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‘The Flash’ No Longer A Backdoor Pilot

The CW to pursue traditional pilot method for ‘Arrow’ spin-off

The CW’s “The Flash” will now be developed through the normal pilot approach, instead of having a Season 2 episode of “Arrow” act as a backdoor pilot.

The original plan was to have Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) appear in Episodes 8 and 9 of “Arrow” Season 2, and then show up again in Episode 20 — the backdoor pilot — as the Flash.

The character’s origin story has already been shot and will still be shown in Episodes 8 and 9 of “Arrow,” but The CW has decided that “The Flash” deserves a higher budget, more fleshed-out standalone pilot of its own. This decision followed the network’s viewing of Gustin in the role.

Episode 8 centers on a seemingly impossible robbery at Queen Consolidated’s Applied Sciences Division that brings Central City police scientist Barry Allen to town. Citing a similar case back home, Barry offers to help Oliver (Stephen Amell) and team with the investigation. Oliver senses there is more to Barry than meets the eye, but he’s distracted by the similarities between this current case and something that happened on the island.

The “Flash” pilot will still be written by “Arrow” co-creators Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, along with DC Comics legend Geoff Johns. David Nutter (“Arrow,” “Game of Thrones,” “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) is attached to direct. Berlanti, Kreisberg, Nutter and Melissa Kellner Berman will all serve as co-executive producers on the project.

Now that “The Flash” is getting its own pilot, it’s unknown what will become of “Arrow” Episode 20, but it’s likely that the episode’s focus will return to the main story arc of the season. The show appears to have hit its stride in Season 2, with fans and critics giving it much praise.

It still remains unclear whether DC’s television properties — including “Arrow,” “The Flash” and the long-gestating Wonder Woman project “Amazon” — will co-exist in Warner Bros.’ DC Cinematic Universe, which began with “Man of Steel” and will continue with the 2015 Batman/Superman movie, starring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill.

Earlier this month, it was reported that Steven McQueen (“The Vampire Diaries”) had been cast as Dick Grayson/Nightwing in “Arrow.” Could Dick Grayson, who once fought alongside Batman as Robin, act as the connective tissue between the DC film and television universes?

“Arrow” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

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