“The Flash’s” premiere season was a hard act to follow thanks to the personal nature of Barry Allen’s nemesis Reverse Flash. So, when it came to developing the sophomore season’s big bad, executive producers Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti had their work cut out for them. In an interview with MTV News, Kreisberg and costume designer Maya Mani shared how they set about developing Zoom and why they opted to make him “completely and utterly terrifying.”
“We knew we wanted to have another speedster because, ultimately, the big bad on ‘The Flash’ needs to be a fellow speedster,” Kreisberg explained. “We knew from the get-go that if this person was going to be the big bad, then they had to be faster and more deadly than the Reverse-Flash. We also knew it was going to be very difficult to build that personal connection to the hero like we did with Reverse-Flash, so the more Greg [Berlanti] and I started talking about it, we said, ‘What if we make him completely and utterly terrifying?'”
“We thought of that speech Quint gives in ‘Jaws’ — ‘A shark’s eyes are black like a doll’s eyes. It hardly seems alive… So everything about Zoom just feels like death,” he continued.
“We had an idea that it should look like a demon,” he said. “Reverse-Flash came from the future and Zoom came from hell. That’s what we wanted.”
“I always start with the comic books,” Mani added. “That’s where I start with all of the characters. So what I was looking for was essentially something of your nightmares. Those are the notes I was given. But if you look at Flash and Reverse-Flash, there’s a flow to them. One costume flows to the other, and I needed to keep that the same for Zoom.”
“Early on, they sent us a version of the Reverse-Flash’s hood, only black, with makeup on underneath, and there were also some early versions of Zoom with veins on his face… We said, ‘No. It should almost be like you don’t even know if there is a person inside of it,'” Kreisberg shared.
“Zoom has a very simple, easy to distill motivation, which we don’t want to reveal yet, but it’s a very similar simple, easy-to-understand need and desire,” he teased.
“Wally has a little bit of an attitude and he’s got some humor,” Lonsdale revealed. “But he’s also quite protective of himself. We won’t see him let down his walls for a while. What he’s going through right now, it’s not easy. He’s really defensive at this moment, and rightly so. But as time goes one, we’ll get to reveal more and more about him and he’ll let us in and he’ll let his family in.”
“This is a shock for him as well,” he added. “This is completely new news to him. He wasn’t aware that he had this other family… Because this is such a complicated issue that was out of his hands, that he had no control over, I think what he did have control over was how he was going to introduce himself. He didn’t want this sprung upon him. That’s how I took it, at least. Wally wanted to make that move so it was on his terms.”