Television ‘The Flash’ to Run on the Small Screen written by Sean Gerber July 30, 2013 It only took a couple of hours for a report of Warner Bros. announcing “The Flash” as a 2016 feature film to appear premature. Now, a week and a half later, that report appears to be completely false. Rather than a movie, Deadline reports Warner Bros. plans to introduce the Barry Allen in an upcoming episode of the CW series “Arrow” so that the character can spinoff into his own series presumably next season, if all goes well. Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, who developed “Arrow,” are believed to be in line to run the “Flash” television series, which will reportedly have a pilot co-written by DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns. Marc Guggenheim, one of the key developers and top writers on “Arrow,” is too focused on that show’s second season and has to sit “Flash” out. In any event, this project appears to have far more traction than WB’s presumed film. As a fan of DC and The Flash, this feels a lot like Walter White, Jr. receiving a PT Cruiser for his birthday after his mother took away the Dodge Challenger his father gave him. Sure, it’s nice to have some kind of live-action iteration of The Flash as opposed to nothing at all, but this does not feel as satisfying as a cinematic adaptation. The Flash needs more room to run. “Arrow” really is great, but its title character and supporting cast have no super powers. This helps the series get away with the smaller budgets allocated to television shows. Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” will have super-powered characters, but it’s billed as being a show about the “regular” men and women who have to investigate, fight, or cleanup after those with enhanced abilities. It is hard to imagine the CW capturing the full effect of The Flash’s power set in a way that truly does the character visual justice on a TV budget. Yes, The Flash has had a television series before, but by no means does that series hold up compared to the aesthetic quality of superhero films from 2000 and beyond. Super speed should be easy enough to pull off, but there are so many more elements to The Flash than being a guy who runs fast. The existence of this new series also calls into question Warner Bros.’ presumed plans for a “Justice League” film. The Flash is one of the team’s founding and enduring members, unlike [Green] Arrow, so if WB would rather make a television show for Barry Allen instead of a film, who makes the cinematic cut? Wonder Woman has also received more development for television than features in recent years. There is a possibility that Warner Bros. could recast roles currently played on television for bigger, feature-length adventures in a separate continuity, or use the same actors from the TV shows in a “Justice League” film with all properties set in the same universe. Either possibility, however, would be a major departure from Warner Bros. previous approach to live-action superhero adaptations. Bruce Wayne, for example, was intentionally kept out of “Smallville,” so as not to interfere with WB’s plans to reboot Batman in the eventual “Dark Knight” trilogy. If “Flash” really does find its way to the small screen in the next year or so, then it is possible “Justice League,” if it ever happens, will have a smaller lineup than many assumed. We already know the first crossover will feature a pairing of Batman and Superman in 2015. Perhaps the next step is to introduce Wonder Woman in her own film, or as part of a “Justice League” comprised only of DC’s Trinity with Batman and Superman. Regardless of what all this means for DC on film, it is good to know The Flash is finally getting some type of live-action treatment. Hopefully, the show can be just as good and successful as “Arrow.” It will certainly be nice to have a reliable series bringing new adventures of the Scarlet Speedster to fans each week. But, man, it sure would be sweet to still have that Challenger. ‘The Flash’ to Run on the Small Screen was last modified: February 21st, 2016 by Sean Gerber Related The Flash 15 comments 0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest Sean Gerber Sean Gerber is the founder and editor-in-chief of Modern Myth Media. When he's not writing here, you can catch him as the host of Popular Opinion Podcast, Batman News, and Marvel News! previous post John Williams Is Officially Scoring ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ next post ‘X-Men: DOFP’ Goes Viral with Trask Industries You may also like Review: HANNIBAL Season 3, Episode 12 “And... August 26, 2015 Weekly Ratings Roundup: January 8 to January... January 20, 2017 Weekly Ratings Roundup: December 4 to December... December 24, 2016 Weekly Ratings Roundup: April 2 to 15,... 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These guys are really gun shy after the Green Lantern debacle. I don’t agree with putting Batman in the next Superman movie, (I’d much rather see him return to TV, and not on the freakin CW) but it does a lot toward explaining the mind-set at WB. Naes Just my own opinion, but I think BATMAN/superman is the closest thing we’re getting to a JLA movie. There is no “grand plan.” BATMAN/superman is the plan. This is their Avengers. They have laid no foundation for a JLA movie- Green Lantern failed. Wonder Woman has been stuck in development hell forever. I would wager we will never see a live-action WW movie. Fans refuse to acknowledge the sheer bizareness of the character’s creation (a 1940s pseudo-feminist bondage fantasy), her paucity of good storylines (in fact mostly awful), and her laughably bad rogue’s gallery. WB isn’t throwing $200 million at it and the reason isn’t sexism; they probably have a file cabinet full of marketing data suggesting that a WW movie won’t open up the elusive young female demographic. Let’s not forget the fact that WW’s comic isn’t even selling in the top 50, so comic fans only theoretically love her. An Anne Hathaway Catwoman movie is much more likely to succeed. TV might be best for Flash especially if there’s a bunch of mind-bending time travel, alternate dimensions, and speed force stuff that you can’t explore in a 2-hour movie but could explore in a season of television. As for the other JLA members, not even comic fans care about Hawkman, Atom, Blue Beetle, Cyborg or Martian Manhunter. They can’t sustain solo titles; how would they sustain solo films?. Given all this, the odds of a JLA movie seem pretty low. DC/WB dominates TV (especially its animation) and Marvel dominates movies. WB should embrace its advantage in TV. Having a 2-hour animation bloc on Cartoon Network would be a good place to start. Flash on TV has more potential than Flash on film. T.J. I disagree with the idea that Wonder Woman can’t work. There are lots of reasons, but I’ll boil it down to this: if Marvel made “Thor” work, you can make WW work. But that’s the real catch, isn’t it? “if **Marvel**…” Marvel made Thor work because Marvel had the guts to make Thor work. WB/DC has no guts. They can’t even let Superman have a sequel to a successful origin story without adding Batman to it. (This is a Batman fan speaking). Hopefully by using the magic word, it will get the ball rolling but I’ll have to start saying it: There will NEVER be a DC Cinematic Universe. Adrian I completely agree. I have no faith in Warner Bros./DC whatsoever. People like to point to the Dark Knight series but even that was all Nolan. All Warner Bros./DC did was not get in his way for the sequels. They weren’t even close to a Superman reboot until Nolan and Goyer went to them with their idea. It’s all reactionary with them. They have no guts when it comes to these properties whatsoever. They just want the cash grab. They’re a business. I get it. It’s just a damn shame when Marvel is firing on all cylinders right now, regardless of their films’ flaws. That’s why I agree completely with the recent podcast about the Batman/Superman announcement. Ideally, most decisions are thought of months in advance before any announcements but nothing about this one at Comic-Con seemed well-planned. They used a quote from a story that Snyder said that very day wouldn’t be the basis for the film and they used a thrown together symbol. They knew they had to announce something but it seems they didn’t make that decision until that very morning. JB Early I goofed elsewhere, that Flash on the CW would probably just be a fast walker. But to be fair, they did have Clark Kent run for 10 seasons. This no super power conceit due to budget is a lame cop out. Do a 10 ep series with good scripting & get some tech kids who could probably pwn ILM on a MacBook. BTW how will Black Canary play on ARROW w/o powers? will she just tweet some really cutting remarks? Naes Black Canary’s call is almost an afterthought in a lot of comics. She almost never used it in the Gail Simone run on Birds of Prey and was still an interesting character. Instead it focused on her martial arts training with Lady Shiva. Plus she’s a leggy blond in fishnets… that equals success. JB Early Agreed – I was being flippant, I know. I always like to be proven wrong in cases such as this. Adrian With the introduction of The Flash, Arrow might actually delve into certain abilities despite what was said early on. The CW is certainly trying to do that with the new version of The Tomorrow People. If they stick to something realistic, I can imagine Felicity giving Laurel some sort of device that can make a high pitch noise. JB Early Excellent ideas. That would be my hope. Michael Lalaian Well… At least we have TWO Quicksilvers. The Flash would be a great movie. Maybe have Berry be the Flash on TV and Wally in the movies? Jett Batmanonfilm JL death nail. MOS 2= “World’s Finest” and MOS 3 = “Trinity.” WB knows that outside of Batman and Superman, there’s no desire to see these characters on the big screen — esp. when a Batman film can make as much money as a Marvel team-up. T.J. Death knell* … although “death nail” seems more painful, and perhaps that’s more appropriate to the situation. 😛 I’ll watch the show (obviously) but it’s kind of an insult to Flash fans and DC fans in general to stick one of the Founding 5 on the CW. Not only is TV a step down, CW pretty well assures you that you won’t even get a top star to play Barry. Once again, I go back to what I say as both a fan of DC “on-film” and a GL fan – nothing was more damaging to DC fans than the Green Lantern movie. Its failure sent WB/DC running into a corner, sucking its collective thumb and clinging to its figurative blanket known as Batman. Ryan Maddux I know the silver screen is still magical. But unless one is a big fan of the Flash (and are dying to see their hero on the big screen) than I do not understand why this news is being taken so negatively. I get that everybody wants to see their guy on the big screen but we are past the time when television was the “minor leagues.” In all honesty this is a the golden age of dramatic episodic television. Now I’m not suggesting that Arrow is on the same level as The Wire or Mad Men (because it isn’t) but it’s a good show that has gone a long way in establishing Green Arrow in the public consciousness (heck–even my wife likes it). If the “Flash” is as good as a show as Arrow is than I’ll gladly take it. Maybe this throws a combined DC cinematic universe for a loop but as long as we are getting quality television shows and the occasional movie than I’m fine with that. (And who knows a Justice League movie based on movie characters and television characters might work–it’s alright to use a different blueprint). I know Warner Bros have been slow to the trigger in making their movies but there are other ways (and other mediums) to grow your product. I know being fickle goes with fanboy culture but I choose to look as a Flash television show as a positive development. T.J. Ryan – I agree it’s positive, it’s just far less positive than getting a film developed. The implications are what’s negative – namely, that WB is not developing one of its JL founding members on film and thus seems less likely to be developing a JL movie or a real DC Cinematic Universe. DWH The WB is building towards a complete League, The Flash is just part of the puzzle. Superman v. Batman works on a marketing level (especially in the crowded 2015 which includes Star Wars and Avengers 2) and on a story level.The two of them facing off only makes sense if Superman’s a rookie. This is a unique and logical opportunity for the two characters to be in conflict and in character (without a contrived mind-control scheme or the like). In MoS, Superman has never raised his fist in anger to another living thing until his mother is threatened. Against Zod and the Kryptonians, Clark not only could- but had to- go all out! This lead to justifiably killing Zod in what will surely affect him for the rest of his life. In that context, Superman still has limited fighting experience. Beyond an armchair philosophical proposition, he actually has a tangible personal conviction against lethal force. Yet no experience exerting using his powers in a combative manner against anyone who couldn’t take it or might die. As the last Kryptonian he wouldn’t need to develop those skills. Stopping bank robbers with Superman’s powers doesn’t exactly require combat skills. Thus, if they do create a mechanism by which the two actually have to “fight”, the greatest limitation on Superman’s ability would be his character and inexperience… neither of which denigrate Superman (wanting to preserve life, not being the sort of person who looks for or prepares for a fight). Rookie Superman is green enough to be baited into conflict in the right scenario, but his character is strong enough that even an infuriating Batman doesn’t get instantly vaporized (hey, if he didn’t flatten that truck driver!). If the WB waited until after a MoS sequel, this story would probably be impossible to write / tell plausibly. A more experienced and wiser Superman would handle Batman with ease without being baited and without fear of compromise (accidentally killing Batman)… moreover,with a larger body of public good works, it would be harder to justify Batman going after Superman at all. On the business side of things… It makes perfect sense to build the collective universe now (with all their spin-off potential) and come back to Superman’s solo sequels when the character is older, wiser and more like the Superman traditionalists desire. You’ll get Superman mythos world-building, you get Superman legitimizing Batman (or this rebooted one so soon after Nolan’s trilogy), you get Batman legitimizing Superman (if the film demonstrates why the Bat admires and respects Superman, the film may reach those dyed-in-wool Batfans who openly disdain Superman), you get Superman’s growing-pains out of the way, and you get the ultra-marketable / fanboy dream of the team-up / versus as a cherry-on-top to all the Superman development. Once Superman’s solo sequels begin, no screen time need be wasted on housekeeping, world-building, training montages, etc (a lot of the stuff MoS left unaddressed) and you can just get right into a real Superman story with a morally certain, competent and experienced superhero. As much as I’d like to see the on-screen growth arc, in retrospect, that’s not really traditional Superman… most of his origins are truncated specifically so that he can jump right into in-continuity stories where he’s the competent paragon. So although I was all for a Superman solo sequel showing Clark still getting the ropes of being a superhero, I can totally understand if such a film would completely disappoint audiences waiting for that ultra-confident no-hesitation no-mistake Superman to fill an entire film… I just don’t know if you can believably get there from MoS to MoS2 with nothing in between. So I’m perfectly happy to see Superman figure all that out with Batman in the mix (where he can’t be the paragon) than do it in a solo film where he shouldn’t be the paragon (even if that’s what many want). If the WB went just with solo Superman sequels there are generally two possible outcomes: 1. The films do poorly, in which case, all DC cinematic universe production is stalled, yet again; 2. The films do exceptionally well, in which case, you’ve just used up the two remaining film options on Cavill’s three-picture contract and now you have to negotiate with his representation on a contract to cover World’s Finest, Trinity, Justice League, and beyond, knowing that Cavill is Superman and the irreplaceable face of those subsequent films. Any increased fee paid Cavill is not seen on the screen and simply increases the risk of those films and potentially leads to cutting corners in the budget or casting elsewhere. By building up the universe first, your budget can go towards the films themselves… if they do well, you can always revisit solo Superman sequels where Cavill’s representation will understand that too high a fee just means that money will go to the development of a different franchise. That keeps the money spent on the screen and quality of the film. A solo sequel later would be much more in line with traditional expectations for a Superman film since this would be a Superman seasoned by his experiences with Batman and the League… it would also have potential broader audience acceptance and appeal (again, following the League, versus following MoS) opening weekend. Just my optimistic take. P.S. – Just imagine how much credibility a Rocky Balboa / Apollo Creed relationship would create for Superman amongst skeptical Batfans… the training of Batman with all the powers of Superman… BAD ASS!