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The Flash that originated from DC comics series became one of the most successful comic book TV adaptations. However, not even the most loyal fans of it know all the show's Easter Eggs and details about its cast members. Learn all behind-the-scenes secrets in our article!
Originally, Grant Gustin made his debut as Barry Allen during the second season of “Arrow.” His character was supposed to appear in three episodes, the last one serving as a backdoor pilot for the new series.
But the first two episodes that featured him were so well received, that the CW opted to film a traditional stand-alone pilot for The Flash. (And filming a pilot usually allows the creators to better develop the story on a bigger budget!) So, you see – the hopes laid for Barry Allen were high from the very start.
And, as we all know, it has really (!) hit impressive heights. The Flash became the first Arrowverse crossover, followed by “Supergirl,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” and “Batwoman”. On top of that, with Arrow over, The Flash is now the oldest show within the Arrow-verse. But what if the pilot hadn't been successful?
It turns out, there was a contingency plan, where Barry Allen would be integrated into Team Arrow and become a series regular. Greg Berlanti, the show's executive producer, revealed in an interview back in 2014,
“I don't think we would ever want to let Grant go. He's too valuable. No matter what, to keep Barry part of the universe.”
Fortunately, The Flash was a success and became one of the most successful comic book TV adaptations.
Some Easter eggs are hard to spot, while others are not! As a nod to the 'New 52' revamp of DC Comics, every episode of Season 1 of The Flash included a hidden number 52. Channel 52, Room 52, Delta Charlie 52… - well, you’ve got the idea. The number 52 remained a big deal in the following seasons as well, so pay attention next time you're binging your favorite series!
Another example of Easter Eggs is the references to other DC superheroes. In a throwaway line, it’s mentioned that one of Ferris Air’s test pilots went missing. This was a nod to Hal Jordan, also known as Green Lantern.
And in a scene where Dr. Wells lists off people who apparently died in the particle accelerator explosion, all of them are characters from the comics, like Ralph Dibny (aka Elongated Man), Bea DeCosta (aka Fire), and Grant Emerson (aka Damage). But the coolest of all are the Batman references.
There’s a running gag in the Arrow-verse shows where the pointy-eared vigilante or his home-city is mentioned without saying his name. It happens on The Flash as well, although you have to be super-attentive not to miss it. For example, in season 2, Team Flash confronts a bad guy at the Ace Chemical Company.
And if you are a fan of DC Comics, you should know that it’s actually not the best place to confront bad guys, because the Gotham City branch of this facility is the place of the Clown Prince of Crime's origin! And finally – my favorite Batman Easter Egg.
When Nora was introduced in the 5th season of The Flash as a speedster from the future, she brought in a bit of slang with her, like the word "schway," which means "cool”. This word actually originates from the DC animated show Batman Beyond, but became very popular among the characters of The Flash.
Of course, such a popular show has its fair share of controversies. There has been a lot of backlash from the fans over the casting of an African-American actress to play Iris West. One fan even went so far as to state that she “single-handedly ruined the show”. But Candice Patton never seems to let the racism get her down.
“I’m incredibly honored by the impact Iris has had on women, and especially women of color." – Candice shared with Marie Claire. - "I meet so many women around the world who are empowered by seeing a black leading female on a show like The Flash.”
Patton revealed that this role has taught her a lot, and she has grown in confidence and strength over the years portraying such a powerful character. And she never forgets that the creator of The Flash Geoff Johns personally thanked her for her portrayal of Iris. She's even saved the text, and says that she’ll probably keep it forever!
The Flash has a strong connection, not only with the other DC comics, but also with the previous incarnations of its characters. The original Flash actor John Wesley Shipp, who portrayed the speedster in the beginning of the 90s, had a recurring role in the new series.
He appeared as Barry’s father, Dr. Henry Allen, and according to the producers of the show, Shipp gave such a “fantastic and emotional performance in the pilot”, that he stayed for many more episodes, portraying Jay Garrick! And he wasn’t the only actor from the CBS series who came back to the screen for the new show.
None other than Mark Hamill appeared on The Flash and reprised the role of James Jesse, best known as the villainous Trickster! Hamill was shocked when they asked if he wanted to return to his character. He shared his disbelief in an interview with Collider, saying,
“I was thinking I would be a colleague of John Wesley Shipp’s, a professor, or something age appropriate. I’m not getting back into that one-piece jumpsuit spandex deal.”
But he immediately agreed to the role when he saw how smart the writing was.
It raised many eyebrows when Grant Gustin wasn’t considered for the role in Zack Snyder’s Batman vs Superman movie, and the Flash was portrayed by Ezra Miller. Surprisingly, it was another Arrow-verse actor who spoke against this decision, especially with regard to its timing.
The fact that Miller would be playing Barry Allen was made around the same time spectacular rating numbers for the second episode of The Flash came out. This day is the most important day that you can ever have for a newly-established TV show!
So Stephen Amell, who plays Oliver Queen, said that the way "Warner Bros. announced the slate of DC movies could have been handled better." In spite of this, Miller ultimately appeared in an episode of The Flash alongside Gustin.
Amazingly, his cameo happened at the request of Warner Bros. president Peter Roth! As it was revealed to Variety by the show’s executive producer Marc Guggenheim, he got a call from Roth after (!) the filming of the whole crossover was wrapped and already in post-production. However, he managed to bring Ezra to the show.
"Peter Roth said, 'How, you're series wrapped?’ And I said, 'Yeah, I know, but if you’re telling me Ezra Miller can be in the crossover, I can make it happen.'" Flash fans were in awe, especially because the cameo was kept secret until the episode aired – and became one of the most exciting moments in the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event.
In the comics, our favorite speedster actually designed his own outfit. He created his Flash suit out of a special material that Barry had created back when he was in college. But on the show, his first suit was made by Cisco, with the same flame-resistant material used in firefighters suits.
And this version was darker than Barry’s costume in the comics. But, with every season it has evolved, each new iteration becoming slightly more comic-accurate. This trend began after the episode "Flash Vs. Arrow", and continues today. In Season 6 Barry gets a new suit which enables him to travel through the black hole.
Finally, its red color is the perfect shade, and the cowl got a fresh new look, inspired by the costume from the New 52 relaunch. And speaking about costumes, we can’t avoid mentioning Iris West’s wedding dress.
Iris has a pretty cool wardrobe, and the actress behind the character admits that she wishes she could have a lot of her clothes. In an interview with Marie Claire, Candice Patton revealed that she’s not a huge fan of shopping and sometimes she just buys stuff Iris has worn because she already knows it looks cute on her.
But in order to get the perfect dress for Iris and Barry’s wedding, Patton had to fly out to Los Angeles to pick it out! Candice revealed that, for her, it was one of the cooler moments on the show, and they actually ended up with the first dress she tried on. By the way, as soon as Iris became a married woman, in all of the scripts and daily call sheets, the character is now listed as "Iris West-Allen."
While Barry Allen is the fastest man alive, Grant Gustin is the coolest dad alive to two adorable dogs, Nora and Jett. These super pups bring joy to everyone around the set of the hot series, as they spend so much time there.
Having a pet certainly improves one's quality of life, and Gustin’s co-stars apparently agree with him. Candice Patton also takes her dog Zoë with her every day. “She is a huge source of calm and relief on days when I can feel overwhelmed and anxious.” – reveals the actress.
During the show’s run, several actors have also gotten into the director's chair and filmed some highly-memorable episodes. Tom Cavanagh played a grand total of 15 (!) versions of Harrison Wells, but that wasn’t enough for him.
So he moved behind the camera and directed three episodes of The Flash, including the milestone 100th episode. Danielle Panabaker also seems to need more of a challenge than just playing Dr. Caitlin Snow on four (!) different shows. She's directed two episodes of The Flash so far.
The showrunner Eric Wallace admitted that Danielle “did a terrific job” and he wouldn’t be surprised to see her directing many more episodes of the show. And after the success of her colleagues, Candice Patton also shared her desire to try her hand at directing at some point in the future.
We all love the trademark effect of the show, when the Flash takes on his speed, sending papers flying into the air amidst a stream of red lightning. And there’s actually a name for this element! The name comes from the director of the pilot David Nutter, who kept referring to the Flash moving at super-speed as "Zoop" or "Zooping" and it became a thing.
This cool effect is done by the director yelling "Freeze," then Grant Gustin walking off set and everyone being hit with an air blower. And the blurring and red lightning are obviously added in post-production.
Obviously, The Flash is based upon a long-standing comic book series, but the series took a fair amount of liberties with its source material. Amazingly, the TV version of the character and his adventures became so popular, that it got its own (!) comic miniseries!
The comics are dubbed "Season Zero" and are meant to fill in the gaps between episodes from the first season of The Flash. The comic series is said to have a lighter, more fantastical feel than the show, and shines a light on several supporting characters and villains, both old and new.