We’d very much like to renew that one.”

Obviously, this is to show that Canadian imports perform better than more expensive fare… but might it be considered that The Flash was a show in its ninth season – a time when new audiences might not be interested in jumping on to series? Or, perhaps that portions of The Flash fandom had moved on, with no interest in The Cecile Show? Finally, The Flash Season 9 mostly aired at a time where producers and/or cast were unable to promote it, during the 2023 strikes, which makes the comparison very unfair.

Wild Cards is a fun series, but there’s no reason to denigrate The Flash or the superhero shows that made The CW great. Hopefully this was just a wild misunderstanding of his quote. The fact of the matter is: Sometimes more expensive fare is worth investing in. Especially considering how Schwartz hypes up the new season of Superman & Lois, that should be known to the new people in charge of The CW.

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Flash Cast Member Returns for the Superman & Lois Finale

A major actor from The Flash will be playing a role in the series finale of Superman & Lois.

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A major cast member from The Flash will be appearing in the series finale of Superman & Lois.

No, it’s not Grant Gustin, sadly… the actor in question is Tom Cavanagh, the actor who brought us infinite Wells variants. Cavanagh revealed this recently at a convention, where he talked about how he usually enjoyed directing season finales for the show, but was unable to in this case because Gregory Smith had already signed on to direct the Superman & Lois finale.

Superman & Lois showrunner Todd Helbing, who had also worked with Cavanagh before on The Flash and recruited him to direct the series’ 100th episode among others, instead suggested he has a role in the finale.

No word yet on what that role might be. As Superman & Lois is at a different spot in the multiverse, it doesn’t necessarily even have to be a version of Harrison Wells or Eobard Thawne. It could serve as a good closer, though, to the Arrowverse in general, as Superman & Lois is the last gasp for that world on The CW. In any event, you can see video of Cavanagh speaking about this (and more) at our Superman & Lois portal, KryptonSite.

The final season of Superman & Lois premieres this Fall on The CW.

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Flash Missing: Vanishes In Crisis, April 25, 2024

The “Flash Missing: Vanishes in Crisis” headline in the Flash TV series pilot was dated April 25, 2024.

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While events of the series would ultimately speed up the timeline, Flash fans surely remember the final moments of the pilot episode of the Grant Gustin-led series where we see a Central City Citizen newspaper graphic announcing “Flash Missing, Vanishes In Crisis.” The date of that article? April 25, 2024.

Which happens to be… today.

When The Flash premiered in 2014, one might have expected that April 25, 2024 might be the right time for the final episode of a 10-year run… of course, as we saw, the Crisis happened a few years earlier, The Flash ended in 2023 instead, and it all might have been a good thing, considering how strikes and pandemics got in the show’s way. Still, it’s fun to think about, and it’s fun to remember that fantastic rush we had after the end of watching such an excellent premiere. And hey – not only did we get nine seasons of the show, but we also had a bad Flash movie that the series was far superior to, even in its worst moments. Win-win!

Ride the lightning, everyone.

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