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'The Flash' could end with shortened Season 9 as longtime cast member exits The CW series

Barry Allen can outrun almost anything, but not a cancellation of his own TV show.

By Josh Weiss
(L-R) Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and Jesse L. Martin as Captain Joe West

Grant Gustin's Barry Allen can outrun anything on the planet... except perhaps the cancelation of his television series. According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Flash may come to an end after a truncated ninth season on The CW. Nothing is officially confirmed, beyond the fact that the network renewed the comic book-inspired show for Season 9 last month (effectively making it the longest-running Arrowverse project to date).

The Flash is currently airing its eighth season, whose finale will air Wednesday, June 29 at 8 p.m. EST.

"These three seasons — 6, 7 and 8 — were all part of one big master plan," showrunner Eric Wallace told The Flash Podcast in March. "Everything you’ve seen along the way has been leading towards the finale of Season 8. Everything has been deliberate. COVID threw us a couple of curveballs here but, in general, we’re pretty much sticking to what I originally planned for the three seasons that I hoped we would have. If that is allowed to come to fruition and we are allowed to go on to a Season 9, a new plan will then start."

News of the potential final season came on the heels of mainstay cast member Jesse L. Martin (who plays Iris West's father, Joe West) giving up his series regular status to star in the pilot episode of NBC's The Irrational. In particular, Martin will tackle the main role of Alec Baker, a respected behavior science professor who uses his knowledge of how human beings think to diffuse sticky situations involving government relations and law enforcement.

Arika Mittman, a producer of Timeless and La Brea, wrote the pilot, which is based on Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. Mittman serves as an executive producer alongside Sam Baum and Mark Goffman. Ariely is on board as a consultant.

Despite his commitment to NBC, Martin will still reprise the role of Joe West "in multiple episodes" of The Flash Season 9, adds THR. During an interview with Collider around the show's premiere back in 2014, the actor voiced his excitement over being involved with such an effects-heavy project. "The things we get to do on a daily basis, with all of the special effects and stunts, I don’t get to do much of that stuff, normally," Martin said. "I was in Rent, for God’s sake. The closest we came to stunts was dancing on a table. That’s it."

If you're looking to hang out with more superheroes born out of science experiments gone wrong, then be sure to check out Ang Lee's Hulknow streaming on Peacock.