When it comes to The Flash stand-alone movie in the DCEU, Aesop's story of the tortoise and the hare comes to mind. "Slow and steady wins the race," goes the fable's moral, but the guy who plays the Scarlet Speedster on the silver screen, Ezra Miller, prefers to liken the film's long and winding development to the personality of the Justice League's fastest member.
“The development of the project has been a little Barry Allen-like in its mercurial tendencies,” Miller told Entertainment Weekly. “But it looks more promising and more exciting than any of the other stages of development that we’ve been in.”
Directors and creative types alike kept dropping like flies from the production. Phil Lord and Chris Miller, originally penning the treatment, handed off writing and directing duties to Seth Grahame-Smith, who dropped out due to creative differences. It then took a huge step forward by tapping Dope director Rick Famuyiwa, who left four months later over creative differences as well.
A shortlist of replacements supposedly included Robert Zemeckis, Matthew Vaughn, Sam Raimi, and Marc Webb, the last two dropping out of the running shortly after the list was reported. Following the sacking of Lord and Miller from Solo: A Star Wars Story, many wondered if they would return to the Flash project. Then there was the false rumor about Billy Crudup not playing Henry Allen in the film, which gained so much traction online.
Thankfully, in early November, Warner Brothers president Toby Emmerich announced, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, that the studio was close to hiring a director.
Slated for a 2020 release (bumped from 2018), the Justice League spinoff will be the third adaptation of the Flashpoint storyline written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Andy Kubert in 2011. In this arc, Barry Allen finds himself in an alternate world where he never became The Flash, his mother is still alive, and his father died of a heart attack instead of going to prison. Even more drastic changes abound in this universe, where Bruce Wayne died as a child and his father and mother became Batman and The Joker, respectively, as a result.
Moreover, Captain Cold is the hero of Central City, Superman seems never to have existed on earth, and the Justice League was never formed. Wonder Woman and her Amazons rule Britain, while Aquaman and the Atlanteans have flooded a good chunk of Europe. All thanks to the machinations of The Reverse Flash, Eobard Thawne.
To put it simply, Flashpoint takes place in an existence that is antithetical in every way to the mainstream DC reality in which the Justice League stands up for what's right and defends those in need.
“What fans understand when they hear Flashpoint,” Miller told EW, “would be almost like hearing a word like Crisis" — a reference to massive DC crossover events like Crisis on Infinite Earths that killed off longstanding characters and sought to streamline a continuity fractured by a multiverse of realities. Events like these, Miller added, showed how DC's universe could "inevitably be torn asunder."
Meanwhile, Geoff Johns — the esteemed writer behind Flashpoint and DC Comics' president — tells EW that the Flashpoint movie will have "elements in it that we’re going to be playing into that we couldn’t do anywhere else ... The scale of it, the Batman story of it all.”
Miller also added that he hasn't seen a script yet, which could be a good sign. Unlike the title character, the studio doesn't want to rush things, preferring to have all the pieces in place before giving the final green light. And you can always go enjoy the character at the movies this weekend in Justice League, when that film finally hits theaters.