Flash Casting News/Rumors: Iris and Detective West

Flash casting sheetsDavid Rapaport Casting tweeted a glimpse at some of the casting sheets for the Flash TV pilot yesterday, including Iris West and Detective West. The presence of Iris no doubt thrilled a number of long-time Flash fans, especially considering how quickly she was written out of the 1990 TV series, appearing only in the pilot episode. Detective West, however, was a mystery.

Was.

Bludhaven Banter has posted a scoop: the character descriptions. I’m not familiar with the site, but Flash TV News vouches for them based on previous scoops for Ant-Man.

Potential spoilers below.

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Detective West is a blue-collar cop who took Barry in after his mother’s death. Iris is his daughter, a grad student in psychology, and Barry’s “mile a minute, fast-talking, quick-witted best friend.” CW is looking for African-American actors for both roles. Head over to Bludhaven Banter to read the full descriptions.

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33 thoughts on “Flash Casting News/Rumors: Iris and Detective West

  1. Diego Calazans

    no Frye as potential biological father? Iris as Barry’s foster sister? and Iris will not be a journalist? that’s bad. so… and Patty? will she be on the series also? it’s CW. a love triangle would help with the ratings.

    Reply
  2. MisterNefarious

    Ethnicity changes are sure to cheese off a lot of people…
    I don’t really mind, but I could see that being a real issue with a lot of folks

    Reply
  3. Mack Nathan, Flash Neighbor!

    Why not keep Iris white and bring in James Forrest or Julio Mendez if they wanted an African American character?

    Reply
  4. Kelson Post author

    Iris isn’t white in the comics because she was created specifically to be white, but because that’s simply the default setting in American media. Still true now, but even more so back in 1956, when publishers had to actually fight the Comics Code to include black characters.

    I don’t have a problem with making Iris black. This isn’t like, say, casting someone white as Storm. Changing someone from the default to a specific is worlds different from changing someone from a specific back to the default. Just like if you’re going to retcon an origin, changing it to be more cliche (dead mom trope) is vastly different from changing it to be less so.

    Reply
    1. MisterNefarious

      I tend to look at it like…
      Is the ethnicity of a character a defining factor in who they are? Like if we made Bruce Wayne black, does that change anything about him other than his skin? No.

      I would argue making Bane white wasn’t an issue either. Bane was hispanic, sure, but that didn’t define him other than occasionally blurting out some elementary Spanish.

      Whereas if we made Black Panther into a white dude… Or make the Shredder into a white dude… It doesn’t work very well, because that fundamentally changes their history in ways beyond skin colors. Some characters it can’t be done.

      So for me, I don’t tend to mind. I respect and understand that some people really want the classic portrayal (hair, skin, story, so forth). To each his own, but I’m fine with adaptations and changes. Making the West family black wouldn’t bother me at all… It would just take getting used to.

      Reply
        1. MisterNefarious

          That’s exactly why I brought it up.
          Changing the ethnicity of Shredder to a white dude means it’s now gonna make a lot less sense if he’s a ninja… So they make him and the Foot commandos… Which means they are the foot in name alone.

          That’s a case where the ethnicity snowballs into unrecognizable characters and they would have been better off just making new villains if they wanted commando types.

          Yeah, every day the new TMNT movie greatly displeases me. I’m a fan of the series, but I also have no problem accepting changes to mythos… But for me, that particular change changes way too much. Movie could still be good, who knows? As of now though, I’m not really excited for it

          Reply
          1. Nick!

            In fairness, there have been *so* many versions of the Shredder in a variety of media, that having him played by a white guy doesn’t really seem like such a big deal. Besides, it’s going to be William Fichtner…he can play whoever he wants! :-p

            Reply
  5. Chris Lowe

    I assume that means Wally West, if introduced will also be an African American character too. That is a significant amount of changes and fans of Wally pre 52 who just want him back probably won’t be a huge fan of DC once again.

    Reply
    1. MisterNefarious

      I would assume that Wally would then be black in the show, but I wouldn’t expect that in the comics (if only because we’ve seen Iris and her brother, neither of which are black)

      Reply
  6. Mr. F

    Mannnnnnn…I’m not liking what I see so far.

    If you’re going to change a character beyond recognition (I’m talking about Iris being Barry’s foster-sister/psychologist buddy rather than a reporter…not about her being black. To that I could care less, although that’s pretty clever casting the Wests as African-American, thereby ensuring we won’t see any red-haired, green-eyed speedsters from that family :/ Jerks) why not just create a new character?
    Garfield Lynns/Firefly in Arrow didn’t do it for me, partially because he WASN’T Garfield Lynns/Firefly. The core of that character is that he’s a pyromaniac…so when you show me a guy who’s just a bitter, burnt-up old, ex-firefighter with a grudge…whether he’d been white, black, asian, or a robot THAT’S NOT FIREFLY.
    The core of Iris’ character is that she’s an available love-interest for Barry, she’s a reporter, she’s a West, and she wasn’t too judgmental when a sleep-talking Barry confessed to being the Flash. What I read in that casting description didn’t sound like Iris West at all…that sounds like a new character.
    Here’s the thing. I’m a fan of THE FLASH, so if these TV execs want to make a show about a super-speedster connected to the Arrow universe with an all-new, unrecognizable cast of supporting characters/villains good for them (I’ll watch it), but if they want to make a show about THE FLASH, don’t spit in my face and try to tell me you have a “better” idea about who the characters I know and love “should” be (that’s what makes me turn off my TV). I mean, who is that for? It certainly isn’t exciting for us long-time fans, and if the purpose is to introduce a new audience to Iris West…why would you show them a character who’s nothing like Iris West (aside from the fact she’s a female, a human, and she knows Barry)?
    Race isn’t an issue. Terrible as it was, Daredevil starring Ben Affleck proved it with Michael Clark Duncan playing a pretty decent Kingpin. Sam Jackson/Nick Fury is another great example. But when you take Parallax and turn him into a poo-cloud version of Krona, or you turn Sandman into the tragic thief who accidentally killed Uncle Ben you’re just showing me perversions of my characters and I don’t like it!
    (\rant)

    Reply
    1. MisterNefarious

      I actually wanted Chi McBride to play Kingpin. I thought he’d nail it, provided they had him maybe work out his arms: get some guns on there.

      And yeah, Parallax was awful. Green Lantern was awful. Horrible movie in every regard.

      Sandman I have no opinion on. That representation of him was fine with me, though I didn’t like the forgiveness sappy stuff at the end.

      Reply
  7. Nick!

    Seems like they are merging Frye with Iris’s father. I’m cool with that. It can make for an interesting dynamic. I also don’t mind Iris as a psych student. As we have seen with so many superhero shows, rarely is everything the status quo right out of the gate. I wouldn’t be surprised that Iris is somehow lured towards journalism as the show progresses (remember when Lois Lane first appeared and had zero interest in being a reporter in Smallville?).
    Besides, the last time we got a live action Iris West, she was an artist before disappearing altogether!

    Reply
    1. MisterNefarious

      I dunno how the other regular posters feel on this, but I couldn’t stand Smallville.
      And yeah, I think having her start as one thing can allow the storytelling to take her in the direction we know she should wind up in, in doing so giving her more of a story arc beyond just being the reporter/love interest type thing. Gives them more options

      Reply
  8. TheFlash1990

    This is absolutely horrendous casting and characterization. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Leave the characters the way they’re supposed to be. Barry in love with his surrogate sister…that’s a terrible idea, and as are the unnecessary racial changes.

    I have a BIG problem with ALL of this.

    One can only wonder what they will do with the costume.

    Reply
  9. TheFlash1990

    Smallville was a pretty crappy show. Doing Superman without Superman to me is like….why bother. No tights, no flights, bad acting…Tom Welling was pretty bad. The only thing that was any good on that show to me was Michael Rosenbaum’s Lex Luthor.

    Reply
  10. Kyer

    Well, that cinched any desire I had to watch the Flash spinoff.
    Bigoted? No. I loved Lt. Uhura back in the sixties and I’m still of the mind that Asian Linda Park was miles more pretty than Wonder Woman. I prefer John Stewart to Hal Jordan. This is not about race.
    This is about mucking up the very foundations of what drew me to the characters in the first place. It’s the reason why I steer clear of fanfics with permanent genderbending or otherwise OOC canon characters and hate inserted Mary Sues/OC’s who take away from canon characters.

    If you want to do something original, CW, then by all means make something **original** These Flash characters will have the names only and maybe some of the personality, but they won’t be the Flash characters I am looking for.
    That goes for this Barry Allen too.
    (Yeah, I also agree on Smallville. What was the point of bothering to name him Clark Kent of Kryptonian heritage if he wasn’t Superman or even Superboy?)

    Reply
  11. Devin

    I have no issues with any of it. It is a whole different universe and a whole different take on the Scarlet Speedster. Anyone who expects direct adaptations or for the studio to not take liberties is fooling themselves.

    As Kelson mentioned above, these comics were created when people were actively trying to keep people like me out of comics altogether. Times have changed and having a completely caucasian cast is hardly representative of the current state of our culture or diversity. Yes, you could have used one of the random black characters that have shown up and done nothing in the Flash comics or brought back Julio Mendez but again nothing about Iris says that she should be caucasian and not another ethnicity.

    Reply
    1. veronicadiall

      I have no issues with any of it. It is a whole different universe and a whole different take on the Scarlet Speedster. Anyone who expects direct adaptations or for the studio to not take liberties is fooling themselves.

      –Minor cosmetic changes and minor liberties are one thing. Whole sale changes are something completely different. If the makers wanted to do a whole sale change. Then they should have just created a completely new character. From what I have seen so far of the show. The producers seem that they only want to do a “Flash In Name Only”. The Barry Allen I saw in episode 208 of Arrow had no relation to any of the Flash’s I read in the comics books. That was essentially Andrew Garfields Peter Parker. I don’t think that anyone is lookin for a verbatim interpretation from the book. But we are looking for something that at least is faithfull in spirit. And it does not look as if we are getting anything along those lines.

      Reply
  12. Kyer

    Not buying it. They could have had a completely different speedster and created new characters—all minority actors or women and I wouldn’t have turned a hair. Heck, I would have watched it because…new speedster, check it out, could be good. Instead they are parasitic here. Again, I cite fanfics where a Batman is a Batman totally changed other than name. It’s not just ‘a different take’ it’s a whole newly minted almost utterly unrecognizable take.
    Whatever. I’m just one less viewer.
    And I’ll try to totally steer clear on clicking or commenting should they bring in a ‘Wally West’. (Because then I’d really become Mt. Vesuvius on a bad day.) 😛

    Reply
  13. Droxus

    The possibility of a black Wally West. A lot to process for a fan. For me there’s a huge difference between now and then Nick Fury. They don’t feel like the same character. And we’re talking of a B line character.
    I guess it’s time to admit Wally, my Wally, is definitely gone.

    Reply
    1. Kyer

      Which reminds me. Remember Didio’s comment of last year that he might be seeing Wally again this year?
      December 7th, 2013 is now half over and there’s nothing on the upcoming issues that I can find. Guess it’s a good thing we didn’t get excited over it.

      Reply
    2. MisterNefarious

      I am not being antagonistic here or trying to start an argument, I legitimately would like your view on this.
      What about new (read: black) Nick Fury is substantially different from old Nick? Personally in many ways I feel like they just swapped his skin color, but he never stopped feeling like Nick to me.

      Honestly curious just what makes them not feel the same to you?

      Reply
  14. Russ

    I look forward to seeing what they come up with. I’m not really a Barry fan, but I am interested in anything that might lead to Wally.

    Reply
  15. Kyer

    This is difficult because it’s an emotional matter rather than a logical one:
    About anything but clothing. I’m used to seeing clothing change, but to me the only thing that should change on the human body (bar a maiming) is weight loss/gain, hair turning white and the gaining of wrinkles. Even the changing of eye color bugs me something fierce. Since I came into Wally with his green eyes, yes, I hate it when older comics had him blue eyed and kind of blonde. Probably something in my psychological makeup but didn’t even like it when mom dyed her hair. A complete stranger…could care less. Someone I *know* even fictionally….it bugs me.
    The only exception I’ve run across is with Doctor Who and that’s likely because its in-continuity for him to change….like us growing wrinkles and white hair. I can accept his regenerations.
    Fury? I never saw more than one scan of white Fury and only the single Avengers movie with black Fury so intellectually it bothers me because I’m emphasizing for the sake of older fans sympathies, but for myself it’s moot. Fury isn’t a superhero but a reg military type and I’m more drawn towards super-powered humans and aliens than regular humans.
    That’s probably the best I can explain it. It’s like trying to explain why I like lavender over yellow. No plans to start a campaign against yellow. Don’t consider yellows second-class hue that should be eradicated in favor of purples. It just is my preference.
    I prefer origins not get mucked with.
    Heck, even BBC Sherlock’s curly hair bugs me. I just see that as someone who is similar to Sherlock Holmes and not actually Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Elementary…same thing. Nice shows, but not the real thing. Imho.

    Reply
    1. Nick!

      *Nothing* will ever be the “real thing” except the original source material. All of these shows, movies, etc are *adaptations*. That is the key difference. If people are going to get all up in arms about skin color “not being true”, then by that same logic they have to also get up in arms about it not being a page-by-page recreation of Showcase #4 and going on from there.

      Reply
      1. MisterNefarious

        While that’s kind of a big leap in logic, I agree with you.
        I stopped whining about movies/games/tv shows not being like the source material years ago.

        It adapts that source material. If the adaptation/reinterpretation isn’t good, that source material still exists for me to go to.

        Reply
  16. Steve

    A black Wally West would be a very interesting take. There’s something more powerful about a black man in the south being told that he’ll never be the “real” Flash or as good of a Flash as Barry eventually proving himself.

    Reply
  17. Realitätsprüfung

    Casting Iris West as an African American impacts the remaining Flash characters almost not at all.

    The Darwinian nature of TV suggests that a Flash show may last just a year or two, assuming it gets picked up at all. So WB expanding the cast on the West family front (supoprting characters) on the show is an iffy notion. A lot more likely would be expanding the Allens – flashbacks with Barry’s parents and so on.

    On top of which, as comic fans we tend to assume sidekicks. But it’s not likely. It’s a largely hokey concept by modern standards, and DC hasn’t even included Kid Flash in any Flash stories in the new 52.

    In a TV series aimed at the general audience? Nah.

    Reply

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