The Flash from The FlashDC will finally hit theaters on June 16th
The speedster solo film was first announced in 2014
Along with the much publicized fights of Ezra Miller, the film faced many delays
What kept The Flash from being released for so many years?
The Flash finally hits theaters on June 16 after years of development hell.
While James Gunn and Peter Safran have largely burned Zack Snyder’s DC Extended Universe to the ground, there are still some of the old guard who are hoping to escape the bloodshed in 2023.
Far from Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Aquaman & The Lost Kingdom and newcomer Blue Beetle, there’s a phoenix rising from the ashes in the form of The Flash.
IT director Andy Muschietti is giving Scarlet Speedster her much-anticipated indie film, while Ezra Miller is once again dressing up as the lead Flash.
To know more: Everything we know about The Flash
Even though The Flash is apparently locked in for its June 16th release, some of us won’t believe it until we’re actually sitting in the theater.
Origins of the Flash
The Flash comics originated in the 1940s, however, Barry Allen’s popular version of the character (replacing Jay Garrick) debuted in 1956’s Showcase #4. After helping establish the flagship Justice League in comics, DC he planned a solo Flash film in the late 1980s. A potential deal with Teen Wolf’s Jeph Loeb fell through and the idea was shelved.
Around 2004, Warner Bros. hired David S. Goyer to write and direct a Flash movie after the studio was impressed with his work on Batman Begins. Goyer wanted to reunite with Blade: Trinity star Ryan Reynolds, but instead of having Barry Allen star, his film would focus on the Wally West-era Flash. Goyer envisioned a tone inspired by Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, but ultimately, “creative differences” led to his departure.
To know more: All upcoming DC movies and TV shows
George Miller’s Justice League: Mortal has cast Adam Brody as Allen, while separate development on a Flash movie (as a possible spinoff) continues. This project never got off the ground and when Zack Snyder started the DCEU with Man of Steel, WB tried to discuss the idea of a shared universe. In 2014, the studio unveiled its official DCEU slate, which once again included a standalone Flash.
Brody was long gone as The Flash, and with the DCEU starting from scratch, The Perks of Being a Wallflower’s Ezra Miller was cast as Allen. Miller had a cameo in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where the character crossed paths with Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) and set the stage for Allen’s return to Justice League.
The same year, Miller appeared in Suicide Squad as an enemy of Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney).
Stall on the cosmic treadmill
A long time ago, James Wan was given the choice of directing an Aquaman movie or The Flash, and he chose the former. Even without a director, The Flash was on track for a proposed 2018 release date. An early treatment was written by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller in 2015, but when they bowed out for Solo: A Star Wars Story and Seth Grahame-Smith of Pride Prejudice and Zombies was set to make his directorial debut.
When Grahame-Smith cited those signature creative differences, The Mandalorian’s Rick Famuyiwa took the reins in June 2016. He left in October, telling The Hollywood Reporter, “It’s disappointing we haven’t been able to come together creatively.” to the project”. It was under Famuyiwa that The Flash made several major breakthroughs, including the casting of Kiersey Clemons and Billy Crudup as Iris West and Henry Allen. Although Iris and Henry will appear on The Flash, Crudup has been replaced by Ron Livingston.
It’s important to remember that it wasn’t until Comic-Con 2017 that fans were officially told The Flash would be based on the 2011 comic crossover Flashpoint. The Flash fell into limbo, when the likes of future screenwriter Obi-Wan Game Night’s Kenobi Joby Harold and John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein have joined and gone. The latter said their film would be lighter than the typical Synderverse outing and used Back to the Future as an example.
To know more: Why was Batgirl cancelled?
Around this time (2018), The Flash was delayed a year so Miller could film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. When Miller returned in 2019, they were reportedly not happy with the tone, so they teamed up with comic book legend Grant Morrison to write their own pitch.
Morrison told Rolling Stone that it was a sci-fi heavy script that would have largely avoided the multiverse aspect of character cameos, meaning it was firmly rejected by the studio. Thankfully, it was here that the final version of The Flash finally took shape when Muschietti signed on.
The death of the DCEU
January 2020 was a big month that saw Muschietti reiterate that he would still be adapting Flashpoint (albeit in a different way). Elsewhere, Miller reprized his role as Barry Allen, appearing with Grant Gustin’s version of the Flash in the Arrowverse’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover.
The Flash was finally on track for its new July 2022 release date, but then the world came to a standstill due to COVID-19. Weirdly, the studio actually pushed the film to June 2022, before doing a U-turn and pushing it back to November of that year, when the pandemic got worse.
Despite a myriad of setbacks, The Flash finally began filming in May 2021. The same year, DC FanDome debuted its first footage, with Miller playing the double version of Allen. Barbara Muschietti promised that The Flash would be used to bridge the gap between timelines and restore continuity to the DCEU while keeping the previous continuity intact. From what we’ve seen since Affleck’s return, that’s still the case. The problem is, there’s no longer a DCEU to reset.
As The Flash ticked silently in the background, the DCEU crumbled around it. Ray Fisher’s Victor Stone/Cyborg was tipped for a cameo before leveling abuse allegations at Justice League director Joss Whedon.
The Hollywood Reporter says Henry Cavill’s Superman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman were axed, and The Wrap Umberto Gonzalez Says Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s reps “politely declined” a Black Adam cameo.
While Justice League mainstays Cavill and Gadot were seemingly kicked out, Miller was kept on board to smooth the transition between Snyder’s DCEU and Gunn/Safran’s DCU.
Thankfully, all is not lost for ever-diminishing ties to the DCEU and dwindling calls to #RestoretheSnyderverse.
The future of Flash
While various trailers for The Flash confirm that we’ll be adapting elements from Flashpoint, it’s a who’s who of returning faces that includes Affleck, along with Michael Keaton, reprising his role as Bruce Wayne for the first time since 1992’s Batman Returns. Now that Batgirl has been canned, there’s a feeling this might be the last we see of these Batmen, but what about Barry Allen?
THR says Gunn and Safran are planning “a reboot that will sever significant, if not most, ties with the previous regimes that handled DC films for Warner Bros.” Since it’s no secret that Miller has been involved in some behind-the-scenes drama that has led to several arrests, it’s unclear what’s next for the Flash and if that’s the end of the road for the star’s tenure as the Crimson Comet.
Gunn says the first slate of shows and movies is just part of his Chapter 1: God & Monsters, but at the time of writing there’s no confirmation of what will happen to the Flash as a character. Just as the Marvel Cinematic Universe was built from his Phase 1 characters, Gunn appears to be doing the same ahead of an inevitable Justice League reboot.
Whether the future of the DCEU involves Miller, a recast for Barry Allen, or one of the other speedsters who will don the mantle of the Flash, Muschietti’s Flash marks the end of an era for DC films. So adjust to the fact that this film took decades to make.
What are critics saying about The Flash?
As moviegoers patiently await The Flash’s June debut, a select handful of journalists received a sneak peek of Muschietti’s film both at CinemaCon 2023 in Las Vegas and beyond.
As a result, a handful of early reactions made their way onto social media, with many critics praising its humor and nostalgic beats and others drawing attention to its erratic nature and ambitious story.
“I love Keaton, the action, the humor and the emotion. Andy Muschietti has created something special,” said Collider’s Steve Weintraub.
Gizmodo and Germaine Lussier of iO9 compared it to “Back to the Future meets Spider-Man: No Way Home”.
Meanwhile, /Film’s Ben Pearson teased that the film had “Easter eggs galore” and praised its “imaginative and impressive visuals.”
It’s important to remember that these are just gut reactions to an unfinished cut, and we’ll have to wait until the film’s release for official reviews of The Flash.
The Flash hits theaters June 16, 2023. Check out the trailer below.