The Flash solo movie might not happen

The solo Flash movie—aka Flashpoint—has had more in common with Vanishing Point in recent months as news around development of the picture has grown increasingly scarce. Now, reports are that Warner Bros. and DC are slowing down development on the movie to wait and see the audience reception to Justice League before making any further moves.

The implication from the development slowdown is that if Justice League does poorly, the Flash's race to cinemas may be over before it even begins.

The news comes from Variety reporter Justin Kroll, who recently appeared on the Meet the Movie Press podcast to discuss some of the upcoming entries in the forever slate of Hollywood superhero movies. 

During the discussion, which you can watch here, the reporter brought up some insider information regarding the development of Flashpoint, which is currently still in the works for a 2020 release date with no director attached. If you recall, the project previously burned through two directors—Rick Famuyiwa and Seth Grahame-Smith—and tore through several script rewrites before entering a state of radio silence for the last several months. 

According to Kroll, development has slowed down as the studio reconsiders whether or not it wants to commit to the producing the solo superhero movies they've previously announced at all.

"I've heard they've slowed that search down to see how [Justice League] does," Kroll said. "Because I don't know if they're giving everyone their own movie now. Aquaman's already shot, so we'll see."

Host Jeff Sneider then ventured a question about the Cyborg solo movie, noting as he did so that that film doesn't have a director attached either. 

"Well obviously that's not happening anytime soon," Kroll said. "Neither is Man of Steel 2."

The reporter reiterated that the future of the movies in the DC universe that aren't already well into development hinges heavily on the reaction to Justice League—which makes sense. Kroll noted that opening weekend tracking for Justice League, which came in recently projecting returns of $110 to $120 million, is lower than it was for Suicide Squad, which itself was lower than it was for Batman vs. Superman.

Wonder Woman managed to come out on top in the long-term as the highest-grossing movie in DC's superhero universe due to positive word of mouth. The studio is likely hoping for a similar effect from Justice League, stoking audience interest in coming back for a solo movie from this iteration of the Flash, played by Ezra Miller, or Cyborg, played by Ray Fisher.

"They're like, 'let's see how this film does before we go forward on that,'" Kroll said.

Discussing the DC universe movies, which he's been reporting on with Variety for years now, Kroll sort of sounds like a war reporter sharing stories from a distant and confusing battlefield, discussing at points what he has heard were "really bad" test screenings for Justice League, and also commenting on the rough reshoots for the movie that were previously reported on for Variety back in July. 

The discussion ultimately adds up to a conclusion that we all already know in our hearts, at least on some level—the DC universe is a troubled one. If Justice League proves a hit, all of this discussion will prove moot. But if it craters, the studio is evidently willing to reconsider its future plans.

Justice League is out in theaters in the US on November 17.