In the race to get TV viewers to tune in to its comic book properties, Time Warner is turning to the fastest man alive.
Earlier this week, Warner unit DC Entertainment told reporters via conference call that the Flash would appear in season 2 of Arrow before spinning off into a new show dedicated the character. Warner also has plans for a live action film. Batman? Superman? Turns out the Flash is the glue that’s binding together the DC Cinematic Universe.
The Flash, otherwise known as “the fast man alive.’ Source: DC Comics.
“He’s obviously been a strong personal favorite of both [DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer] Geoff [Johns] and mine,” Newsarama quotes Arrow co-creator Andrew Kreisberg as saying. “So when Greg [Berlanti] approached us and said ‘Hey, what would you think if we did the Flash as a spin-off?’ all of us lit up!”
Meanwhile, putting DC’s scarlet speedster on TV first would allow Warner to expand the DC Cinematic Universe while building brand equity for a character that hasn’t been on the small screen since 1990. Back then, actor John Wesley Shipp played the Flash and his alter-ego, police scientist Barry Allen. Warner says it’s in the process of searching for an actor to play the role in Arrow and the spin-off.
The news comes on the heels of Walt Disney previewing the entire first episode of its Avengers-themed TV spin-off, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., last month at San Diego Comic-Con. I’m expecting a ratings winner when the show begins airing Tuesday nights this fall.
DC’s advantage is that already has a hit in Arrow, and introducing the Flash via spin-off reduces the risk that the new show will bomb. If successful, it would be the third — or, if Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. also succeeds, the fourth — current comic book TV adaptation to play well with audiences. AMC Networks‘ The Walking Dead rated highest among scripted shows airing during the 2012-2013 TV season.
Do DC’s plans signal more adaptations from Warner, Disney, and others? Undoubtedly. Hollywood history says executives will push until audiences push back, which means the next prime-time TV idea is probably sitting on the shelves of your local comics shop right now.