Phew. Sounds like I conjugated DC Comics with that headline. But yes, it’s true! Sources are saying that Robbie Amell, cousin of Arrow star Stephen Amell, has signed up to play the role of Ronnie Raymond on the Arrow spin-off, The Flash. The former Tomorrow Person will make his Flash debut in Episode 3, and will appear on a recurring basis through the first season of the show. As to whether or not we’ll see Raymond seize his destiny as one-half of the hero Firestorm, is yet to be determined, but presumed to be in the works.
The news comes via the site TV Line, who say that Raymond will be a S.T.A.R. Labs maintenance worker, who “plays an integral part in the particle accelerator accident that transforms Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) into the titular speedster.” Ronnie is also the fiance of fellow S.T.A.R. Labs employee Caitlin Snow, who is played by Danielle Panabaker. Caitlin, you might recall, may have a bright future as the super-villainess named Killer Frost.
“[DC Comics Chief Creative Officer] Geoff Johns, Andrew Kreisberg and myself designed the pilot and series to include Ronnie (aka Firestorm) — and to actually have someone with Robbie’s talent playing the role is beyond exciting,” said Arrow and Flash co-creator and executive producer Greg Berlanti said in a statement. “We can’t wait for viewers and fans of the character to check it out.”
Robbie’s talent is debatable. I watch the first half of The Tomorrow People’s first and only season and he was easily the weakest link, being called upon to play a character that was supposed to be shrewd and duplicitous enough to be a double agent inside an evil corporation, and instead coming off as whiney and bemused. Maybe playing Ronnie will work with his strengths. Certainly the CW thinks they can do no wrong with having an Amell in a superhero series.
If you’re unfamiliar with DC Comics lore, Firestorm is a hero made up of two people, teenager Ronnie and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Martin Stein. A nuclear accident allows the two men to literally combine their forces to become Firestorm: the Nuclear Man, who has the ability to fly, fire bolts of nuclear energy, absorb energy, re-arrange the atomic structure of inorganic material, and alter his own molecular density. As the Firestorm persona, Ronnie is dominant while Stein acts as his conscience allowing them to converse with one and other as Firestorm.
If The Flash casts Prof. Stein, then you’ll know that Firestorm is coming. It will be interesting to see how the character will be rendered on a TV budget, because…
The Flash premieres on October 7 on the CW.