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Arrow's Flash Spin-Off Adds John Wesley Shipp, The Original Flash, In A Mystery Role
Fans of the DC Comics character Flash probably know that the upcoming pilot/Arrow spin-off is not the first time that the character has been the star of a live-action television series. From September 1990 to May 1991, CBS aired 21 episodes of The Flash, a show based around the various adventures of the Scarlet Speedster. The show starred John Wesley Shipp as the titular hero, and now the upcoming Flash pilot is doing a bit of fan service and bringing him back.
Warner Bros. has announced that Shipp will be making a very special appearance as a mystery character in the new show. What's more, it's been confirmed that he would be a recurring character should the pilot get picked up as a series. He joins a cast that already includes Grant Gustin as Barry Allen, Candice Patton as Iris West, Rick Cosnett as Detective Eddie Thawne, Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow, Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon, Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells and Jesse L. Martin as Detective West. Production is expected to start soon with The CW and Warner Bros. Television hoping to have a series premiere ready for the fall lineup. Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, and Geoff Johns are writing the screenplay while David Nutter is attached to direct.
While obviously nothing is confirmed at this point, one has to wonder if there's a possibility that Shipp could wind up playing Jay Garrick, the original Flash. Garrick, created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Harry Lampert, was first introduced in 1940 and was the first superhero to be called Flash, but he was replaced by Barry Allen in 1956. What could make the pilot interesting is including a special moment from the comics when it was revealed that Garrick actually existed in a parallel universe to Barry Allen's (this idea has continued in DC's New 52 line, where the character appears in issues of Earth 2). It's just a theory, but one that would be very cool to see.
For those of you who haven't had the chance to see the original Flash series starring Shipp, it's now available on DVD and on YouTube for $1.99 each. Obviously the new prospective Flash show will be quite different than that show was thanks to advances in visual effects and changes in storytelling approach when it comes to comic book characters, but you can get a sense of the old show in the clips below:
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