The Flash movie: everything we know so far

The Flash
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)
Audio player loading…

The Flash movie will see DC diving headfirst into the multiverse.

Just as Loki and Spider-Man: No Way Home have opened the door to parallel timelines within Marvel’s vast continuity, the Scarlet Speedster’s first solo movie is set to play a similar role for the Distinguished Competition.

Except, calling this a solo outing for the Flash wouldn’t be entirely accurate. Because the film will see Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen joined on screen by numerous familiar characters from the DC stable – including a Supergirl and at least two Batmen, with Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton both confirmed to don their famous cowls once more.

The superheroes (not to mention a few villains) will be brought together by a timeline-hopping plot inspired by the famous ‘Flashpoint’ arc from the comics, where Barry travels between dimensions in the hope of saving his late mother – in the process changing history and potentially the entire fabric of the DCEU.

Michael Keaton as Batman

Michael Keaton is back as the Caped Crusader for the first time since 1992's Batman Returns. (Image credit: Warner Bros.)

So with production now wrapped and a November 2022 release date confirmed, here’s everything we know about The Flash movie.

Release date: The Flash will speed into cinemas on November 4, 2022.

Story: According to Variety (opens in new tab), the movie will see super-fast Central City resident Barry Allen using the Speed Force to travel back in time to prevent his mother’s murder – bad news for his timeline but hopefully good news for blockbuster entertainment.

Cast: Ezra Miller reprises his Justice League role as Barry Allen/the Flash, alongside Kiersey Clemons, Sasha Calle, Ron Livingston, Michael Shannon, Antje Traue, and a pair of familiar Caped Crusaders in Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton. We’re also expecting the cast to feature some surprise cameos.

The Flash movie release date

The Flash movie release date: November 2022

Production on the film belatedly got underway in London in April 2021 and – as director Andy Muschietti confirmed in an Instagram post – wrapped in October. The Flash movie release date is now confirmed for November 4, 2022, a few weeks ahead of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom's debut.

In another corner of the multiverse, we might have seen The Flash movie back in 2018. But the DC Extended Universe’s solo Barry Allen adventure has been in development hell for years – and has had its fair share of writers and directors attached along the way.

As far back as 2014, just a year after the release of Man of Steel, DC and Warner had already lined up Ezra Miller to don the Scarlet Speedster’s suit, with The Lego Movie’s Phil Lord and Christopher Miller on board to write and potentially direct.

When they left the project to work on Solo: A Star Wars Story (they were subsequently replaced by Ron Howard), Pride & Prejudice & Zombies author Seth Grahame-Smith signed up to script and direct, but – according to Variety (opens in new tab) – departed the movie in April 2016 due to “creative differences”.

Rick Famuyiwa, director of Dope and three episodes of The Mandalorian, was next to take the helm, but left the project less than five months later. Again, Variety (opens in new tab) said that “creative differences” were to blame.

Warner then tried to recruit (as reported by Variety (opens in new tab)) either Back to the Future director Robert Zemeckis or Kick-Ass’s Matthew Vaughn, but neither could make the scheduling work. The DCEU’s Batman star Ben Affleck was also approached to direct, but he turned the gig down.

Then it was the turn of Spider-Man: Homecoming writers/Game Night directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, who were attached to the movie (opens in new tab) from March 2018 to July 2019. During this period, Ezra Miller teamed up with legendary comics writer Grant Morrison to write a new version of the script. Morrison told Collider (opens in new tab) that their take was “like Back to the Future”.

It wasn’t until July 2019 that Warner and DC finally settled on the team who would take the movie before the cameras. As reported by the Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab), they recruited Birds of Prey and Bumblebee writer Christina Hodson, and IT director Andy Muschietti.

The Flash movie plot

The Flash movie plot: opening the doors to DC’s multiverse

While we don’t know many story specifics, we do know that The Flash movie plot is partially inspired by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert’s iconic 2011 comic-book story arc, Flashpoint – indeed, Flashpoint was set to be the title of the film for a time, before reverting to The Flash.

In the comics version of the story, Barry Allen finds himself in an unfamiliar alternative universe where his late mother is still alive, Aquaman's kingdom of Atlantis is at war with Wonder Woman's home, Themyscira, and Thomas Wayne became Batman instead of his murdered son, Bruce.

In the movie, Barry will use his time-traveling abilities in an effort to save his mom, Nora – and in so doing, inadvertently make major changes to the space-time continuum.

As director Andy Muschietti explained at DC’s Fandome event in August 2020, “His mother was murdered, his father was framed and incarcerated, and all his journey from then was of a man trying to make things right.”

“Batman lost his parents, Superman lost his planet, Harley Quinn lost her egg sandwich…” added screenwriter Christina Hodson, “but Barry, because he’s got this ability to go back and manipulate time, he’s the only one who can actually go and change his own personal story.

“[But] time travel isn’t simple,” Hodson warned. “It’s not always a straightforward case of, ‘Go back and change one thing, and another thing changes in the future.’”

Crucially, just as the Loki season 1 finale and Spider-Man: No Way Home opened the doors to Marvel’s take on the multiverse (a major pillar of the MCU's Phase 4), The Flash movie is breaking down the barriers between alternative dimensions within the DCEU.

“The cinematic multiverse is going to be born out of this movie,” Hodson revealed. “It’s born out of Barry’s story.

“This film is immensely important,” added star Ezra Miller, “because if you look around the DC Universe, obviously you have all of these characters that exist within their own bubbles. We even have now multiple iterations of the same story. This movie, by opening that door that Flashpoint did in the comics, all of these stories and characters can start to collide.”

“This movie is a bit of a hinge in the sense that it presents a story that implies a unified universe where all the cinematic iterations that we’ve seen before are valid,” Muschietti told Vanity Fair (opens in new tab). “It’s inclusive in the sense that it is saying all that you’ve seen exists, and everything that you will see exists, in the same unified multiverse.”

With two Batmen already confirmed to appear, and every existing screen iteration of every DC character now potentially in play, the debate over whether this Barry Allen is the one who survived the theatrical cut of Justice League – or the one who had a considerably more pivotal role in Zack Snyder’s version of the movie – suddenly seems rather less important…

The Justice League

Before The Flash movie, Barry Allen lined up alongside the Justice League. (Image credit: Warner Bros)

The Flash movie trailer

The Flash movie trailer: DC Fandome teaser

In the absence of Barry Allen-style time travel shenanigans, it’s still a little early for a full-length trailer for The Flash. But the DC Fandome virtual event in October 2021 did treat us to a tantalizing sneak peek. And while it features barely a minute of footage, there's plenty here to get you excited about the Scarlet Speedster's first outing as a movie headliner – including a quasi-appearance from a Caped Crusader.

The teaser features a taxi arriving at Wayne Manor, as a voiceover – which sounds a lot like Michael Keaton – asks: "You can go anywhere you want, right? Any timeline? Any universe? Why do you want to stay and fight to save this one?”

We're guessing the reason is the woman in the trailer, who we're assuming is Barry's mother, Nora. And that the Keaton incarnation of Batman – briefly seen here in silhouette in the Bat Cave – has worked out the consequences of Barry's time-hopping adventures. “You changed the future and you changed the past,” he says ominously.

We also get a sighting of Barry's new neon-drenched outfit, and an intriguing final shot containing three figures.

We know that one is Barry Allen and another is Sasha Calle's Supergirl. The third one, however, is more mysterious – he's wearing a Flash outfit and looks a lot like Ezra Miller, but also a little bit, well, not. Could this be another incarnation of Barry Allen, another Flash (Jay Garrick or Wally West have also used the Flash moniker in the comics), or even super-villain Reverse-Flash, aka Eobard Thawne?

One thing's for sure, however: when Barry Allen prime asks, "Are you in?" the answer from us is a resounding yes.

The Flash movie cast

The Flash movie cast: who’s in the film?

The confirmed cast list looks like this:

  • Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash
  • Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman
  • Michael Keaton as another Bruce Wayne/Batman
  • Kiersey Clemons as Iris West
  • Sasha Calle as Supergirl
  • Ron Livingston as Henry Allen
  • Maribel Verdú as Nora Allen
  • Michael Shannon as Zod
  • Antje Traue as Faora
  • Saoirse-Monica Jackson as TBC
  • Rudy Mancuso as TBC
  • Ian Loh as young Barry Allen

Ezra Miller returns to play Barry Allen (aka The Flash) for the third time after appearing in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (briefly) and Justice League (more substantially, especially in the Snyder Cut).

He’ll be suiting up alongside two different incarnations of the Caped Crusader – and neither of them are the Robert Pattinson version from the upcoming The Batman. (Though, given the dimension-hopping nature of the movie, it wouldn’t be a massive surprise if that Bruce Wayne did turn up – especially as his movie will have been released by the time The Flash shows up.)

Ben Affleck is back as the Dark Knight who fought Steppenwolf alongside Barry Allen in Justice League, and it looks like he’ll be something of a mentor figure for his speedy colleague.

“[Affleck’s Batman] is a very substantial part of the emotional impact of the movie, Muschietti told Vanity Fair (opens in new tab). “The interaction and relationship between Barry and Affleck’s Wayne will bring an emotional level that we haven’t seen before. It’s Barry’s story, but their characters are more related than we think. They both lost their mothers to murder, and that’s one of the emotional vessels of the movie. That’s where the Affleck Batman kicks in.”

The director also described Bat-fleck as “the baseline. He’s part of that unaltered state before we jump into Barry’s adventure.”

The other Caped Crusader we know about (so far...) is played by Michael Keaton, who famously wore the famous cowl in Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns. After being the worst kept secret in Hollywood for the best part of a year, Keaton’s comeback was only officially confirmed in April 2021 (via Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab)). Muschietti says Keaton’s part is “substantial”.

Elsewhere, the Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab) confirmed in March 2021 that Kiersey Clemons will be reprising her Zack Snyder’s Justice League role (she was cut out of the theatrical release) as journalist (and Barry’s love interest) Iris West. 

And the superhero roster will be bolstered by Sasha Calle (a star of long-running soap opera The Young and the Restless) who’ll play the DCEU version of Supergirl. It’s yet to be confirmed if she’s Kara Danvers, Lara Lane-Kent or some other incarnation of the Kryptonian hero.

“I saw more than four hundred auditions,” said Muschietti (via Deadline (opens in new tab)). “The talent pool was truly amazing and it was very hard to make a decision, but we finally found an actress who was destined to play this role.” 

Muschietti passed on the good news about Calle’s casting in an Instagram video:  

A post shared by Andy Muschietti (@andy_muschietti) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Y Tu Mama También and Pan’s Labyrinth star Maribel Verdú will play the pivotal role of Barry’s mom, Nora Allen, while his dad, Henry, will look significantly different to how he did in Justice League. Variety (opens in new tab) revealed in March 2021 that Office Space’s Ron Livingston will replace Billy Crudup in the role. Newcomer Ian Loh will play Barry Allen as a kid.

watch the flash online season 7 episode 2

Will Grant Gustin's speedster turn up in The Flash movie? (Image credit: The CW)

But don’t be surprised if The Flash movie features big-name cameos from stars who’ve played DC characters in previous films and TV shows – this could easily be a DC nostalgia-fest to rival the guest-star smorgasbord of the smash hit Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Warner Bros' official 2022 movie preview (opens in new tab) includes Michael Shannon and Antje Traue in the The Flash movie cast list, suggesting they'll be reprising their roles as Man of Steel's Kryptonian villains General Zod and Faora.

And according to a report in CBR.com (opens in new tab) in April 2021, Ray Fisher says he’d potentially be up for reprising his role as Cyborg – on condition of an apology from Warner Bros for his treatment on the set of Justice League. There have also been rumors of comebacks for Superman Returns star Brandon Routh, and Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman from Batman Returns.

Most intriguingly of all, could this Barry Allen come to face with his counterpart from the Arrowverse version of The Flash? Miller’s Allen has already crossed paths with the Grant Gustin incarnation in the CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event – “Is this cosplay?” he asks knowingly – so it wouldn’t be the first time:

The confirmed cast is rounded out by Derry Girls’ Saoirse-Monica Jackson and YouTuber Rudy Mancuso in yet-to-be-announced roles.

The Flash movie costumes: what will the supes be wearing?

Muschietti revealed Barry Allen’s new Flash suit at DC’s Fandome event in 2020 (check out the concept art at Variety (opens in new tab)), claiming that, “it’s more organic, you can see the light embedded in it.” It was also revealed that Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne had some input into the design – much as Tony Stark was responsible for Spider-Man's threads in the MCU.

The director has also taken to Instagram to tease Michael Keaton’s batsuit…

A post shared by Andy Muschietti (@andy_muschietti) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

…and Supergirl’s new outfit:

A post shared by Andy Muschietti (@andy_muschietti) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Writer Tom Taylor, co-creator of the Lara Lane-Kent Supergirl, tweeted some photos of Sasha Calle on set, comparing the new Supergirl with the character from the comic books.

See more

We can look forward to seeing DC's multiverses collide on November 4, 2022.

Richard is a freelance journalist specialising in movies and TV, primarily of the sci-fi and fantasy variety. An early encounter with a certain galaxy far, far away started a lifelong love affair with outer space, and these days Richard's happiest geeking out about Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel and other long-running pop culture franchises. In a previous life he was editor of legendary sci-fi magazine SFX, where he got to interview many of the biggest names in the business – though he'll always have a soft spot for Jeff Goldblum who (somewhat bizarrely) thought Richard's name was Winter.