This theory is based on previous situations where The CW has removed certain characters from Arrow right before their big introductions in movies. The list includes Deadshot and Harley Quinn, as well as Deathstroke, who leaves and soon returns later down the line in the series.
Now, what about the #Flash leaving his very own show on the network? That's the question of the day, and it's one that really needs to be answered. Did The CW remove the Flash next season so the DCEU can introduce their version in his own solo movie? Well, the end of Season 3 has many fans questioning the same thing.
The Flash Goes Into The Speed Force
Could #TheCW rid their show of its titular hero? While the show still has Wally West (Kid Flash), Cisco Ramon (Vibe), Caitlin Snow (a good Killer Frost?) and (possibly) Gypsy to occupy the screen for some time, viewers might not see the Flash until mid-season — or possibly the end of the season if the showrunners dare, which, in the end, feels a bit like a stretch.
As we've heard, the prison has to be occupied, and Barry chose to be the occupant. We could see him as Barry Allen — a result of the power-dampening effects of being a prisoner in the Speed Force. It feels plausible, especially since the series has been building Wally up to handle the show for some time over the last season.
In Mark Waid's comic, Wally took over for Barry right after the Crisis, which resulted in him being the Flash for 20 years. As we've seen, there is no Flash in 2024. Maybe his time in the #SpeedForce will align with the date of the newspaper article. Maybe he'll be there for the seven years, and we'll eventually see a new Barry once he returns. This could be the direction the show plans to take since the #DCEU aims to bring the character's solo adventure to the big screen next year.
This Isn't The First Time
Back in Arrow Season 1–3 we were introduced to Deadshot and Harley Quinn. While fans of the characters got a brief encounter with them, they were soon taken from the screen right after the announcement of Suicide Squad, which featured Deadshot and Harley, portrayed by Will Smith and Margot Robbie respectively.
Michael Rowe/Floyd Lawton/Deadshot first appeared in Arrow Season 1 Episode 3, "Lone Gunman" (2012). His final episode was in Season 3 Episode 17, "Suicidal Tendencies" (2015), where he appeared before the release of the Squad's film in 2016. And as of now, he's presumed dead and could possibly reenter the series later down the line.
Stephen Amell stated that the Harley Quinn scene was axed from the second season of Arrow because of the time it added to an episode, while Andrew Kreisberg revealed information about the team wanting the character to appear, but was denied the chance because of Suicide Squad. Even Willa Holland (Thea Queen) spoke about the introduction. She stated this to MCM London via Flickering Myth:
"We had big plans for Harley. But, I guess something came down from DC execs that told us to shut it down. I mean we had that tease with the pigtails and the ARGUS outfit but, we’ll never see it. We would love to [have] Harley in Arrow but it will never happen."
Goodbye To These Characters?
Amanda Waller, Katana and Digger Hawkness a.k.a. Captain Boomerang, portrayed by Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Rila Fukushima and Nick E. Tarabay, were a part of the series until Waller and Katana were killed. Digger was later imprisoned in A.R.G.U.S. supermax on Lian Yu, later returning after the film hit theaters, only to be presumably killed after Malcolm Merlyn detonated himself on a landmine. Every one of these occurrences led fans to the conclusion that the DCEU wanted to use the characters — which they eventually did.
So, Slade Wilson?
Now, who doesn't remember the amazing first season of Arrow? The moment when Slade Wilson/Deathstroke made his grand appearance on the series before being barred from ever appearing until season 2, and the end of the fifth season — what could have caused the sudden change?
After the announcement of Joe Manganiello portraying the assassin in the solo Batman movie in August 2016, The CW's version stayed locked away on Lian Yu. Now that Manganiello's portrayal has potentially been shelved for the time being, viewers of Arrow were able to see Manu Bennett take up the role again. Coincident? Hmph, maybe. Maybe not.
The Arrowverse Suicide Squad
During the San Diego Comic-Con 2014, actor David Ramsey revealed that there were talks about a spin-off for the Suicide Squad. In January, the co-producer and comic book writer Keto Shimizu went on to say:
"It doesn't seem like it’s a possibility."
Since the entire concept was shelved, or dismantled entirely because of David Ayer's film, maybe The CW doesn't have full access to use (or continue to use) certain characters. And since the characters listed weren't able to continue on television as well as on film, maybe this will also effect The Flash series.
The Flash Will Appear In 'Justice League'
Yes, the DCEU has introduced this version of the Flash in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice without harming the series. Even the team-up film, Justice League, brings Ezra Miller's incarnation to the screen, and both the series and the film will overlap at one point this year. Could this also be the reason for Barry's temporary leave (if there is one) in the show?
This is simply a guess, and is based on previous situations involving DC characters in film and television. So take this as nothing more than just a theory (or entertainment) and make sure you catch Season 3 of The Flash when it hits Netflix on May 31, 2017.
What do you think are the chances of this happening? Do you believe The CW would go an entire season without the Flash donning his suit?