Two generations of speedsters are now related! It was confirmed today that John Wesley Shipp will play Henry Allen, father of protagonist Barry Allen, in the upcoming TV series The Flash. Shipp is notable for having played the Scarlet Speedster in the 1990 Flash show. In this series, Henry has been imprisoned for murdering Barry’s mother, and Barry hopes to prove his father’s innocence.
Unlike most of the actors in the cast, Shipp’s role was kept a secret during the filming of the pilot, although Henry and Jay Garrick were the two most popular guesses among fans. Upon the release of the trailer, many correctly guessed Shipp’s role due to his inclusion in the Allen family photo and seeing him standing helplessly by Barry as the blur-like tornado force attacks Nora Allen.
Executive producer Greg Berlanti commented on Shipp’s involvement, as well as hinted at the character appearing past the pilot.
Given his history with The Flash, Andrew [Kriesberg], Geoff [Johns] and I could only think of one person we wanted to play Barry’s father and that was John Wesley Shipp. He gives a fantastic and emotional performance in the pilot and we are looking forward to his presence in many more episodes. Also, personally, it was just wonderful to work with him again since my days at Dawson’s Creek. He’s a great actor and a great guy.
A recurring role makes sense. With Barry trying to prove Henry’s innocence, he’d likely pop by the Central City jail to visit his father every now and then. Plus, given that Michelle Harrison will be recurring as Nora, it would make sense for Henry to appear in flashbacks alongside his wife.
Perhaps Shipp will put on the yellow boots again and join his son as a speedster? Nah, that’d be too unrealistic…
SOURCE: TV Guide