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The Flash Movie: Making Sense Of The Rumours

The Flash Movie

The Story So Far

The Flash movie has evolved greatly since it was first announced EIGHT YEARS AGO back in 2014. This was just a year after Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel dropped. The movie was originally due to come to theatres in March 2018 as part of Warner Bros’ burgeoning DC movie universe. Ezra Miller would star as the Barry Allen incarnation of the hero.

The following year in 2015, the highly anticipated Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice is delayed to early 2016 and it is announced that a treatment for The Flash movie has been completed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The author of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, Seth Grahame-Smith is brought on to write a script based on the completed treatment and make his directorial debut with the solo Flash movie.

Just a year later in 2016, Grahame-Smith departs the project and Rick Famuyiwa is brought on to helm the project based on Grahame-Smith’s completed script. Before the year is out, Famuyiwa departs the project and in early 2017, Joby Harold is hired to, “re-imagine,” Grahame-Smith’s script. Although no replacement director is announced for the film in 2017, we do learn that the film will be based around the iconic Flashpoint storyline.

In late 2017, Warner Bros farts out Joss Whedon’s Justice League to the dismay of critics and fans. Flash fanatics begin to wonder if Ezra Miller is the right actor to portray The Fastest Man Alive. As we pass into the following year and the original release window of March 2018 comes and goes, Spider-Man Homecoming writers, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein are brought in to direct.

Another year passes and yet another director departs the seemingly cursed project. Daley and Goldstein leave the film in 2019 and are replaced by Andy Muschietti, the director of the IT remake. A 2022 release date is set and filming finally begins. Then, in August 2020 it is rumoured that Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck will both reprise their roles as their respective versions of Batman in The Flash movie.

Bringing Things Up To Date

This is confirmed as we roll into 2021 and the first official trailer for the film is dropped at DC’s Fandome event, teasing Keaton’s return as The Dark Knight. Then, as recently as a few days ago, rumours emerge that The Flash movie will serve as somewhat of a soft reboot of the DCEU. The multidimensional elements of the plot will allegedly be used to undo the DC films directed by Zack Snyder, ushering out Ben Affleck’s Batman and Henry Cavill’s Superman respectively.

According to the leaked plans, Michael Keaton’s Batman will replace Ben Affleck as the main version of the character going forward and Shasha Calle’s Supergirl will replace Cavill’s Superman. Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Jason Momoa’s Aquaman will be left intact. At the time of writing there is no word on Ray Fisher’s Cyborg, although we know that the actor’s relationship with Warner Bros has been tumultuous in the past, so I would not hold my breath.

Making Sense Of The Revelations

When I first heard these rumours, I did think that something like this could make sense. Something needs to be done about the sorry state of the DCEU and what better time to do it than Flashpoint? The trans-dimensional plot elements give the filmakers the perfect excuse to course correct by shifting the dynamics of their cinematic universe.

Even though this is technically the first Flash solo film that has been made and it seems odd to base a character’s first movie on Flashpoint, – a storyline that signalled the end of an era in the comics, – it is following on from a franchise that is almost ten years old at this point during which this character has appeared multiple times. Therefore, this isn’t exactly an origin story.

This is a movie based around what is a fairly well-established character at this point, meaning that it could indeed parallel the comics and signal the end of an era for the DCEU. Also, off of the back of Spider-Man No Way Home dropping in theatres at the end of last year, multiversal stories are popular at the moment, so it makes sense to strike whilst the iron is still hot.

We all know that DC loves a reboot given that the comics have been rebooted countless times in recent years. The Flash historically has been a major player in these events, including Crisis On Infinite Earths and of course; Flashpoint. We also know that Warner Bros also love a soft reboot, given what they recently did to the Matrix franchise.

Does It Make Sense Though?

On the other hand, these rumours do seem to completely fly in the face of the recent fan campaign to, “restore the Snyderverse.” That whole movement became pretty significant at a certain point and regardless of how you feel about Zack Snyder as a director or his take on these characters, it seems impossible for Warner Brothers not to see that the demand is there to see Snyder’s vision followed through. More to the point, it seems like a great deal of profit is being left on the table if the Snyderverse is abandonded.

Additionally, as someone who would prefer to see good unconnected movies made by talented creators based on these characters, I don’t know if I see the sense in even bothering to continue with the DCEU. It was bad enough when the effort was made by DC to catch up with the MCU, rushing to establish characters and shoehorning major plotlines from the source material into a single three hour movie.

Even in 2014, when this plan was laid out by Warner Bros, it seemed like too little, too late compared to how Marvel had built their universe to such a grand scale. Do they really expect to be able to do it now, almost a decade later in a post-Endgame world? I certainly cannot see it. Not to mention that more independent DC movies, such as Joker, The Suicide Squad and Matt Reeves’ upcoming Batman film are all far more interesting than anything intrinsically tied into the DCEU.

It should also be remembered that Joker was made on an exceedingly tight budget, (especially for a comic book movie,) and resulted in a huge financial profit and The Batman is set to do the same. To abandon this winning formula in favour of making more big, risky, CGI-heavy, expensive movies seems like a very strange decision.

The other thing that I find odd regarding this rumour is the idea of dismissing the two franchise leads. Ben Affleck bowing out makes some sense, given that he has spoken before about the personal pressures that come with portraying this character and God knows that he doesn’t need the money. Henry Cavill’s departure is a stranger one.

Animosity has seemingly been brewing between Henry Cavill and Warner Bros for a while. I think that we all felt that awkwardness particularly in Shazam, when the character cameoed at the end of the movie, showing his suit, but not his face. Although he did make an appearance in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, no further news has emerged since regarding his return to the Superman role.

This seems odd considering how many people are fans of him in the iconic role. This has led some to believe that Cavill must have done something to annoy the executives at Warner Brothers. Then again, they don’t seem to have a problem with that one time that Ezra Miller choke-slammed a fan. Apparently that kind of behaviour is fine with Hollywood big-wigs.

The Validity Of The Rumour

The Flash Movie

Not long after the rumour emerged online, everyone’s favourite pretentious choke-slammer Ezra Miller was contacted regarding the validity of the claims. Their response via an Instagram DM read; “No power or force in any known megaverse would or could ever erase Zack Snyder’s mighty wrkz.” Make of that what you will.

Personally, I don’t think that this response outright debunks the rumour. Knowing what Ezra Miller is like, I could see them meaning something more along the lines of, – just because we are doing a soft reboot in this movie, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Zack Snyder’s work is being undone. This is just my take though and obviously Miller’s statement is up for debate.

Let us know your thought regarding Miller’s response in the comments section below, along with your thoughts on this whole saga. Do you feel that a soft reboot of the DCEU is the way to go?

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Daniel Boyd

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Daniel is a 26-year-old writer from Glasgow. He loves sci-fi and hates fantasy. He also hates referring to himself in the third person and thinks that bios are dumb.

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