Though plans for a movie starring The Flash go as far back as the early 2000s, it wasn’t until the now-defunct DCEU came around – following Man of Steel (2013) – that Warner Bros. and DC Films set proper plans in motion for the speedster’s first big-screen solo adventure. It’s been a long road full of obstacles, but Barry Allen is almost touching the finish line now, and here’s everything we know about The Flash.
We should start by addressing the elephant in the room: the DCEU is on its way out after WB executives failed to set a course for the cinematic universe. While comic book fans and general audiences got to enjoy a handful of pretty good flicks out of this endeavor, the crossover aspect of it all failed terribly, though some might argue Zack Snyder’s cut of the Justice League – a huge drama on its own – showed some promise, but it ultimately arrived too late. After a few years of mostly disconnected DC movies, The Flash’s reality-hopping journey in this movie holds the key to rebooting the main continuity.
Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad writer-director James Gunn is taking over the creative side of all audiovisual DC projects moving forward, effectively creating DC Studios and establishing a (supposedly) coherent and cohesive plan for the company’s IPs across movies, TV, and even video games. The first “chapter” of this new age for DC movies and shows is called ‘Gods and Monsters (opens in new tab)’ and is set to begin in 2025 with a fresh new take on Superman written by Gunn himself. We recommend watching his full breakdown to get a clearer picture, but it seems like some character iterations from the DCEU will survive this reboot, while others had to change in order to work within the new narrative roadmap. Ongoing “elseworld” stories such as The Batman’s sequels and planned spinoffs, or Joker: Folie à Deux, will remain untouched.
Before we jump into all the juicy details about The Flash and the many characters it’s presenting and bringing back thanks to DC’s own multiverse, we suggest checking out our list of the DCEU movies, ranked worst to best as well as the massive list of all the Marvel movies in order… if you’re more of a Marvel fan.
The Flash release date
After many pre-production delays and release calendar shifts to avoid the COVID-19 pandemic and maximize profits, The Flash is finally hitting theaters worldwide on June 16, 2023.
It’ll be the second (out of four) DC movies released in 2023, with Shazam! Fury of the Gods arriving on March 17, Blue Beetle taking over the August 18 slot, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom making waves on December 25.
The Flash plot
While plot specifics have been kept under wraps, both press releases and the previews made public so far have painted a clear picture of what to expect from The Flash in terms of story.
It all starts with Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) using his superpowers to travel back in time – his power level got a big boost in Zack Snyder’s Justice League – and save his family, ignoring Bruce Wayne’s (Ben Affleck) warnings. As a result, the future is quickly altered and the titular speedster becomes trapped in a reality in which General Zod (Michael Shannon) has returned and Earth faces annihilation as Superman is nowhere to be found.
That reality’s only hope might be recruiting a very different Batman (Michael Keaton) – who audiences are familiar with – and a troubled Supergirl (Sasha Calle) that may be quite different from the Kryptonian refugee we’re used to. And of course, we’ll also see multiple Barrys running around and probably causing trouble for our main hero.
The Flash trailers
A first, rough look at The Flash was shared during the DC FanDome event of 2021. You can watch it below:
After movie was taken off from its previous November 2022 slot, further marketing was put on hold. Now, we’re only a few months away from the seemingly definitive return of DC’s legendary speedster, and Warner Bros. Pictures has finally shared a meaty full trailer which debuted during Super Bowl LVII:
Expect more previews in the coming months, especially once the second Shazam! installment has finished all of its theatrical business.
The Flash cast
The Flash has an all-star cast which includes Ezra Miller (Barry Allen aka The Flash), Sasha Calle (Kara Zor-El aka Supergirl), Michael Shannon (General Zod), Ron Livingston (Henry Allen), Maribel Verdú (Nora Allen), Kiersey Clemons (Iris West), Antje Traue (Faora-Ul), Ben Affleck (Bruce Wayne aka Batman), and Michael Keaton (also Bruce Wayne aka Batman).
While cameos including Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and even Henry Cavill’s Superman were once rumored to be shot, the final movie might not include them, especially after the whole DC Studios shake-up.
The Flash director, writers, and crew
Multiple directors were attached to the movie over the years, but it was It: Part 1 and 2 director Andy Muschietti who managed to crack the vision for the pseudo-adaptation of the famous Flashpoint comic book storyline. Christina Hodson (Birds of Prey) is credited as the final screenwriter who worked on the movie, with “story by” credits for Joby Harold (Obi-Wan Kenobi series) and Game Night directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 cinematographer Henry Braham worked alongside Muschietti to figure out the look of the movie, which clearly borrows a lot from Zack Snyder’s take on the character and his powers. Muschietti has also reunited with It composer Benjamin Wallfisch, who’s handling the original score.
Ezra Miller controversy
On top of universe-building woes, The Flash has had to deal with the many controversies and legal issues surrounding the movie’s lead, Ezra Miller. These unfortunate events started around 2020, when Miller appeared in a since-deleted video (opens in new tab) (apparently) strangling a woman in front of several fans who approached them.
Way more damaging to their public image were a handful of incidents (opens in new tab) in Hawaii which took place during the spring of 2022. They included physical altercations and disorderly conduct. Shortly afterwards, in June 2022, the Standing Rock Sioux tribal court issued a temporary order of protection against Miller on behalf of Tokata Iron Eyes, an 18-year-old activist who shared a troubled relationship with the actor since 2016.
Other harassment, theft, and drug-related allegations, sometimes involving children and teenagers, surfaced over the course of 2022, culminating with a representative of Miller releasing a statement in which Miller apologized for their past behavior. The actor was said to be facing a time of intense crisis and reportedly began treatment for “complex mental health issues.”