To play Abra Kadabra, one of The Flash's most storied villains, on The CW's live-action adaptation of the comic, The Belko Experiment and Ant-Man actor David Dastmalchian trained with a genuine illusionist to hone his magicianship -- and dove into comic books to inform the character's backstory.
Dastmalchian, a lifelong comic book fan who has also appeared in The Dark Knight and Gotham, told ComicBook.com that he was eager to play the role even before he saw a script, but completely won over by Abra's introduction into The Flash, which will take place tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
He also said that the comics themselves provided the kind of resource that are nearly impossible to replace, giving him decades of different interpretations and a rich backstory to draw from.
“It’s so amazing. You don’t get a better resource than with these kinds of characters,” Dastmalchian told ComicBook.com. “The fact that I have so many comics of my own, but then I got to go through and find either issues with Abra that I didn’t remember or stories that were so far back that they were before I was collecting comics. It was interesting and ironic that when this role came about, I was right in the midst of reading what was going on in Titans, where Abra was causing some serious problems for them, and I was loving it. When this opportunity came, it was kind of serendipitous because in my head I had already been thinking about him recently, creatively.”
Because Abra comes from a future where he's been battling The Flash for years, Dastmalchian said he was able to incorporate everything he knows about the character into the role.
“For me, it’s no different than if I was playing a historical character,” Dastmalchian explained. “If I’m playing a historical character, it’s different than just a character in a book. This character in the comics has a life that goes through multiple writers, multiple artists, multiple colorists. He’s been brought to life even in animation briefly. He’s even in a video game. It’s like if I was to play somebody in a historical context, I get to go and gather up and think about all that information and that helps motivate all the choices that I’m making. Because he’s such a wonderful, fun character, bringing him to life is magic, for lack of a better term.”
MORE FLASH NEWS: 'Duet' Recap / The Flash, Supergirl Musical Crossover Details Reveal Characters' New Roles / The Flash, Supergirl Stars Gush Over Glee Reunion / Iris West Will Have Key Role In Musical Crossover
The Flash (Grant Gustin) battles Abra Kadabra (guest star David Dastmalchian), a villain from Earth-19, who makes him a tempting offer – release him and Abra Kadara will reveal Savitar’s true identity.
Desperate to save Iris (Candice Patton), Barry considers taking the deal but Gypsy (guest star Jessica Camacho) breaches in to capture the villain for her own reasons and during the melee, Abra Kadabra manages to escape. Barry is furious that Gypsy interfered but Gypsy refuses to back down, forcing Cisco (Carlos Valdes) to take sides. Meanwhile, Julian (Tom Felton) is still a bit cold towards Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) but when she is severely injured in a battle with Gypsy, he rushes to her side.
Nina Lopez-Corrado directed the episode with story by Andrew Kreisberg and teleplay by Brooke Roberts & David Kob.
Based on the characters from DC, The Flash is from by Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (Arrow, Supergirl), Andrew Kreisberg (Arrow, The Flash), Sarah Schechter (Arrow, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow) and Aaron and Todd Helbing.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.