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Why The Flash Movie Could Fix The DCEU

The Justice League are powerful enough to defeat Steppenwolf, yet they can't seem to conquer bad press. Despite the overwhelming success of Wonder Woman and her subsequent appearance in the Justice League movie, the ultimate team-up of DC's finest heroes failed to capture the imagination of audiences in the way Warner Bros. hoped. Sure, it's hard to describe a worldwide gross of $657,924,295 as an outright failure, but it's safe to say Justice League still performed below expectations. Not only did it earn the lowest domestic opening weekend of the entire franchise, but it's estimated that the film lost Warner Bros. $60 million by the end of its run — and critics felt no love for it either.

Unfortunately, this has become a pattern — the DCEU has encountered obstacle after obstacle over the last five years, and the future is looking uncertain for a number of upcoming films. Among them is an untitled Flash solo outing, which is also one of the most highly anticipated DCEU movies so far thanks to Ezra Miller's appearance as the speedy hero in Justice League. While the Flash's first solo venture may no longer be called Flashpoint, it seems as though the film will still draw inspiration from the comic book storyline of the same name — and act as a soft reboot, rewriting the timeline of the DCEU. But will this be enough to fix the DC movie universe? Join us as we break down the reasons why the upcoming Flash movie could be exactly what the franchise needs right now.

Classic source material

Previously titled Flashpoint, the upcoming Flash movie will still draw upon elements of the comic book storyline of the same name — at least according to the official IMDb page, although nothing is certain in the future of the DCEU.

The Flashpoint event took place in the pages of DC Comics in 2011, quickly becoming one of the publisher's most popular crossovers of the past decade. It all starts when Barry Allen wakes up to discover that he's trapped in a new timeline, one where Superman is held captive by the United States government and Atlantis has gone to war against Themyscira. With the help of Thomas Wayne in the role of Batman, the Flash fights to unite the heroes who remain and fix the timeline once and for all.

Flashpoint has already been the subject of two significant adaptations — the animated Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox and the season 3 arc of The Flash TV show. While the small-screen version drastically changed the original story, the film stayed true to the source material and currently holds a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. If the upcoming interpretation of Flashpoint can match the success of its animated predecessor, then the Flash's first solo venture on the silver screen could turn out to be the best DCEU movie yet.

Perfect timing

Since he directed Man of Steel in 2013, filmmaker Zack Snyder has been a driving force of the DCEU, but his dark creative vision for the franchise as a whole drew ire from disgruntled audiences. He had his fans too, but now that he's no longer directly involved in the DCEU to the extent he was before, this would be the perfect time for someone else to step in.

Warner Bros. promoted Walter Hamada to oversee their comic book movie division in January 2018, and a Flashpoint-inspired reset could be the perfect way for him to put his own stamp on the franchise with the help of creator Geoff Johns and start from scratch with a new cohesive vision. Fans loathe comparisons between DC and Marvel, but it's hard to deny that part of the MCU's success is owed to the creative overview of executive Kevin Feige. The constant reshuffling of release dates, creative teams, and even the projects themselves is harming the reputation of the DCEU. Rebooting through Flashpoint could provide Warner Bros. with the chance to rectify this and start anew, but to do this properly, the talent involved must be united by one creative vision.

A clean slate

In the past, the creative team behind the DCEU has changed elements of their films in order to appease disgruntled fans. For example, the Caped Crusader we saw in Justice League was far more lighthearted than the one who took on the Man of Steel in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but these changes often felt incongruous with previous installments in the franchise. Characters should evolve naturally, not just because studio heads feel changes are needed to help a film succeed at the box office.

Given that the upcoming Flash movie could end with a brand new version of the DCEU, this will enable the writers to pick and choose elements that previously worked and disregard those that didn't without any continuity issues. Didn't like the way Superman killed Zod in cold blood? The untitled Flash movie has the power to retcon this out of existence. Still mourning the death of Slipknot in Suicide Squad? No, neither are we, but if you are, then the villainous anti-hero can be miraculously brought back to life without the need for any pesky magic spells or Lazarus Pits.

Of course, changes like this could be tricky to comprehend for fans who don't religiously follow each film, and if not handled right, it could easily backfire on Warner Bros. However, adapting the story of Flashpoint still seems like a far more effective approach than simply trying to change things in continuity and hoping no one will notice.

Flash to the rescue

Aside from Wonder Woman, who seems to be almost unanimously loved by filmgoers worldwide, the DCEU versions of Superman and Batman have divided fans and been responsible for heated arguments online. However, Ezra Miller's interpretation of the Flash has been received far more positively on the whole.

Given how popular he was as part of a team, it stands to reason that the upcoming Flash movie could resonate even more with fans who already loved Miller's breakout in the DCEU. If handled right, The Flash could rival even Wonder Woman in terms of popularity and give the franchise a much-needed success story in the wake of Justice League. This, in turn, could help restore the faith of the general public in the DCEU.

If the reputation of the DCEU is going to be salvaged, this will have an effect on the franchise's box office earnings too. Justice League may have lost Warner Bros. some money, but the sheer star power of these characters still ensured that the film earned a fairly hefty gross — and this could be built on even further following the success of a Flash movie.

Flash the funnyman

At the core of most critiques of the DCEU is the accusation that films like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice were simply too dark and gritty. Whether you welcomed this approach as a juxtaposition to the MCU or you felt that this stylistic choice wasn't true to the characters, it's hard to deny that Wonder Woman was the first DCEU movie to ditch this formula... and then subsequently become the franchise's first true success story.

Warner Bros. officially announced that they planned to move away from the darker tone of the early DCEU movies in response to the success of Wonder Woman, but this approach didn't pan out as well as expected for Justice League. Transforming Superman and Batman into lighter, more humorous versions of their former selves didn't resonate with critics who felt that this abrupt shift in tone felt unnatural for the characters given what we'd previously seen — and required some jarring tonal shifts even within the movie.

The Flash, however, was introduced as a lighthearted character in Justice League, so moving forward, his upcoming solo venture will naturally be a more humorous affair. His hilarious one-liners and facial expressions will bring some much-needed levity to the DCEU in ways that will feel natural and help vary the franchise to keep things fresh.

Enticing Arrowverse viewers

The Arrowverse is a remarkable accomplishment. After all, it must have been no easy feat to build a shared universe of superhero characters on the small screen, yet that's exactly what DC managed to create with shows like Arrow, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow. Out of these shows, the one that remains consistently the most popular is The Flash, both in terms of critics' reviews and audience ratings.

Since the DCEU began, none of the key Arrowverse heroes have played an important role on the big screen, but that's set to change now that the Scarlet Speedster is ready to star in his own film. While there might be some contention between fans regarding which version of the Flash is best, it's likely that the character's popularity on TV will give him a boost in cinemas.

Of course, there must be a number of Arrowverse fans who already enjoy the DCEU franchise too, but a Flash movie might be the catalyst that more reluctant audiences need to finally dive headfirst from the shows and into the films. Assuming that the movie won't be too dark, then this could also be the perfect opportunity to broaden the age range of DCEU fans — the Arrowverse is generally more family-friendly than the films.

A bridge between worlds

At the center of The Flash TV show and the Arrowverse at large lies the concept of a "multiverse" which connects multiple dimensions together, each differing in slightly different ways. Supergirl was connected to the other Arrowverse shows when it was revealed that she lived in a parallel dimension that could be accessed via portals. Given this line of thinking, it's entirely possible that The Flash movie could connect the DCEU to the Arrowverse and reveal that they all co-exist in the same multiverse too. This reveal would most likely take place in The Flash movie, because his specific abilities allow him to traverse different dimensions — and such a move could help connect the Arrowverse fanbase with DCEU audiences even further.

However, there are two issues with this idea. First of all, there's no guarantee that linking the DCEU and the Arrowverse would even be a good thing. Their tones differ wildly, and the budgetary requirements would be astronomical. More importantly, it seems doubtful that such a move could ever even happen due to logistics and legal wranglings. The best we could probably hope for is a cameo appearance from Arrowverse stars like Stephen Amell or Grant Gustin while the DCEU version of the Flash travels through the multiverse in his own solo film. Such a move would undoubtedly be a huge deal for fans of both franchises — and could even give DC an upper hand over Marvel, which has struggled to connect its movies and shows.

A tradition of successful reboots

Fans who object to the idea of rebooting the DCEU through a Flashpoint event this early on would do well to remember that this wouldn't be the first time a superhero franchise has been rebooted — and often with great success. The X-Men series repeatedly alters its continuity within the ongoing story, the Batman franchise was revitalized by Christopher Nolan's trilogy, and even more recently, Spider-Man was reinvigorated by Marvel's Tom Holland-led take on the character.

Surely, fans could also accept changes made to the history of the DCEU's heroes following the advent of a new timeline in the upcoming Flash movie? Sure, not much time has passed since the DCEU began, but Marvel rebooted Spider-Man just three years after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was released in 2014, and that's worked out well. Just like Tom Holland's version of the character found solo success after breaking out of Captain America: Civil War, Ezra Miller's Flash could do the same following his well-received appearance in Justice League while resetting the elements of the DCEU that don't work in the process.


When Warner Bros. announced they were going to start releasing DC-themed movies that aren't linked to the DCEU, some saw it as a brave new step in the realm of comic book adaptations. However, others worried that it would just confuse casual fans further. After all, how do you explain to regular audiences that films like the upcoming '80s-set Joker movie will exist in a different timeline?

By exploring the concept of the multiverse in the new Flash movie, Warner Bros. could legitimize the idea of creating movies that aren't directly linked to the DCEU in a way that's rational both in and out of the story. At the very least, a Flashpoint adaptation could certainly help critics and audiences come to terms with the concept. After all, Flashpoint is essentially an "Elseworlds" scenario, one where the heroes we know and love are thrust into situations that are almost unrecognizable from their familiar context. If this proves to be successful, then an Elseworlds Joker movie and various other adaptations from this line could follow.

A solution for casting turnover

Numerous actors have taken on the roles of Batman and Superman to varying degrees of success, but when the time comes for them to be replaced, this usually happens between franchises or after a reboot. However, regular talk of Ben Affleck leaving the role of Batman in the DCEU means that someone else might be cast as Bruce Wayne while other characters around him continue to be played by the same actors.

In theory, this isn't a terrible thing, but by introducing the concept of the multiverse in a Flash movie, actors like Affleck could bow out gracefully whenever they choose without affecting the continuity of the films at large. Whether any other stars of the DCEU decide to leave the series in the future due to time commitments or contracts ending, it would now be possible to recast key characters more seamlessly than we're used to seeing in big Hollywood franchises.