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Warner Bros. Execs Have An Obvious Solution To The Flash Problem Staring Them All In The Face

Barry Allen might be the fastest man alive, but he hasn't had a quick route to the big screen for his own solo movie. Warner Bros. originally cast Ezra Miller as the DC hero back in October 2014 (via THR), with the goal of getting the character's own cinematic adventure into theaters in 2018. "The Flash" (and the DC Extended Universe in general) has hit many speed bumps since then, and now, several years after that original release window, the film is finally set to premiere in June 2023. 

"The Flash" will see Barry traveling back in time to stop his mother's murder, but in the process, he'll wind up drastically changing the timeline because of his actions. Not only will he meet Supergirl (Sasha Calle), but he'll also cross paths with a previous version of Batman, as Michael Keaton reprises his role as the Dark Knight.

However, many DC fans are worried about "The Flash" movie thanks to the concerning allegations surrounding Ezra Miller over the last few years. The actor has been involved in a string of bizarre incidents, including allegations that they were running an Icelandic cult (via Insider) and in August 2022, they were charged with a felony stemming from a burglary in Vermont (via Variety). Miller recently responded to the allegations made against them, explaining that they are suffering from mental health issues and are seeking treatment.

It doesn't seem likely that Warner Bros. will keep Miller on for any future appearances, and many fans think the studio should replace them as The Flash with Grant Gustin. But there's another obvious solution that would avoid the awkwardness of recasting the character.

Bring in Wally West

If Ezra Miller is out — and Warner Bros. doesn't want to muddy the current continuity even further — then maybe it's time to bring in the third version of The Flash after Jay Garrick and Barry Allen: Wally West. For fans who aren't familiar with the character, he was originally Barry's sidekick, Kid Flash, and he gained his powers in a similar freak accident to Barry when he was doused in various chemicals that allow him to tap into the Speed Force.

Wally is Barry's nephew, and he became DC's main speedster following "Crisis On Infinite Earths" when his uncle sacrifices himself to destroy the Anti Monitor's anti-matter cannon. Yes, that's a mouthful, but that's comics! Anyway, Wally remained as the main version of The Flash for several decades until Barry returned to the fray in "Final Crisis."

It seems like Miller's version of the character has finally got the hang of his superhero career — which is probably why he's only just now attempting to save his mother in the solo movie. But how would Warner Bros. push Barry to the side to avoid working with Miller again? The easiest explanation would be that the hero's multiversal shenanigans break the fabric of reality, and he'd have to sacrifice himself to fix it.

This would obviously take cues from "Crisis on Infinite Earths" while still feeling wholly unique to Barry's story, and it wouldn't take much for the final shot of the film or a post-credits scene to introduce Wally as the Scarlet Speedster's successor. This would let Warner Bros. move forward with "The Flash" as a franchise without all the drama surrounding Miller and the problems that would go hand-in-hand with keeping them on board.

DC could take their new Flash back to his origins

The easiest way to bring Wally into the DCEU is to just do his origin story because he's someone that general audiences might not be familiar with. Yes, he's the version of The Flash who shows up in the comics from 1985, as well as the "Justice League" and "Justice League Unlimited" cartoons, but casual moviegoers likely won't know the name. So it would be a better idea to actually show West getting his speedster abilities in the same way that he does in 1959's "The Flash" #110. The issue sees the young hero gets covered in chemicals when he visits his uncle at the Central City Police Department, and a lightning bolt also happens to hit him — which replicates the exact accident that gave Barry Allen his abilities.

The studio could also borrow from Barry's story in "Secret Origins" Annual #2, which takes place after Barry's death in "Crisis on Infinite Earths." It's revealed that after his death, he turns into a lightning bolt and strikes himself in the past to give himself his powers. Perhaps the DCEU could borrow this, but with the twist that a Barry-bolt of lightning gives Wally his powers. Talk about passing the baton!

This would help the overall narrative of the Flash feel a little smoother than an awkward recast or just shoehorning Wally in for the sake of it. After all, Warner Bros. shouldn't do Barry Allen a disservice because of Ezra Miller's behavior, as there are millions of fans who love the character in all the different variations. Although, there is another option if they want to ditch the tired origin-story format.

Wally West could help the DCEU lean into the multiverse

Let's face it, Warner Bros. appears to be desperately trying to get into the multiverse game now that Marvel has started mining the financial goldmine of alternate universes and cameos from previous actors who have starred in comic book projects over the years. Bringing back Michael Keaton's Batman makes this blatantly obvious, so maybe the studio should stop tip-toeing around the subject and just dive straight in. Thankfully, there's a recent run of the comics which would let Wally loose across the multiverse.

In Scott Lobdell's "Flash Forward," Wally is tasked by a cosmic being called Tempus Fuginaut to protect the multiverse from the Dark Multiverse — which is full of twisted versions of reality. It's a result of "Watchmen" hero Doctor Manhattan meddling with the DC universe in the aftermath of Alan Moore's classic graphic novel and 2017's "Doomsday Clock."

Now, this isn't to say that a sequel should bring in the "Watchmen" characters and all the messy continuity problems that go along with that. But a story where Wally has to travel across the multiverse to protect and fix things would be an interesting way of putting a speedster in the spotlight in the aftermath of Ezra Miller's actions — as well as focusing on an entirely new era for the DCEU.

When it comes to casting choices, "Gotham" and "Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order" star Cameron Monaghan would be a good pick to play the classic version of Wally. But if the studio goes down the New 52 route, then how about "IT" star Chosen Jacobs? Either way, let's give Wally West the spotlight.