The Flash is going to have to slow down and wait for his official TV premiere. According to Deadline, The CW has decided to go a different route with the Scarlet Speedster’s debut. Originally, Barry Allen, played by Grant Gustin, was going to be introduced in episodes 8 and 9 of Arrow and then reappear with his powers and costume in episode 20. This would have served as a backdoor pilot for Flash TV show that would start airing next fall season.
Now they’ve decided to do away with his episode 20 origin story and introduce his powers in his own pilot. Because his first two-part appearance has already been filmed, Gustin will still appear as Barry Allen on Arrow next month. Technically this is still a sort of backdoor pilot, just not the one we were expecting.
The decision to delay his official premiere came after CW executives saw cuts of episodes 8 and 9 of Arrow and liked what they saw. Not only that, but having his own pilot allows for a bigger budget and more time to “flesh out the superhero’s story.” It’s still unclear what episode 20 of Arrow will be about now that Gustin won’t be appearing.
I have mixed feelings about this decision. On the one hand, I’m glad that the CW has enough faith in one of my favorite DC characters that they feel he deserves a chance to shine on his own. I wish Warner Bros. felt the same way about DC characters on the big screen that aren’t Batman and Superman. Plus, bigger budget means better special effects, which is good to have with a character like Flash.
On the other hand, couldn’t they have waited a couple of weeks before deciding this? Barry Allen’s first episode airs on Dec. 4, a little over two weeks away. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that the opinions of the executives don’t always match up with the opinions of the fans. It wouldn’t have killed them to wait until the audience saw the two-part episode before deciding whether to move forward with his own pilot or stick with the original episode 20 plan. As much as I want to see a live-action Flash, seeing it done the right way is more important than seeing it rushed (no pun intended).
Regardless, we’ll still get to see Barry’s introduction in a couple of weeks, and if all goes well, I’ll like his performance and be glad the CW went down this route. If that’s the case, then slowing down may have actually helped the Flash out.