Last December, Bludhaven Banter revealed CW’s pilot for The Flash will feature a character named Detective Eddie Thawne, who will be ‘leading man handsome’ (late 20s-early/mid 30s), a recent Central City Police Department transferee from Keystone, and beloved within the precinct even though his past is pretty much a total mystery. This is a renamed version of Eobard Thawne, better known as Flash supervillain Professor Zoom. In the comics, Thawne is basically the world’s worst superfan. He’s from the 25th century where he idolizes the legacy of Barry “The Flash” Allen so much so that he sets about gaining all of the same powers as The Flash, even altering his appearance to look like Barry Allen. He travels back in time (because time travel is a BIG deal in the Flash comics) to meet Allen only to show up years after Allen’s death, which ultimately drives Thawne insane.
According to Deadline (via ScreenCrush), Rick Cosnett has been cast to play Thawne in the pilot. Cosnett has been recurring as college Professor Handsome (he has a name, I swear, but he’s basically Professor Handsome) during the current season of Vampire Diaries. Like Thawne, his character also harbored a secret, and turned out to be a villain. Again, like Thawne, he also looked freakishly similar to another character making it difficult sometimes to tell them apart:
As another odd wrinkle to this casting decision, Cosnett actually currently resembles the traditional version of Barry Allen from the comics far more than the person they cast to play him on Arrow and the Flash show, Grant Gustin:
But, wait, there’s more. In addition to Cosnett, the pilot’s cast has also added Danielle Panabaker to play Caitlin Snow, a character first introduced in the comics just this past September. In the comics, Snow is the fourth woman to take the title of Killer Frost, each one of them acting as supervillains against the superhero Firestorm. That does not necessarily not mean anything since in the comics Arrow‘s super popular Felicity Smoak is actually married to the father of one of the many people to serve as the superhero Firestorm. Plus, Laurel Lance was never a freakin’ lawyer. However, Deadline’s description of Snow for the Flash pilot certainly points to a future villain potentially motivated by loss: Snow will be “a highly intelligent bioengineering expert who lost her fiancé during an explosion at S.T.A.R. Labs,” mostly likely the same explosion that cascaded throughout Central City and did this to Barry Allen:
Although only 26, Panabaker has a long line of TV credits to her name, including regular roles on Empire Falls and Sharks and a recent recurring role on Necessary Roughness. She’s also turned into a bit of a scream queen after starring in Friday the 13th, The Crazies, and The Ward. If you’ve seen her Friday the 13th reboot, do you remember the only nice girl in the entire cast who pals around with Supernatural‘s Jared Padelecki while he searches for his lost sister only to be rewarded for her kindness by [spoiler alert] being killed off the second Padelecki finds his sister? That was Panabaker:
The additions of Cosnett and Panabaker to the cast come hot on the heels of the casting of Jesse L. Martin to play Barry’s surrogate father figure Detective West. The only major roles believed to be feature in the pilot which have yet to be cast are Iris West, Barry’s love interest, and Francisco Ramon, a mechanical engineer buddy of Barry’s based on the comic book hero Vibe. Martin is a somewhat high profile get for The Flash, but both Cosnett and Panabaker fall more in line with the type of actors CW shows normally cast, especially with how Cosnett has already had a recurring role on a CW show (that’s how both Jensen Ackles and Stephen Amell got their starts).
Don’t go falling in love with any of them, though. We’re still just talking about the pilot. Any one of them could end up being recast for a wide variety of reasons between now and when the general public might have a shot at seeing this thing, trusting the CW actually likes the pilot enough to order a full season of episodes. Plus, we don’t know for sure if Cosnett or Panabaker are supposed to be full-time cast members or simply recurring.
The Flash is being co-created and produced by Arrow writer/DC Chief Creative Office Geoff Johns and Arrow co-creators/executive producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg. Prior reports indicate the pilot could be begin filming in March.
What do you think of this casting choices? Let us know in the comments section.