Mark Hamill is tuning up his maniacal laugh for Tuesday’s (March 31) episode of “The Flash” when he reprises his role as The Trickster from his turn on the ’90s version of the DC comic book show just in time for April Fools’ Day.
It’s been 20 years since The Trickster started planting bombs in Central City though, and Hamill was more than aware of the time difference when The CW’s version of “The Flash” premiered in the fall.
“I watched it from the very first episode. In fact, I even [wondered], since they were doing Mirror Master and Weather Wizard and other Rogues Gallery characters, if they were going to do the Trickster. Then I got a call from my business people saying they want you to do something on ‘The Flash,'” Hamill explains to Zap2it and a small group of journalists at a preview event.
Playing Trickster again was still the last thing on Hamill’s mind, even after he got the phone call.
“I was thinking a colleague of John Wesley Shipp’s [Henry Allen] or a professor — something age appropriate. I’m not getting back into that one piece jumpsuit,” Hamil jokes. “They said ‘The Trickster’ — I just couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t figure out how that could be unless it’s some sort of weird time travel episode.”
It is not a weird time travel episode, but it does come with a twist. It is still 20 years later and James Jesse, a.k.a. The Trickster, is behind bars. Barry (Grant Gustin) and Joe (Jesse L. Martin) go to visit him for insight on a copycat bomber also calling himself The Trickster. It’s a “Flash” version of “Silence of the Lambs.”
“I shouldn’t have been surprised when they had the ingenious idea of having Devon Graye play the new Trickster,” Hamill confesses. “All of these villains have unyielding egos, and it worked! When I read the script I said, ‘Who is this punk that gets to do all my stuff?'”
For showrunner Andrew Kreisberg, having Hamill reprise his iconic role on the new series meant finding the delicate balance between pleasing fans of the original ’90s version without alienating the new audience.
“As always, with these things, we try to be much more than a show just about Easter Eggs,” Kreisberg says at the same event. “This is a way that you have never seen the Trickster if you’ve seen the old show. We wanted it to feel like a legitimate sequel to the old series, but also feel like an episode of our ‘Flash.'”
Of course, when you get a legend like Mark Hamill to be on your show the objective is to have him around for more than one episode — if he’s willing. As Kreisberg’s “Flash” has already started building the Rogues Gallery, the creative team feels open to having the Trickster reappear alongside the show’s other iconic villains, like Wentworth Miller’s Captain Cold.
“That is the plan. What’s so fun for us,and why we’re so grateful to Mark to want him to be part of this, is when I sit down and think about Wentworth Miller and Mark sitting together,” Kreisberg says. “What is really cool about The Trickster on both series is that he is smart, and no matter how crazy he is, he is so smart and [thinking] four steps ahead.”
Fans will have to tune in to see If there’s a chance for Hamill’s Trickster or his new incarnation to continue wrecking havoc on Central City, especially with the other Rogue villains.
“The Flash” airs Tuesday, March 31 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
By Megan Vick