Back in late July, following Comic-Con, American TV channel The CW announced plans for a Flash TV series, spun off from its already-successful Green Arrow series, Arrow. Now that's moved one step closer to happening, with the news that Glee's Grant Gustin (aka Sebastian Smythe for those of you watching that show) has been cast as Barry Allen / The Flash.
Gustin will initially appear in three episodes of Arrow (8, 9 and 20 of the season), the last of which will serve as a "backdoor pilot" for the new Flash series. Allen will initially appear as an assistant police forensic investigator from Central City, who visits Arrow's hometown of Starling City to look into a series of robberies that may have a connection to a tragedy in Allen's own past (bet it turns out that they do). He's apparently a comic-book fan obsessed with Green Arrow, who has no idea (at first, we suspect) that he's in his orbit.
At some point, in episode 20 if we're guessing, Allen will get his super-speed and super-fast reflexes. This is the first time that superpowers have appeared in the world of Arrow, which has been vaguely realistic until now. "There will be extraordinary events in the world and the characters will react in the same way," producer Andrew Kreisberg told The Hollywood Reporter.
DC Entertainment's Geoff Johns said, "We're also exploring a very personal story for Barry -- life as a forensic scientist and the people around him, the tragedies and how he deals with them -- in a very different way than Oliver Queen." The story will take some of its background from the comics but will also aim to provide something fresh.
The Flash will be based in Central City rather than Arrow's Starling City, so there shouldn't be massive overlap going forward. The bigger question for film fans, however, is whether these characters could be co-opted into a post-Superman Vs Batman Justice League movie. If the shows can keep going for another 3 or 4 years, maybe it could happen.