It’s long been claimed that Superman is faster than a speeding bullet. Compared to another member of the Justice League, however, the Man of Steel is something of a slow coach. The Flash movie is set to put DC Comics’ speedster-in-chief in the spotlight, in a turbo-charged adventure that will take Barry Allen (played once again by Ezra Miller) on a journey through time.
With the story inspired by the popular ‘Flashpoint’ arc in the comics, The Flash movie is also set to be big news for the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). When Barry travels back in time and changes history, he’ll open the door to other parallel dimensions within DC’s multiverse. He’ll also come into contact with at least three other superheroes, including a new Supergirl and two Batmen – Ben Affleck’s DCEU Caped Crusader will suit up alongside the Michael Keaton incarnation, with the actor returning to the role for the first time since 1992’s Batman Returns.
Ironically for a film about a man who’d leave Usain Bolt trailing in his dust and still have something to spare, The Flash movie has taken its time getting to the big screen. But with production now underway and a release date set for November 2022, here’s everything we know so far about The Flash movie story, cast, and what the supes will be wearing.
The Flash movie release date
The Flash movie release date: November 2022
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 – 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 said that “creative differences” were to blame.
Warner then tried to recruit (as reported by Variety) 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 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 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, they recruited Birds of Prey and Bumblebee writer Christina Hodson, and IT director Andy Muschietti.
Production belatedly got underway in London in April 2021, with The Flash movie release date now confirmed for November 4, 2022.
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The Flash movie trailer
The Flash movie trailer: is there one?
In the absence of Barry Allen-style time travel shenanigans, it’s still a little early to be expecting The Flash movie trailer. In the meantime, you can make do with the animated logo treatment Andy Muschietti posted on Instagram to mark the start of filming.
The Flash movie plot
The Flash movie plot: across the 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, Barry Allen finds himself in an unfamiliar alternative universe where his late mother is still alive. In 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 opened the doors to Marvel’s take on the multiverse, 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. “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 screen iteration of every DC character now apparently 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 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
- 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.)
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. “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 describes 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 (via Entertainment Weekly). Muschietti says Keaton’s part is “substantial”.
Elsewhere, the Hollywood Reporter confirmed in March 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). “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:
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 revealed in March that Office Space’s Ron Livingston will replace Billy Crudup in the role. Newcomer Ian Loh will play Barry Allen as a kid.
The confirmed cast is rounded out by Derry Girls’ Saoirse-Monica Jackson and YouTuber Rudy Mancuso in yet-to-be-announced roles.
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. According to a report in CBR.com, 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.
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, so it wouldn’t be the first time:
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), 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 in its design.
The director has also taken to Instagram to tease Michael Keaton’s batsuit…
…and Supergirl’s new outfit:
Writer Tom Taylor, co-creator of the Lara Lane-Kent Supergirl, also tweeted some photos of Sasha Calle on set, comparing the new Supergirl with the comic books.
In 2014, @Bruno_Redondo_F and I created a new #Supergirl, Lara Lane Kent.And... well, Sasha Calle as Supergirl is uncanny. pic.twitter.com/xXWgbQYLvoJune 20, 2021
You can look forward to seeing DC's Multiverses collide on November 4, 2022.