The Scarlet Speedster is no stranger to live-action DC entertainment. After all, fans of the CW’s Arrowverse just spent a decade with Grant Gustin’s iteration of the character during his highest highs and lowest of lows as a superhero in Central City. Ezra Miller’s take on the Flash may prove divisive simply due to the hefty controversial baggage that follows the embattled actor in the media. Regardless, the Barry Allen of the DCEU was undoubtedly initiated into the fight against evil with his induction into the Justice League to help combat Steppenwolf, Darkseid’s underling — the true villainous powerhouse in the DC universe. Now, Miller is the leading man in his own film as the Flash alongside two Batmen and a revamped Supergirl.
- 1. The Flash is director Andy Muschietti’s first big-budget film outside of horror
- The comic book source material for The Flash depicts murderous heroes
- Michael Keaton is the oldest live-action Batman ever
- Ben Affleck’s Batman records
- Lucky number 13
- Batman Forever and Batman & Robin never happened … we think
- A possible sequel
- Michael Shannon sought Zack Snyder’s blessing in order to reprise his role as Zod
- The Flash ring makes its cinematic debut
- Danny Elfman’s iconic Batman score returns
The Flash was always meant to shake things up in the DCEU. for better or worse. After learning that the comic book event Flashpoint would be the basis of the film — it’s a story in which Barry alters reality by traveling through time to save his mom — there wasn’t any question that the ramifications of this storyline would reverberate throughout the DCEU. And with the DCEU label dead and buried, and the forthcoming James Gunn-led DCU set to bring about a new dawn for the heroes of DC, The Flash may create even more ripples than we initially thought. With the film upon us, you might be interested to learn a few facts surrounding the film as you head into your local theater.
If you don’t follow all the big names in Hollywood or know who Andy Muschietti is, you’ll undoubtedly recognize his handiwork. In particular, he is the director of the two-film adaptation of Stephen King‘s novel It — a horrific tale of an ancient evil taking the form of Pennywise the Clown in the sewers of the fictional Maine town of Derry. Muschietti and crew endeavored to create a more faithful adaptation of King’s work that ultimately would disturb or terrify most viewers.
Before It, Muschietti’s debut in the realm of mainstream cinema was Mama, a ghostly horror production based on a short film of the same name that he both wrote and directed. The Flash signals his shift into a new genre of filmmaking, at least as far as blockbuster films are concerned.
Penned by comic book writer Geoff Johns, the Flashpoint series hit shelves in 2011. It ultimately acted as a segue from the then-current story arc across the DC Universe to the semi-rebooted and revitalized New 52 series meant to bring in new readers. The changes that occurred in the shift to the soft reboot were ultimately explained by Flash’s entanglement with the timeline in Flashpoint. After Barry commits to saving his mother from certain death during his childhood, he returns to a modern-day timeline where a war between Aquaman and Wonder Woman is raging and causing a lot of collateral damage.
In this dark future, the heroes aren’t very hero-like at all. One of the more notable sins committed was when Aquaman had an affair with Wonder Woman. When Queen Mera confronts the Amazon over the infidelity, Wonder Woman removes the queen’s head from her shoulders. This enraged Aquaman, which sparked a war between the Atlanteans and the Amazons.
Meanwhile, Batman is running amok, dishing out death to criminals on the streets with a pair of handguns. The man under the cowl is Thomas Wayne, and he’s embittered over the death of his son, Bruce, who was gunned down in an alley. It’s a pretty dark and twisted tale, and Barry aims to set things right.
The Flash promises the return of Michael Keaton’s Batman — a promise that has fans of the 1989 Tim Burton original and its sequel feeling ultra-nostalgic with the upcoming movie. With the film’s release, Michael Keaton will be 71 years young.
From the promotional teasers, Keaton makes the work of Batman look like child’s play. Of course, there is likely a fair bit of stunt work and CGI in the mix. Still, Keaton is already a spectacle to behold. Whoever said the role of Batman had to be a young man’s sport?
There is another Batman in The Flash. If you’ve been living under a rock, then you might be ecstatic to learn that we get a double dose of the Dark Knight. His DCEU version of Batman returns, likely as a prelude to the changes Barry Allen makes when altering the timeline. This marks the fourth film in which Affleck has portrayed the character in live action. This could even be the fifth if you count Justice League (2016) and Zack Snyder’s Justice League as two separate adventures. Still, four films make Affleck the record holder for the most appearances as Batman on the big screen.
He also holds another interesting record, however. Despite his numerous appearances as the Caped Crusader, he’s also the only live-action version of the character to not headline his own film. And sadly, it doesn’t seem like that will ever change.
Despite the DCEU as we know it coming to an unceremonious end, The Flash is still part of that continuity. The DCEU has been in play for a full decade, starting with the release of Man of Steel in 2013.
With the way Marvel pumps out films every year, it’s a wonder that the DCEU’s library is so small in comparison. However, Disney’s resources are vast and the MCU has proven to be a huge success monetarily. Regardless, The Flash marks the 13th DCEU film in the pantheon if we don’t count ZSJL (which isn’t considered canon).
The often lambasted Joel Schumacher Batman films were technically the third and fourth films in the canon that Tim Burton began in his two outings with the Dark Knight. However, The Flash is set to ignore Batman Forever and its follow-upm Batman & Robin, from the continuity of Michael Keaton’s Batman (via TheWrap). Keaton never climbed aboard the Schumacher train, mostly because he was dissatisfied with the script and direction the films were headed. Batman Forever, a film featuring Chris O’ Donnell as Robin, largely set a very different tone than the Burton films that came before. While it was technically a continuation, tonally it felt like a separate world altogether. So, perhaps, it’s for the best.
The Flash will explore what Keaton’s Batman has been doing all these years since Batman Returns, however. One thing is certain, he hasn’t had to tussle with the Joker year after year, with Jack Nicholson’s take on the character being rather short-lived compared to his comic book counterpart.
Fans are already thinking about a sequel — and so is the director behind The Flash. With everything changing for the DC films going forward as James Gunn and Peter Safran shake up the cinematic universe, Muschietti still believes it’s possible to have a sequel exist in the new structure that is being put into place. Muschietti provided this update to Collider on his thoughts concerning a sequel.
“We didn’t talk about it. I think that we’re all waiting to see how this movie does. Of course, there’s excitement about continuing the story, especially if this movie is successful. Of course, there’s an architecture in DC that is brewing, and it’s being created. And the question is, will this new architecture absorb this story? The good thing about the multiverse is that it is possible. The multiverse allows all of these different worlds to coexist and interact, and so, hopefully, yes, I mean, we don’t know yet. That’s the truth.”
In this new reality that Barry Allen concocts after saving his mother, General Zod is still a threat to Earth, just as he had been in the Zack Snyder-directed Man of Steel. Only this time, Clark isn’t anywhere to be found. Another Kryptonian will have to join the fight.
Michael Shannon reprises his role as General Zod, but he didn’t take the return to the villainous character lightly. Shannon has a lot of respect for Snyder and heartily disagrees with how Snyder’s removal from the Justice League film was handled. In order for Shannon to feel right about donning the Kryptonian armor once again, he wanted Snyder’s seal of approval. On the Bingeworthy podcast, he shared his thoughts on the matter.
“I was hesitant, because I wasn’t really happy about what happened to Zack Snyder in that whole deal. And I really love Zack. The fact that Zack asked me to play that part to begin with — that’s probably the biggest surprise of my career.”
After verifying with Snyder that the director would be on board with Shannon’s return to the Zod character, Shannon stated:
“Zack, to his credit, was very understanding. He gave me his blessing, and I went to do it. I loved Andy, too. I loved working with Andy. They’re both super-creative guys.”
Fans of the character know well that Barry actually carries his suit with him — on his finger. That’s right, the suit is compressed inside of a ring that he wears. Even if you aren’t an avid comic book reader, fans of the CW’s The Flash would also be keenly aware of this prized accessory as it plays a big role in the series. The ring is set to make its cinematic debut in The Flash.
Musical scores are important and also synonymous with the characters they represent. Christian Bale’s Batman wouldn’t likely be the same without Hans Zimmer’s thundering two-note setup. Likewise, Michael Keaton’s take on the character is undeniably married to the iconic Danny Elfman score. If Elfman’s music did not appear anywhere in The Flash, it would be a total travesty.
Benjamin Wallfisch is the composer at work behind The Flash soundtrack. However, we see in both the trailer and an Instagram confirmation from Muschietti himself, that Danny Elfman’s score is returning with a new orchestral flair. It seems that Muschietti, Wallfisch, and crew went to great lengths to do right by fans of the original Tim Burton film.
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