- Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells:
The mind and money behind Central City’s S.T.A.R. Labs Particle Accelerator, Wells becomes a pariah after the lab explodes. Mentoring Barry to get faster, he is eventually revealed to be the Reverse-Flash, Eobard Thawne (Matt Letscher), a descendant of Eddie from the future with a grudge against the Flash. Thawne killed the real Wells and stole his identity. In subsequent seasons, Cavanagh portrays various alternate reality doppelgängers of Wells. These include the sarcastic but brilliant “Harry”, who along with his daughter Jesse hails from Earth-2, and his Earth-19 counterpart, the sci-fi novelist “H.R.”.
- Jesse L. Martin as Joe West: A police detective who acts as a surrogate father to Barry, after his mother’s death and father’s imprisonment, and who is the father of Iris and Wally. Martin also portrays the Earth-2 version of the character, a singer.
- Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West / Kid Flash:
The son of Joe and brother of Iris, born without their knowledge after his mother left Central City. The producers disliked the introduction of relatives of characters that were never previously mentioned, feeling it was “weird”, and opted instead to introduce Wally as unknown even to his relatives. They also chose to make him Iris’ brother, a departure from the comics where he was her nephew. Speaking on Lonsdale’s casting, Kreisberg explained that “Just like when we met Grant [Gustin] for the first time, we instantly knew Keiynan embodied all the heart and courage of a hero.” After Flashpoint, Wally eventually gets speed powers from Doctor Alchemy and becomes Kid Flash.
On July 30, 2013, it was announced that Arrow co-creators Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, Arrow pilot director David Nutter, and DC Comics CCO Geoff Johns would develop a television series based on the Flash for The CW, and it would detail Barry Allen’s origin. Kreisberg revealed after the announcement that Allen would first appear as a recurring character on Arrow in three episodes of season two—all written by Berlanti, Kreisberg and Johns—and the last of the episodes would act as a backdoor pilot for the new show. Kreisberg added that Allen would be a forensic scientist and the introduction of his superpowers, as well as the reactions to this, will be very human and grounded. Johns stated that the character of the Flash in the show would resemble his comic book counterpart, complete with his trademark red costume, and not be a poor imitation. Kreisberg elaborated: “No sweat suits or strange code names; he will be The Flash.” While researching the best way to depict the Flash’s lightning speed, Johns stated it would not just be the standard “blurring around”.
Barry ultimately appeared twice in Arrow‘s second season, with the planned backdoor pilot cancelled in favor of a traditional pilot by The CW executives, who had been impressed by early cuts of Barry’s first two episodes on Arrow. This allowed the creative team to flesh out Barry’s story and his world on a bigger budget, as opposed to a backdoor pilot’s constraint of incorporating characters from the parent show. The pilot was officially ordered on January 29, 2014, and was written by Berlanti, Kreisberg, and Johns, and directed by Nutter. On May 8, 2014, The Flash was officially picked up as a series, with an initial order of 13 episodes. Three more scripts were ordered in September 2014 following a positive response to newly completed episodes by executives, while a back ten was ordered the next month for a full 23-episode season.
With the commencement of production on the series’ second season, former Arrow and Ugly Betty writer Gabrielle Stanton was promoted to executive producer and showrunner; after having served as consulting producer and writer on the first season’s finale “Fast Enough”. However, it was later reported that Kreisberg would be returning to sole showrunner duties at an unspecified time. That time was later proved to be at the start of 2016, “Potential Energy”, when Stanton was no longer credited as being involved with the show.
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