Original Flash Actor John Wesley Shipp Cast In CW’s The Flash

When DC announced that Green Arrow would be coming to the small screen (for the second time, getting his own reboot show after appearing on a few seasons of Smallville), no one could have guessed that it would usher in a new era for DC comics on television. The show has been enjoying rave reviews, is currently in its second season, and will soon give way to a Flash spin-off starring Glee's Grant Gustin.

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When DC announced that Green Arrow would be coming to the small screen (for the second time, getting his own reboot show after appearing on a few seasons of Smallville), no one could have guessed that it would usher in a new era for DC comics on television. The show has been enjoying rave reviews, is currently in its second season, and will soon give way to a Flash spin-off starring Glee‘s Grant Gustin.

Gustin made such a great impression when he guest-starred on Arrow last year that a pilot for The Flash was immediately greenlit and is quickly gaining momentum. Today, fans were treated to quite the surprise when John Wesley Shipp, who played Barry Allen in the 1990s Flash series on CBS, was cast in the new show (though his role remains a mystery).

Speculation says that Shipp may be playing Jay Garrick, who comic book readers will remember as the original Golden Age Flash. DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns has been frustratingly coy about the casting on Twitter, too, which has only fuelled the Garrick speculation. If it does turn out to be true, that would not only be a fun nod to fans of the original series, but would add an interesting layer to the new show’s mythology. In the universe in which Arrow and The Flash exist, superheroes seem to be a new thing; and The Flash has been touted as the first superpowered individual. So, the idea that someone like Jay Garrick existed in that world brings some interesting questions to the forefront. 

Of course, the Jay Garrick role could just be wishful thinking, and Shipp may in fact have been cast as Barry Allen’s father, who has been falsely imprisoned for the murder of Barry’s mother. His father will likely play a large part in the show, and THR reports that Shipp’s role will be a recurring one if the pilot gets picked up for a series.

With The Flash gearing up for production for its Fall 2014 debut, we can expect to hear more exciting news about the show in the near future.

Tell us, are you excited about Shipp’s casting? Would you like to see someone like Jay Garrick in the show? Let us know in the comments below!


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James Garcia
Lego photographer, cinephile, geek. James is 24 and lives in Portland, OR. He writes for several websites about pop culture, film, and TV and runs a video production company with his wife called Gilded Moose Media.