Season three of The CW’s The Flash will be kicking off with an episode titled “Flashpoint,” which will establish the altered timeline and set the tone for the much-anticipated new season. In season two everything was flipped on its head when The Flash (Grant Gustin) traveled back in time, saved his mom, and created a new alternate timeline. Discussing what’s in store during roundtable interviews at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con, writers/executive producers Aaron Helbing and Todd Helbing confirmed their version will be different than the comics. They also revealed they’ve made sure to make the storyline accessible to audiences who’ve never read any of The Flash comics.
Season three of The Flash premieres on October 4, 2016.
Todd and Aaron Helbing Interview:
How difficult was it planning the Flashpoint storyline?
Todd Helbing: “It’s like any of those iconic moments in Flash. You want to make sure you do right. But it’s also, the way we approach all these stories are we know what happened in the comics but we take that event and we sort of run it through The Flash television show filter so we can tell the same story but with our spin on it. I mean it was challenging, but it wasn’t impossible.”
Aaron Helbing: “There’s always going to be certain expectations that we’re going to hit for everybody. I feel like we do. It’s a really big episode. It’s actually an emotional one. It’s a lot of fun.”
Todd Helbing: “One part that was hard is you’re asking the audience in the first episode to experience, very much like Earth-2 the first time, to experience a different reality. We always approach it like, ‘Would our mother understand what is going on right now?’ Because she doesn’t read comic books.”
Aaron Helbing: “She’s never read a comic book.”
Todd Helbing: “So, if we can get her to get it, I feel like we’ve been successful and I feel like she’ll understand it.”
You’re doing your own version of Flashpoint but was there ever a time you were trying to get Thomas Wayne introduced into it? He’s kind of key to the comic book version.
Todd Helbing: “I think there’s a long list of people and characters that we would love to do and maybe did, maybe didn’t do. But there’s the realities of what we can and can’t use. We work very closely obviously with DC and Geoff Johns and Dan Evans and it’s kind of like, ‘Okay, so what can we use in this version?’ Then they tell us and that’s what we do.”
Knowing that Flashpoint affects the other shows of the DC universe, how do you approach that?
Aaron Helbing: “We’re lucky because we work with Greg Berlanti who oversees everything. It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen is someone who can know exactly what’s happening on every show at the exact same time, so he knows exactly how to balance them and what’s going to affect which particular show. We’re just really lucky because we get to work with Greg really closely and Marc [Guggenheim] and Phil [Klemmer] and Andrew [Kreisberg] and Ali [Adler], and be mindful of what’s going to happen in each show and what’s going to affect them.”
Do you think that’s the key to the success of the DC shows?
Todd Helbing: “Yes, along from working closely with DC and then having really one person filtering that version down. You know, it’s like where we work there’s two floors. It’s like Arrow, Supergirl, Legends, and Flash, so we literally are like from here to the doorway away from talking to Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle. Whenever we have questions, we can all get on the same page very easily. If it was four showrunners that never interacted, you wouldn’t be able to do it.”
Seasons one and two had big bads that were the overall driving force. Is season three more self-contained stories or is there going to be a big bad?
Aaron Helbing: “There’s going to be two big bads. One will be a speedster and one will be another meta-human. They’re both very formidable.”
What can you say about the four-way crossover?
Todd Helbing: “Storywise, we know what we’re doing. It was quite a juggle. You’ve got to figure out scheduling issues and adding another show last year was very difficult, adding another show this year. But yeah, we basically with Greg worked out that story and it’s going to be awesome.”
Watch the full Todd and Aaron Helbing interview:
(Interview by Fred Topel. Article by Rebecca Murray.)