How Ralph Dibny’s Future Change Flash 7:
With the return of The Flash on CW with its 7th season, a huge doubt shadows over the future of Ralph Dibny aka The Elongated Man. The character joined the Team Flash in Season 4 and has been like a sidekick to The Flash ever since. However, Hartley Sawyer who plays Ralph Dibny has been fired from the show after his racist and chauvinist comments emerged over the internet. Even though the actor has exited, the future of his character, The Elongated Man remains a huge mystery. He was an integral part of the team and cutting his chords would need an explanation in the story.
Eric Wallace who is the showrunner has indicated that a Sawyer could be replaced by a new actor. This will obviously prevent the fan-favorite character from completely being chucked out of the DC show. It won’t be a difficult task for a character whose superpowers also include shape-shifting. Another speculation states that the show will gradually phase out the character after the 1st episode of season 7.
The Flash has a history of reviving its characters over and over again. Since the beginning, the key members of The Flash have stayed intact. With the existence of the multiverse and time travel, the primary characters always reemerge. Harrison Wells is the biggest example and his return from various Earths has become very predictable. Hence, it is unlikely that The Elongated Man will be gone for good. He will be taken out of the story, for the time being, leaving the door open for his return.
Season 6 ended with Sue Dearbon being wrongfully convicted for the murder of Joseph Carverat the hands of Eva McCulloch. Team Flash knows of Sue’s innocence and could be finding ways of defending her and also protecting her from the cops. Season 7 will be partly working on this case, along with other challenges. But the show could also use it as a leverage to explain Ralph’s absence. Some fan sites suggest that Ralph could help Sue in hiding until the showrunners decide on his fate. Ralph can also venture new opportunities outside Central City as The Elongated Man. This way he can join the team during a big crisis and get back in his new world.
This won’t be the first time that a superhero left the show and appeared as a guest star when needed. Wally aka Kid Flash and Iris’ brother was an important part of the show until actor Keiynan Lonsdale stepped away to explore more opportunities.
Wallace has also shared that they will recast the character only to wrap up his story with dignity. He also added that Ralph will return for a short period to solve the mystery of Sue Dearbon.
“It’s funny, I guess technically it would be a recasting, but the character won’t be a big part of season seven. He’ll only be a part of just wrapping up the Sue storyline,” Wallace continued. “Yes, one could say it is a recasting, but we’re going to do it in a way that I think honors the spirit of the character and provides not only a satisfying conclusion to Sue’s murder mystery but also it’s done with some humor.”
Ralph and Sue got married in the comics, so the series could use the same story to take the characters out of the picture. Once Sue’s name gets cleared, she and Ralph could move to another place for a fresh beginning. This way, Ralph stays a part of the show without being a consistent member. Wallace has said that regardless of the actor, Elongated Man can always return to the show. He concluded by saying that,
“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.”