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“The Flash” Adds A Bunch of People Including Danielle Panabaker

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The more news we get about The Flash, which is being spun-off from The CW’s current DC hit show Arrow, the more promising it looks.

The upcoming series (which may or may not get picked up by The CW – I’m betting it will) grabbed my attention after a casting call leak revealed that Iris West – Barry Allen’s main love interest from the comic books – would be played by a black actress. The part where Barry and Iris grew up in the same household and were both raised by Iris’ father might turn heads, but I’m excited to see an actress of color take on a major comic book role, since Barry and Iris are arguably one of the most popular couples in DC. (I just hope they do a better job with her than Arrow did with Laurel Lance.)

Of course, whenever a canonically white character’s race is changed to anything other than white, some fans throw a hissy fit – Heimdall in Thor being a prime example of this misguided fan outrage. While Heimdall is white in comic book canon, British born black actor Idris Elba was cast in the role. Angry fanboys took to Internet forums to complain about this ungodly atrocity against white dudes in comic books – not that it really mattered, at the end of the day. (Why anyone would complain about Elba’s presence on their screen is beyond me…)

While Iris West herself as yet to be cast, we do know who will be playing her dad – Law and Order‘s Jesse L. Martin. And he’ll be playing a detective once again, albeit with much more backstory and characterization than Det. Ed Green ever got. Detective West has been described as “an honest, blue-collar cop who is a surrogate father to Barry Allen.” Martin previously had a recurring role on the canceled NBC show Smash.

Today, it was announced that The Vampire DiariesRick Cosnett has been cast as Detective Eddie Thawne, “a recent transfer to the Central City Police Department, whose past is a mystery and who harbors a dark secret.” No doubt Eddie Thawne is just a slightly altered version of the name Eobard Thawne, The Flash’s archenemy in the comics. Thawn goes by the codename Professor Zoom and Reverse-Flash, and is obsessed with ruining Barry’s life. He’s also responsible for murdering Barry’s mother when Barry was still a child. In the show, Barry’s father wrongly goes to jail for her murder. Could Thawn’s ‘dark secret’ have to do with murdering Barry’s mother?

We also have Danielle Panabaker (Necessary Roughness, Sky High) joining the cast. She’ll play Caitlin Snow, “a highly intelligent bioengineering expert who lost her fiancé during an explosion at S.T.A.R. Labs.” Interestingly enough, Caitlin Snow is the most recent comic book incarnation of Killer Frost, a supervillain with the ability to manipulate cold and ice.

And we already know that Grant Gustin will be portraying The Flash AKA Barry Allen, “a Central City assistant police forensics investigator.”

The pilot episode of The Flash will be filming sometime soon, with the aim to get a series pick-up. The casting for Iris West should be announced in the coming weeks.