Zoom will menace titular hero Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) beginning in episode two, “Flash of Two Worlds.”
“Last year, with the Reverse-Flash, we just modulated Tom Cavanagh’s voice, and this year we wanted to do something a little bit different,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg tells Variety. “Part of the mystery of the season is who or what is underneath the Zoom outfit, and so we wanted to do something like James Earl Jones as Darth Vader — this iconic voice coming out of this mask. Last year, we thought of the Reverse-Flash as a speed warrior; this year, Zoom is like a speed demon, and no one does demon-voice better than Tony Todd.”
Kreisberg compares Zoom’s appearance to Venom in Marvel’s Spider-Man, revealing, “The Zoom outfit is much more organic than the Reverse-Flash suit. In a way, it’s hard to tell if it is a suit or alive… There’s no skin showing, for all you know there’s a robot underneath, or dark energy.”
Unlike last season, which revealed that Cavanagh’s Harrison Wells (or, more accurately, Eobard Thawne) was the Reverse-Flash fairly early on, Kreisberg says the producers intend to draw out the mystery of Zoom “like a horror movie — ‘who’s the killer? Who’s under the mask?'”
As for what’s driving Zoom, Kreisberg teases, “For us, the best villains are the ones who don’t have megalomaniacal ‘I want to rule the world’ motivations. Last year, the Reverse-Flash had a very simple goal which was ‘I just want to go home, and if people need to die or cities need to get wasted for me to get that, so be it.’ And Zoom has a very similar, personal goal this season… simple and easy to understand, and very primal. And just as with Wells last year, Zoom doesn’t care who gets hurt or what gets destroyed in the service of him getting his goal.”
DC Comics readers may have their suspicions about Zoom’s identity, but Kreisberg notes, “We have to service the entire audience, both the fans and the non-fans, and I think we’ve shown up until this point a great deal of respect and reverence for the source material, so that we always feel like we’re fulfilling the comic book fans’ expectations while also not spoon-feeding them stuff directly from the comics. So the story of Zoom and who and what he is… hopefully comic book fans will be happy because we’ve come up with a clever way to spin the tale, but that also makes it exciting for the people who aren’t as familiar with the comics and are just enjoying the show on its own terms.”
Other new additions for “The Flash” season two include Keiynan Lonsdale as future speedster Wally West, Teddy Sears as Jay Garrick, and Shantel VanSanten as Patty Spivot.
Two newcomers to “The Flash” and “Arrow” spinoff “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” will also make their debut on crossover episodes of both shows before the series debuts at midseason. Casper Crump has been confirmed as immortal villain Vandal Savage, while Falk Hentschel will play Hawkman.
Zoom isn’t Todd’s first foray into the DC universe; he’s previously voiced Darkseid in the “Lego DC Comics Super Heroes” video games, Icon on “Young Justice,” and Asteroth on “Batman: The Brave and the Bold,” in addition to appearing on “Smallville.” Other notable credits include roles in the “Final Destination” franchise, “Platoon,” “24” and “Chuck.” Todd is represented by Innovative Artists for voice over and is managed by Jeff Goldberg Management.
Zoom’s appearance was first teased during “The Flash” panel at San Diego Comic-Con with an ominous new trailer.
“The Flash” season two premieres Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. on the CW.