When Barry Allen appeared in Arrow Season 2 Episode 7, titled "The Scientist", fans were overjoyed that a new version of the Scarlett Speedster would be coming to The CW. Grant Gustin was pitch perfect in the role, and once his spin-off show, The Flash, premiered in the fall of 2014, it became one of the most talked about superhero shows on TV.
While The Flash Season 3 wasn't the best the series had to offer, fans still adore the Arrowverse version of the Barry Allen. But way before #GrantGustin donned the friction-proof suit and cowl, we almost saw a completely different version of the Scarlet Speedster.
The WB's Flash Pilot That Almost Happened
Smallville debuted on The WB (which would later become The CW) in 2001, and around that time, the network was looking to launch other superhero shows. In 2003, The WB developed the first live-action Flash TV show since John Wesley Shipp’s version in 1991, and it nearly went to pilot.
According to FlashTVNews,a 2003 Variety Trade (which has yet to be verified) reported that a pilot script was ordered, with a steep penalty attached if the production failed to launch. Although The WB was serious about the show, 2003's The Flash never came to fruition, but it would have been very different from The Flash that fans have come to love.
What Would The 2003 Flash Show Be About?
The 2003 version of The Flash was set to center around a recent college graduate from Gotham City, who would use his newly minted superpowers to time-travel every week — yes, messing with the timeline would be the premise of the show.
The show would follow in the footsteps of Smallville, and much like with Clark Kent, we would never see the hero on The Flash don his patented suit. Todd Komarnicki was set to write and produce the pilot, and in the Variety Article, he had this to say regarding the hero on the 2003 Flash show:
“Once our hero gets his calling, he’s given the advice, ‘Live fast so others don’t die young.' This is a story about a guy who’s aimlessly drifting through life and barely moving at the speed of life when he discovers his calling is to move at the speed of light.”
Based on what was covered by Variety & various sites in 2003, the show would be a time-travel procedural, where Flash would run through time to a different place every week to help resolve a crime or mystery. The plot is nothing we haven’t seen before, and it has a lot in common with Sliders, Quantum Leap, and Stargate SG:1.
Unfortunately, The WB’s Flash show fell apart, and to this day, we don’t know which version of the Flash would have been the main character on the show, whether it be Wally West, Barry Allen, Jay Garrick, or Bart Allen. It’s worth noting that after the Flash show went kaput, Bart Allen showed up in Smallville Season 4, and he would be the only member of the Flash family on TV until Barry Allen was struck by lightning on Arrow.
While the unmade pilot for The WB’s Flash sounds different, that doesn’t mean it would necessarily be better or worse than The CW’s The Flash. However, Grant Gustin’s version of Barry Allen is everything we could have hoped for as fans of the comics, and it seems like everything worked out the way it was supposed to. The Flash is speeding into its fourth season, and we can’t wait to see what new adventures await #BarryAllen when he emerges from the #SpeedForce.
The Flash is on hiatus for the next few months, but it will return for Season 4 Tuesday, October 10, 2017 8PM/ET on The CW.
Sound off! Would you have like to have seen the pilot for the 2003 version of The Flash? Let your voice be heard in the comments section below.