Paul De Meo, writer-producer, dies

Mark Hamill and John Wesley Shipp from a publicity still for the 1990 Flash TV series

Paul De Meo, a writer-producer who developed the 1990 television series The Flash, has died.

His death was announced on Twitter on Feb. 26 by his partner, Danny Bilson. There were few details immediately available.

The duo also scripted a 1991 movie, The Rocketeer, based on a graphic novel by Dave Stevens. The movie featured an Errol Flynn-like actor, played by Timothy Dalton, who is really a Nazi spy.

De Meo and Bilson were also wrote (with Bruce Feirstein) the  James Bond video game Everything Or Nothing. They also wrote the 007: Nightfire video game.

With The Flash, De Meo and Bilson wrote the two-hour pilot TV movie and were executive producers of the series that starred John Wesley Shipp.

There were influences from the 1989 Batman movie directed by Tim Burton. That film’s composer, Danny Elfman scored the pilot for The Flash and provided its theme music. Also, the pilot adapted a meme from Burton’s film.

In Batman, the Bat Plane flies above Gotham City and stops in front of the moon, mimicking the Bat insignia on Batman’s uniform. In The Flash pilot, the camera moves above Central City. A lightning bolt comes down in front of the moon, mimicking the symbol on The Flash’s costume.

The resulting series included casting Mark Hamill and David Cassidy as villains (the Trickster and the Mirror Master, respectively). For Hamill, it was the start of a new side career playing bad guys, including voicing the Joker on Batman cartoons starting in 1992.

The show, which aired on CBS, was one of the most expensive on television at the time, in part because of its special effects. It was canceled after one season.

Below are the tweets that Danny Bilson and John Wesley Shipp posted about De Meo’s passing.

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