For the last two years, CW has been home to one the greatest, if not THE greatest, superhero television series ever created, Arrow. And this Fall it returns alongside it’s highly anticipated spinoff, The Flash.
CBR News managed to get an exclusive interview with executive producer, Andrew Kreisberg. We learn a bit more about the direction these shows are going, the addition of Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer into this universe, and The Flash might bring to the table.
CBR News: How’s it been on your side, getting everything off the ground for “The Flash” and still keeping one hand on the wheel for “Arrow?”
Andrew Kreisberg: It’s been a whole new experience. It’s been great, though. I mean, I was up in Vancouver yesterday, and I walked from one stage where Oliver Queen and Ray Palmer were having a scene and went to another stage where Barry Allen was having a scene. So this is, as hard work as it is, it’s literally a childhood dream come true. It’s just fantastic.
CBR: Let’s start with “Arrow.” What do you want to say about where the season is going to start?
AK: When Season Three starts, everything’s sort of coming up Oliver. He defeated Slade, the police have stopped hunting the vigilante, and crime is down. He’s feeling pretty good about himself, and so much of the season is about him wrestling with what sort of a life he can have beyond the hood. That’s writ large in the premiere, but it’s sort of the theme of the season.
CBR: Oliver’s love life has always been interesting. Where are his romantic relationships going this season?
AK: I think they’re going to get deeper and richer this season. We’re not known for treading water on our show, so things will escalate, probably faster than people expect, as always. With whom is always the question. But we feel really good about what’s happening this year. When it’s the right time to do something, we do it, and we feel like, not just with Oliver, but with all the characters, we’re really starting them off in the right place.
CBR: Have we seen all the fish in the sea for now, or are there new faces you might strike something up with as well?
AK: Well, don’t forget Oliver exists in two timelines. There’s the present and the past. So there’s new people. There could be potential new people in both areas.
CBR: What do you have planned for Ray Palmer — or, perhaps, The Atom?
AK: We’re bringing in Ray as a potential bidder for Queen Consolidated. But I think, in the grand tradition of shows in Season Three bringing in a new character as a game changer, whether it was “Buffy” bringing on Faith, or “Everwood” bringing on Scott Wolf. Brandon and Ray are coming on to really shake up the whole world. Obviously, he’s such a different energy, Brandon, from Stephen Amell. Just even the first scenes, it’s created a whole new dynamic for the show.
CBR: Is there a clear eye on a spinoff, or will you cross that bridge when you come to it?
AK: We will detonate that bridge when we get there. Right now, we are focused on “Arrow” and “Flash.”
CBR: Was this an easy call, even though he’s been a superhero before — the superhero, in fact — to cast him?
AK: We felt like what the show had been lacking was more humor. What’s funny about Felicity and Oliver is, he’s really the straight man and she’s sort of the one with all the funny lines. Brandon is such an amazing comedian — he’s so verbally adept, and he has this amazing Jimmy Stewart aspect to him that we knew we weren’t bringing on an Oliver clone, because we already have one of those.
It’s the same thing we have with “The Flash” when we cast Grant. Like we already have a Stephen Amell. We don’t need another one. So we have a Grant Gustin. And in a way, Brandon kind of combines the charm and the funniness that Grant has with square-jawed superhero that Stephen has. As always, we’re never looking to repeat ourselves, and now we’ve brought on somebody who can really play verbal tennis with Felicity. It creates a whole different dynamic and a whole different energy for the show.
CBR: With “The Flash,” there’s so many comics and eras to cherry-pick from for the series. What’s the show going to be, in your eyes?
AK: It’s a more hopeful show than “Arrow.” It’s a lighter show. It’s funnier. Obviously, there’s the amazing effects, but Oliver is a very tortured soul, and we tend to put characters on that show through the wringer. On “Flash,” just with him as the lead, you just have a much more accessible hero. When “Arrow” started, Oliver was as much a superhero as he ever was going to be. He was a fully-formed warrior, a killing machine. It’s his morality that’s evolved. With Barry, this is all new to him. It’s day one. He’s not even Flash 1.0 — he’s 0.0. It’s really about watching him evolve and come to accept these powers that he has, watching him learn them and learn what he can do and learning what he can’t do. Barry wears his heart on his sleeve. While Oliver can be very stoic with his losses, Barry, dealing with his inability to save everyone is something that’s fresh and new in the superhero genre.
CBR: Will Season One largely focus on just establishing your Flash universe rather than reaching too far outside other DC properties that you could touch on?
AK: I think we’ve done very well on “Arrow” sort of reaching out into the greater mythology, and “Flash” itself is an outcropping of “Arrow” reaching out into the mythology. So there’s no reason to think we won’t be doing more of that.
CBR: What can you just not wait to get to in “The Flash?”
AK: Huh! Well, there’s a couple of Easter eggs in the pilot that I wouldn’t mind seeing. It’s so funny — usually, the kind of storytelling that we do, when we started “Arrow,” there was a lot of, ‘Well, we’ll do that later. We’ll do that at the end of the season. We’ll do that in Season Two.’ And Greg Berlanti has really taught us, “If you’re excited about it now, why wait?” So there’s a lot of what I think people will think is accelerated storytelling in those first five episodes of “The Flash.” There’s nothing I’m sitting there going, “Man, I can’t wait until we get to that,” because I’m really loving what we’re doing now.
The Flash premieres on the CW on Tuesday, October 7th, and Arrow season three premieres on Wednesday, October 8th.
Sources: Comic Book Resources