Sure, David Nutter was talking about tone, but Barry sees what he did there.
Nutter told Comic Book Resources that it’s no slight on Arrow‘s generally dark tone of story and criminality, it’s just that for the Flash, they wanted something different.
We were very happy with how Arrow turned out. What we wanted to do was make the show have some other notes in it. There’s humor in this (Flash) pilot, which fits very well. It’s a little bit brighter of a show. It really encapsulates who Barry Allen is as a character, and who the Flash is in the comics… I want to make something like Arrow and Flash relatable and understandable and not make it cartoonish.
Nutter also talked about the tendency of an audience to assume that simply because a show has a character with super powers or a load of special effects, that it may slack off in other areas. But he thinks good storytelling and good performances are what kept Arrow “grounded in reality,” and hopes that it will do the same for The Flash, even if the show is a bit lighter.
The shows will share at least one other notable difference, and that’s the slow play out of the hero’s secret identity to those close to him. Series star Grant Gustin told IGN:
We’re not going to play the same game that they played on Arrow, where [Green Arrow's true identity] was a secret. There will be some characters that Barry’s specifically trying to keep it from, but his circle – for the most part – is going to know that he’s The Flash.
And speaking of folks in Barry’s circle, in case you haven’t heard, the show will be getting a very special recurring actor to play his father. None other than John Wesley Shipp, star of the short-lived 1990 The Flash television show. Shipp will be playing Barry Allen’s father in the show’s pilot and “many more episodes,” according to producer Greg Berlanti.
So now I have to ask. Any chance of a cameo for Mark Hamill?