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The CW is looking to its breakout freshman hit to give birth to a new superhero series.
CW president Mark Pedowitz used his platform Tuesday at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour to announce that his network is fast-tracking Flash, a drama based on the famed DC Comics hero and member of the Justice League of America.
The network will look to Arrow co-creators/executive producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg and director David Nutter to introduce the lightning-fast character during the second season of Arrow.
“We plan to introduce the recurring character of Barry Allen, who is the Flash,” Pedowitz told reporters. “We’re planning an origin story, and we’ll see how it goes. We do want to expand on the DC Universe, and we felt this is a very organic way to get there.”
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Berlanti, Kreisberg and DC Entertainment’s Geoff Johns — a consultant and writer on Arrow — will pen the Warner Bros. Television project. Nutter, who directed the series pilot of Arrow, will also helm the potential backdoor pilot. Berlanti and Kreisberg will serve as showrunners should Flash move forward. Marc Guggenheim, who developed and executive produces Arrow, will not be involved; instead he’ll focus his attention on season two of the CW series.
Barry/The Flash will first be seen early on in Arrow‘s second season. “He may not come in with superpowers,” Pedowitz said, noting the casting process is already underway. “If we get a name, great, if we don’t get a name, they’ll become a name.”
Flash first appeared in comic form in 1940. The character possesses superspeed with superhuman reflexes that violate the laws of physics. Should The CW effort move forward, it would mark the second attempt to bring the character to the small screen following CBS’ 1990 live-action series starring John Wesley Shipp. (That incarnation, also from Warner Bros. Television, ran for one season.)
Arrow producers hinted that the members of the Justice League (Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Superman, Batman, The Flash and Aquaman) could pop up on Arrow, which unlike Smallville is grounded in reality.
“When we bring characters from the DC universe into the show, we’re careful about doing it right and having a reason to, and not just doing it to say because we can bring in a specific character,” Berlanti told THR in October. “As time goes on, hopefully we’ll do some of the biggies.” Additionally, Arrow will introduce comic character Black Canary during its upcoming sophomore season.
Flash becomes the latest DC Comics property to get the CW treatment. The network aired the Superman prequel series Smallville for 10 seasons and the network is developing a Wonder Woman prequel, Amazon, with Heroes writer Aron Eli Coleite.
Pedowitz on Tuesday noted that Amazon is now on pause as the network shifts its focus to Flash. “It’s better to wait and get it right than put it on now,” he said, noting that the script isn’t where he would like it to be.
For The CW, Flash would mark its third spinoff of a current series. The network will bow Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals in October. Additionally, the net is prepping a Chicago-set spinoff of Supernatural to air as a backdoor pilot in the upcoming ninth season of the series, with supervising producer Andrew Dabb penning the episode.
For his part, Berlanti is also developing a Flash movie for Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, with sources telling THR that the feature is being eyed for 2016. Pedowitz also noted that there is no conflict with the movie studio or DC when it comes to the TV series and feature film, as previous efforts have proven troublesome when there’s such an overlap.
The news comes at a busy time for Berlanti. In addition to serving as an executive producer on Arrow, the prolific producer is also serving in the same capacity on The CW’s reboot of The Tomorrow People.
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