Once news broke that Insurgent star Keiynan Lonsdale was taking on the role of Wally West in the upcoming season of CW’s The Flash, fans were more than eager to know more. The young Aussie star first broke onto the scene as Ollie in the Australian series Dance Academy in 2012. Lonsdale would eventually make crossover success with his portrayal of Uriah in Lionsgate’s Insurgent and the upcoming Allegiant sequels. Now Lonsdale makes his way from the big screen to the primetime slot. So far, he has remained pretty tight-lipped about the success, but recently sat down with The Wrap to give more details about the coveted role.
Since the beginning of The Flash series, Wally West’s character has been an easter egg for fans. With little teases here and there during the show’s first season, the character is finally making his way into the mainstream plot line. Considering that West is a major character of the Flash universe and the television show has been such a success, it was only a matter of time before the character made his way to live-action.
For those that may be unfamiliar with the character, Wally West was introduced to the DC comics mythos in 1959 by creators John Broome and Carmine Infantino. West was written as the nephew of the main universe’s Flash, Barry Allen and son of Iris West. Wally gained his superhuman speed powers from the same freak laboratory accident that coated Allen with electrically charged particles. Since Allen was still alive, West would later take on the superhero name of Kid Flash.
Kid Flash has been featured in several appearances as the teen crime fighter in the Flash series and one of the founding members of the Teen Titans. After Barry Allen’s death during the Infinite Crisis series in the 80’s, West eventually took on the mantle of the Flash. West would continue on in the main series of The Flash, helping the main universe’s heroes and battling the series’ villains. West would continue on with different costume alterations and new storylines until Allen’s return in The Final Crisis saga in 2009.
Though West remained part of the main DC Comics universe for multiple years after Allen’s return, the character was eventually “benched” during the New 52 saga in 2013-2014. The character remained off the roster until April of 2014 when he made a return in the third issue of The Flash Annual. Although the name and powers were the same, the character underwent a drastic change in appearance and backstory. The new Kid Flash was depicted as having a more bi-racial appearance and writer Robert Venditti stated that the new Wally is the son of Rudolph West. Wally was abandoned by his father when he was just a baby and is written as a more troubled inner city youth.
It seems that the writers of CW’s The Flash are going more for the New 52 version by casting Keiynan Lonsdale. The rising star explained that he actually auditioned for another role within the same universe as the television series (most likely Legends of Tomorrow) and he was later offered the role as Wally West. The dancer/singer/actor stated that he is very excited for the upcoming part and working with the crew. Although Lonsdale has only met one cast member, Candice Patton (Iris West). Lonsdale is still in the dark for most of the character’s motivations this season, until he begins filming in October. The second season of The Flash is set premiere Tuesday, October 6 at 8 p.m EST.
By Tyler Cole
Edited By Leigh Haugh
The Wrap: ‘The Flash’ Star Keiynan Lonsdale Talks Wally West, Story Details: ‘It’s Going to Be a Hard Secret to Keep’
Comicvine: Keiynan Lonsdale Reveals More About Grabbing the Role of Wally West on ‘The Flash’
Variety: ‘The Flash’ Finds Its Wally West in ‘Insurgent’ Star Keiynan Lonsdale
Featured Image Courtesy of Lionsgate Entertainment
Top, Second, and Third Image Courtesy of Cartoon Network/Warner Brothers
Fourth Image Courtesy of DC Comics