3 Pop Culture Stories You Missed: First Look at ‘Flash,’ David O. Russell Exits Pilot, and ‘Jurassic World’ Finds its Villain

In the entertainment industry news comes out fast and furious, and sometimes the importance and impact of some of those developments gets lost in the shuffle. Here's a look at three of the top pop culture stories from the past week that you might have missed and why they are worth a second look

The CW unveils first look at 'Flash'

(Credit: The CW)

DC Comics fans were excited earlier this season when producers introduced Grant Gustin as Barry Allen, and now those same fans are abuzz to be getting their first look at Allen's alter ego The Flash. The CW (a subsidiary of CBS (NYSE: CBS  ) last week debuted a new close-up image of Gustin with the top part of his character's iconic red costume in frame ... and immediately set the Internet ablaze. However, for the full first look fans will have to wait until at least May when the network makes it decisions about its fall slate.

Impact on industry

This was a nice surprise and really drove comic fans wild. The original plan for Flash was to have Gustin debut with his newly acquired powers in one of the spring episodes of Arrow where he was brought into the fold last fall, yet that changed when executives decided it made more sense to go the traditional route and give the speedster his own pilot. Arrow was a game changer for The CW and it looks like Flash could be just as successful.

David O. Russell exits ABC pilot

One of the season's most intriguing pilots just took turn another interesting turn as it has lost one of its top-tier executive producers. Oscar nominee David O. Russell has left his ABC (a subsidiary of Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) ) drama (tentatively titled) The Club, which focuses on the relationships between a country club's members and staff. The project will still move forward with co-executive producer Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich) at the helm and will retain its series commitment status with the network.

Impact on industry

The exit of Russell is surprising given that I'm sure a large part of the appeal of the series to ABC was having the American Hustle director onboard, but it's also not unusual. Showrunners frequently drop out of their series even after they make air, but in this case it's a little disappointing. Russell didn't (publicly) give an explanation, but it's likely he realized TV is a big commitment that would affect his ability to make movies. Creatively, the show will likely not be affected though as co-producer Grant is more than capable of taking over and worked hand in hand with Russell on the concept.

'Jurassic World' lands its villain

It's been a long haul for Universal (a subsidiary of Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA  ) ) to reboot its ultra-successful Jurassic Park franchise, but now we have another large piece of the puzzle: a villain. Law & Order: Criminal Intent star Vincent D'Onofrio has signed on as the film's big bad, but beyond that his part is a mystery. The actor will join Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy), Bryce Dallas Howard (The Village) and the also newly cast Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi) in the film titled Jurassic World. Directed by Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) and produced by Steven Spielberg, the movie will hit theaters June 12, 2015.

Impact on industry

The Jurassic films have grossed over $2 billion worldwide and Universal made it a priority to get the series back on track. Adding D'Onofrio to the ensemble was a smart move as he's no stranger to playing imposing characters and should work well with the ensemble, which is basically starting from scratch. The question remains if any of the original stars will make a return, but the more information audiences get about the new film the more excitement builds. 2015 is going to be an off-the-charts summer for the box office and this is one of the reasons.

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