As The Flash Season 2 races towards our televisions, the show hadn’t really given viewers a very good idea of what to expect from this season’s big bad Zoom, but we now have a much better idea of how the show is approaching villainy this time around. And we also know who will be playing the newest most fearsome adversary: horror icon Tony Todd, better known to most as Candyman. (Candyman, Candyman.)
If you think it’s a little strange that The CW, a network known for skewing as young as possible, would cast a 61-year-old man to play its central baddie, you’re not altogether wrong. Todd won’t actually be playing Zoom as the physical man-in-the-suit, but will be providing the haunting voice that presumably doubles down on the character’s intimidation factor. In describing how the show will present this comic villain, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg knowingly namedrops one of fiction’s most popular villains as a comparison point.
Last year, with the Reverse-Flash, we just modulated Tom Cavanagh’s voice, and this year we wanted to do something a little bit different. Part of the mystery of the season is who or what is underneath the Zoom outfit, and so we wanted to do something like James Earl Jones as Darth Vader – the iconic voice coming out of this mask. Last year, we thought of the Reverse-Flash as a speed warrior; this year, Zoom is like a speed demon, and no one does demon-voice better than Tony Todd.
We’re going to assume that the Darth Vader references don’t continue to the point where Zoom is unmasked to be Barry’s father Henry, played by John Wesley Shipp. That would be a little weird. Kreisberg also shared with Variety that with this villain, like the Reverse-Flash, they’re delivering a story that comic fans are familiar with, but with a spin that should help to keep the subject matter fresh.
While we’re not quite sure what Zoom’s motivations will be, Kreisberg says that like Eobard Thawne last year, the big baddie isn’t just out to rule the world, Bond-villain style. He has a personal goal that is simplistic in nature, and he doesn’t give a shit who or what has to get destroyed in order to get what he requires. I keep using the pronoun “he,” since Todd’s uber-masculine voice will be used here, but there’s a chance it isn’t really a man inside of that suit at all, according to Kreisberg.
The Zoom outfit is much more organic than the Reverse-Flash suit. In a way, it’s hard to tell if it is a suit or alive. There’s no skin showing; for all you know there’s a robot underneath, or dark energy.
That’s quite exciting for a show in which metahuman abilities virtually allow anything to happen. And I can’t wait to hear Todd voicing the character’s malicious intent at every turn. Beyond Candyman and its sequels, Todd is also known for roles in Tom Savini’s Night of the Living Dead remake, The Crow, Wishmaster, and the Final Destination films, among many others. On the small screen, he’s been seen on Chuck, 24 and The Young and the Restless, and he’s lent his voice to animated projects such as Transformers Prime and the LEGO DC Super Heroes movies as, you guessed it, Darkseid. In case you need a memory jolt on what he sounds like, here you go.
Witness (at least audibly) the glory of Tony Todd’s Zoom when The Flash Season 2 premieres on The CW starting Tuesday, October 6.