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Grant Gustin's Barry Allen has officially run out of road. Variety reports that The Flash TV series will come to an end after a ninth season consisting of 13 episodes in total (about half the count of previous seasons) sometime next year. Production is scheduled to kick off in September. It's not an entirely surprising development, given how the network recently decided to axe the vast majority of its Arrowverse programming like Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, and Naomi. As of this writing, Stargirl and Superman & Lois remain the only DC-inspired shows left, though their futures remain uncertain, especially since the network is about to be sold off to a new owner.
“Nine seasons! Nine years of saving Central City while taking audiences on an emotional journey full of heart, humor, and spectacle,” The Flash executive producer and showrunner Eric Wallace said in a statement published by Variety. “And now Barry Allen has reached the starting gate for his last race. So many amazing people have given their talents, time, and love to bring this wonderful show to life each week. So, as we get ready to honor the show’s incredible legacy with our exciting final chapter, I want to say thank you to our phenomenal cast, writers, producers, and crew over the years who helped make The Flash such an unforgettable experience for audiences around the world.“
While The Flash was renewed for a ninth season earlier this year (making it the longest-running Arrowverse project in the history of the shared television mythos), rumors of a truncated final season almost immediately began to swirl online. At the same time, it was announced that Joe West would have a scaled-down role in the forthcoming episodes, so that the man who plays him — Jesse L. Martin — could focus on NBC's The Irrational.
The future of the Scarlet Speedster's big screen incarnation may also be in serious trouble following a number of public incidents involving Ezra Miller, whose take on Barry Allen is slated to break the DC Multiverse wide open in next summer's The Flash.
Warner Bros. still intends to release the movie (written by Christina Hodson and directed by Andy Muschietti) in theaters, although it may not be all that far-fetched to assume that Miller's tenure as the quick-footed member of the Justice League will not extend beyond the standalone feature (he most recently reprised the character in the Season 1 finale of Peacemaker). A hypothetical workaround would be to utilize the concept of endless realities and have Miller's Flash re-generate, Doctor Who-style, into Gustin's, who already has a built-in fan base. There's already precedent for this after the two Barrys met each other during the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event two years ago.
Superman & Lois will return for a third season (now in production). Stargirl returns for its own third outing Wednesday, Aug. 23 at 8 p.m. ET.
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.