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'The Flash' Solidifies DC's Play for Comic Book TV Shows

By Tim Beyers – Feb 8, 2014 at 5:00AM

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All signs point to an ambitious pilot for “The Flash.”

TheCW's pilot for The Flash could also star of one of the speedster's most dangerous adversaries. Source: DC Comics.

After months of waiting, TheCW has greenlit a premier for The Flash. Grant Gustin will play the DC Comics superhero in a pilot that, at least according to one report, promises to further expand the scope and style of the DC Cinematic Universe.

Deadline says the network -- which is co-owned by CBS and DC Comics parent Time Warner (TWX) -- has cast Rick Cosnett and Danielle Panabaker to play opposite Gustin and Jesse L. Martin. The wrinkle? Cosnett is apparently set to play Detective Eddie Thawne while Panabaker is to portray bioengineer Caitlin Snow. Both names should be familiar to comics fans, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video. Thawne, for example, appears to be a reference to Eobard Thawne, otherwise known as Professor Zoom or the Reverse-Flash. (Depicted above.)

Thawne is a longtime and lethal foe of the scarlet speedster who also played a central role in last summer's animated epic Flashpoint, which debuted to an enthusiastic crowd at San Diego Comic-Con. Snow, on the other hand, might be better known to readers as a later incarnation of the supervillain Killer Frost.

Of course, it's too early to do anything other than speculate. And yet a rash of new villains and super-powered plot twists in Arrow lend credence to Deadline's reporting while giving Warner the justification needed to expand the TV side of the DC Cinematic Universe, Tim argues.

Marvel hasn't been as willing to experiment with super-powered protagonists in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which instead serves as a lens through which worried humans view a rapidly evolving world. Agent Carter -- a period adaptation in development now and featuring Hayley Atwell's spy from Captain America: The First Avenger -- appears destined to serve a similar purpose for Marvel and Walt Disney (DIS -0.15%), which thus far has confined its biggest heroes to the big screen.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you believe Warner's efforts to develop the TV side of the DC Cinematic Universe will pay off in the TV ratings wars? What about at the box office? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take and then leave a comment to let us know where you stand.

Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Time Warner and Walt Disney at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

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