It's always the most unlikely one, isn't it?
The Hollywood Reporter has announced Glee and 90210 actor Grant Gustin has landed the role of Barry Allen/The Flash for episodes 8, 9 and 20 of the CW series Arrow, with the third episode serving as a backdoor pilot for a spinoff Flash series.
Earlier this week, Gustin was rumored as one of three finalists in the running (Get it?) for The Flash, although Matt Barr was generally considered as the most likely actor to win the role.
“I’m unbelievably excited," said Gustin. "I’ve been a lifelong fan of DC Comics, so I can’t be more honored and can’t wait to get started."
All three episodes featuring Barry Allen will be written by Arrow co-creators Greg Bertlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, along with DC Comics Chief Creative Officer and former Flash writer Geoff Johns. The first two episodes will have Barry in Oliver Queen's home of Starling City, with the 20th showing Barry in The Flash's world.
The article describes Barry Allen as "a Central City assistant police forensic investigator who arrives in Starling to look into a series of unexplained robberies that may have a connection to a tragedy in his past. A comic book fan boy, Barry is obsessed with the Arrow, unaware that working with Oliver and Felicity to solve the crime has brought him right into the dangerous world of the vigilante."
"Part of the fun for the audience…is to see how we view our Arrow take on the Flash legacy," said Kreisberg. "Some of it will feel very familiar to DC Comics, some of it hopefully will feel different, fresh and exciting. The same way we approached Arrow is the same way we're approaching Barry."
Until now, Arrow has had a standing rule against characters with superpowers, but The Flash's introduction changes that. Producers said they will handle the introduction of Barry's super-speed in an atypical way. "There will be extraordinary events in the world and the characters will react in the same way," remarked Kreisberg.
"We're also exploring a very personal story for Barry," added Johns, "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 plan is to add to Arrow instead of taking characters from the series if the spinoff gets a greenlight, meaning none Arrow's existing characters will transfer over to The Flash.
Arrow returns to the CW on October 9th.