Last weekend's DC FanDome gave fans of The CW's The Flash their first look at the show's upcoming seventh season and while it was exciting to get a glimpse of what's to come thanks to the show's sixth season being unexpectedly cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a major question left unanswered. Since actor Hartley Sawyer's firing earlier this year fans have wondered how the show will address his character, Ralph Dibny/Elongated Man. Now, showrunner Eric Wallace has confirmed the series will recast the role to wrap up his story as well as addressed the character's future on the series.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Wallace explained that Ralph will be getting "a bit of a rest" on the series, likening it to comic books where characters come and go, but never really disappear, meaning the door is open to see Elongated Man again in the future.
"The beauty of comic book stories and superhero stories are the conventions that heroes come and go, but they never fade away and they never disappear entirely," Wallace said. "So, we're going to treat it like we would if we were writing a comic book graphic novel. We're giving the Elongated Man a bit of a rest for a while. But we will leave the door open. Who knows what the future could bring. It is unknown. But I'm not saying by any means that it's the end of the character, in fact, quite the opposite. We just don't know when he will return or in what form he will return. And that's the beauty of comic book stories. It keeps it fresh."
Sawyer was fired from The Flash back in June when racist and misogynistic tweets, many dating from 2012 and 2014, came to light. Since Sawyer's firing, fans have wondered how the series would handle things especially given that the Ralph Dibny character was so connected to one of the major cliffhangers of Season 6. That cliffhanger saw Sue Dearbon (Natalie Dreyfuss) -- Ralph's eventual wife in comics -- framed by Mirror Mistress (Efrat Dor) for the murder of Joseph Carver. With Ralph so tied to Sue's storylines on The Flash, Sawyer's departure has left major question marks about how to resolve things as well as move Sue forward. Wallace explained that the show has found a way to do so, utilizing Ralph's ability to change his appearance to wrap things up and allow fans to say goodbye.
"In order to wrap that up, which we're going to do at the top of Season 7, Ralph has to be part of that," Wallace said. "Now thank goodness, Ralph is a guy who can change faces and his appearance in many ways. Without giving any spoilers away, there are a couple of ways that we can have Elongated Man still appear in at least one episode this season to wrap that storyline up, that gets us what we need and still allows fans to say goodbye to the character, at least for the indefinite future."
What do you think of how The Flash is going to handle Ralph Dibny's recasting? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
The Flash is expected to return with new episodes in January of 2021.