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Flashback: When The Flash Was Developed For The WB In 2003

Ten years before The CW, The Flash was developed as a new series on The WB network.

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The Flash series for The CW was not the first TV revival that was planned for the character.

In 2003, more than a decade after John Wesley Shipp wore the red tights, and two years after the premiere of Smallville, it was announced in the trade magazines that The WB had ordered a pilot script for a Flash series with a “healthy penalty” if it did not happen (and of course, it didn’t, and it was dead by January of the next year.)

News of The WB Flash series came out in Daily Variety on September 12, 2003 in an article by Josef Adalian. Todd Komarnicki (Resistance, Elf) was attached to write and executive produce — and just like Smallville’s “no flights, no tights,” there wouldn’t be a costume. This character also had a different background — he’s a young Gothamite who had just graduated from college. “Once our hero gets his calling, he’s given the advice, ‘Live fast so others don’t die young,’ ” Komarnicki said. “This is a story about a guy who’s aimlessly drifting through life and barely moving at the speed of life when he discovers his calling is to move at the speed of light,” he added.

The other zinger, and something present-day CW Barry should always avoid himself, is that The Flash would be a time-travel show, with Barry’s powers allowing him this ability to travel forward and backward in time.

“We’ve been talking internally about doing a Time Tunnel-style show, and this was the perfect way to blend time travel with an established franchise we know is beloved by people who know the comic,” Warner Bros.’ Carolyn Bernstein told Variety. Komarnicki added that “when he’s in the future, he’s missing his present,” and “he’s really giving up his own life to help others.”

Bernstein also revealed that every week would have a mission, a la Mission: Impossible, which makes it sound a bit like modern-day shows like Timeless. “It’s a big, fun, adventure series. There’s also a mentor character who’ll train him, and there’s a legacy of Flashes before him,” she added.

The 2003 pilot script for The Flash has, to our knowledge, never leaked, so we don’t even know if The Flash was Barry Allen, Wally West, or another choice. Still, this is a mostly-forgotten part of TV history that never ended up being casted or filmed. Ultimately, a Flash appeared on Smallville in 2004 in the form of Bart Allen, as played by Kyle Gallner, but beyond the appearances of that character, we’d have to wait another ten years to see Grant Gustin in live action as the Scarlet Speedster. Oh, and interesting trivia: The Flash TV series that never happened was announced on the same day that news came that Christian Bale would be Batman. That story, of course, was a lot more successful.

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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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