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Published On: Mon, Sep 22nd, 2014

‘The Flash’ development: comic book influence, Candice Patton as Iris, Jesse L Martin in his role

The Flash is coming and fans get a ton of insight as the CW night of the PaleyFest Fall TV Preview gathers executive producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, actors Jesse L. Martin (Detective Joe West) and Candice Patton (Iris West) to talk about how the show, how it spins off from the popular Arrow show and Glee’s Grant Gustin becoming the scarlet speedster.

Some of the topics are which comics they’re drawing from, how similar this Iris West is to the comics, the dynamic between Iris and Barry, what Detective West is like as Barry’s surrogate dad, season-long storylines versus series-long storylines, that time travel is a big part of The Flash’s world, Easter eggs, love interest cross-overs, having such a diverse cast, and having 20 days of production for the pilot.Grant Gustin Barry Allen the Flash photo“It was definitely Greg (Berlanti).  We were working on Season 1 of Arrow, on Episode 13 or 14.  And we were just starting to get the hang of writing Arrow when Greg said, ‘We should do a spin off?’,” Kreisberg says, giving credit to Berlanti for spawning the idea of doing The Flash.

“The only real change was that we were thinking of doing it as a backdoor pilot on one of the episodes (of Arrow.)  We worked so hard on Episode 8 and 9 for Arrow.  If we hadn’t found Grant (Gustin), we might not have done it, at all.  Grant was so amazing, and those episodes and turned out so well.  We had such great support from both the studio and the network who said, ‘You should do this as an actual pilot, and not just as an episode.'”

Berlanti then addressed the comic book influences.

“The one that I loved the most as a kid was Crisis on Infinite Earths because he died in it, in 1985.  He died saving the universe, and it was emotional.  I think that was always our hope with the character in the show. When Geoff Johns re-imagined him in Rebirth, he gave him the gravitas of this backstory of searching for his mother’s killer.  That was something that we also really wanted to include in this series.  It’s the fusion of having the same epic world-building that we get to do on Arrow, but with a bright and fun universe and show, filled with those kind of characters.  That was our hope.  And then, you cast the show and you work with these individuals, and the show becomes something else entirely because you try to respond to the stuff that’s coming in.”

Iris West will be played by Candice Patton, who begins by confessing she’s a Batman fans, but says she is very similar to the comic books.

“I wasn’t a Flash fan before.  I was definitely a DC Batman fan.  So, when I got the job, I definitely felt like I should do my homework.  I went to my comic book store and grabbed a couple of comic books because I really wanted to understand why people love The Flash.  But, I really relied on the scripts that we’re doing to inform me, as well.”

Martin plays the “surrogate father” to Barry and he says there’s plenty of tension.

“Obviously, I’m not his real dad, and there are plenty of times when Barry, as a little boy and as a grown man, will tell me that I’m not his dad.  But I did all the stuff that dads have to do, in order for kids to make it to school and live a decent life, so I don’t care what he says.  I’m his dad, especially when I need to be.  I make sure that he’s safe.  Of course, he’s The Flash now, so he gets in a lot of trouble, and I still have to be dad.”

Collider has the lengthy transcript, so check it out HERE

The show stars Gustin, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes, Jesse L. Martin, Candice Patton, Tom Cavanagh, Rick Cosnett, and John Wesley Shipp with Robbie Amell, Wentworth Miller, and Clancy Brown slated as guest stars.

The Flash premieres on The CW on October 7th.

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About the Author

- Stephen is a contributor and writer on The Dispatch. Stephen is the founder and editor for the Steven Spielberg Fan Club website and contributes to pop culture stories on The Dispatch, especially upcoming movie news. Beginning in 2016, Stephen took the role of Managing Editor for the Tampa Dispatch.

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