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Eric Wallace is just trying to keep Barry Allen running. The showrunner behind the last three seasons of The Flash has spent several years now writing each finale as though it might be his last, and each time the all-out efforts of Wallace and his team have paid off. The Flash is set to return next year for its ninth season on The CW, and by the time that season is over, it will have surpassed Arrow as the longest-running show in the Arrowverse.
"We’ll be at one-hundred eighty four, [one-hundred] eight five episodes, something like that. Something insane," Wallace told Deadline in an interview to promote The Flash's Season 8 finale, which aired this week. "Given the climate that we’re in with short seasons and short orders, it’s quite frankly a miracle and I’m so proud to be a part of something as special as this. It’s something that we, as writers and producers and directors, and even the studio and the network, something that we take very seriously. There may not be many more shows that get a chance to run more than 180 episodes, so we’re going to try this Season 9 to make each one just a home run if possible."
As Wallace has previously noted, the Season 8 finale of The Fastest Man Alive's adventures was originally conceived to function as a potential series finale for The Flash, which explains why the episode devoted its energy to a massive, all-out showdown between Barry (Grant Gustin) and Eobard Thawne (Tom Cavanagh). With that battle now settled, the series has to find new places to go in Season 9, which means that after a brief vacation, Wallace will be back at work determining the larger arc of the next season. And there are certain plenty of places that arc could head, from that mysterious blue crystal at the of the Season 8 finale to the mystery of who emerged from the Consciousness Resurrection Chamber to the question of who will now take up the mantle as the avatar of the Negative Speed Force. So, with all that in mind, what can fans expect?
"I do know what the end of Season 9 is already," Wallace said. "We have multiple big bads next year. We’re going to continue our graphic novel format. I don’t know how many episodes I’ve got, quite frankly, so if I get enough episodes, we’ll have three graphic novels just like this past year. If I get less, then I’ll act accordingly. But there’ll be at least two graphic novels with at least two separate big bads, one of whom is a blast from the past."
With so many elements to juggle and eight seasons' worth of heroes, villains, and mythology to build from, it's no wonder Wallace is planning big — but what about the future of The Flash beyond Season 9? Wallace certainly hopes there's a Season 10 of the show further down the line, but could the Arrowverse keep expanding into spinoff shows for various Flash characters as well (Arrow itself almost had a spinoff, though the future-set backdoor pilot failed to get picked up)? Nothing's in the works right now, but that doesn't mean it's impossible, particularly if fans let the network know what they'd like to see. Here's how Wallace put it when asked if spinoffs are planned:
"No, because you really don’t start looking at spinoffs until you think you’re not coming back, and I’m not thinking that way. [Laughs] Now, having said that, obviously…we’ve introduced a lot of characters over the last couple of seasons…I would say to the audience, if you have some characters that we have introduced in the last few years that you want to see in a spinoff, you should write to The CW. But I’m going to just stay focused on The Flash right now before I start focusing on anything else."
Some potential ideas could include something focusing on Barry and Iris' future speedster children, Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) and Bart (Jordan Fisher), who have become fan favorite supporting players across a few arcs in recent seasons. There's also the Diggle-focused Arrow spinoff Justice U that's still kicking around in development, which could potentially feature some Flash characters as Diggle trains a new generation of heroes.
The Flash returns to The CW for its ninth season next year. In the meantime, start getting your spinoff wish list together.
Looking for more sci-fi adventure in the meantime? Check out Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, Warehouse 13, Eureka, SYFY's Resident Alien, Sliders, Intergalactic and more on Peacock now.