During the Warner Bros. Pictures panel at San Diego Comic Con, the studio announced that it is completely reworking the troubled Flash solo movie. It’s now going to be an adaptation of the 2011 miniseries Flashpoint. The five-issue series was a game-changer for the DC universe, as the Flash literally changed the entire time stream.
The series was written by Geoff Johns, with art from Andy Kubert. Johns is now Chief Creative Officer of DC Comics and has been heavily involved with the shape of the DC Extended Universe. By tackling this story, it gives the Flash movie new life after a couple of director changes behind the scenes.
Here’s what you need to know about Flashpoint the story and the movie.
1. The Flash Changes the Universe to Stop His Mother From Being Murdered
Previous DC Comics crossovers, like the famous Crisis on Infinite Earths, already established the importance of The Flash. In Flashpoint, Barry Allen changes the entire universe just to stop his mother from being murdered when he was a child.
The book begins with Barry waking up in an already-changed world. There is a world war going on between Aquaman and Wonder Woman. Batman is really Thomas Wayne, a gun-toting vigilante who fights justice because his son and wife were murdered. Cyborg is a respected superhero working for the government, hoping to recruit Batman to help stop the war between Aquaman and Wonder Woman. And Superman is nowhere to be found because the government got to him before Kents and locked him away, keeping him under a red sun lamp.
The Flash eventually realizes that he’s in an alternate reality, not another dimension. And then he sees the evil Reverse-Flash/Eobard Thawne. In the end, Flash realizes where he changed the time stream and goes back to fix it.
While things go back to “normal,” where the Flash once again is a hero and Bruce Wayne is Batman, the DC Universe is changed forever. Characters from the Vertigo and Wildstorm universes exist with the DC characters and other tweaks were made to create a post-Flashpoint universe.
The impact of Flashpoint‘s changes is still felt today. The story launched the New 52, which led to today’s Rebirth stories.
2. It’s Already Been Adapted in the ‘Flash’ TV Show & as a DC Animated Movie
In the CW’s Arrowverse, Greg Berlanti and his team have already brought Flashpoint to life. They adapted the story for The Flash and had Green Arrow play the role Batman played in the book. Flashpoint was hinted in the season two finale and led into the season three premiere.
Flashpoint also forever altered the timeline for the show. “I’m not sure that we can [go back], given what we’ve established,” Berlanti said in 2016. “If we’re not challenging ourselves and creating new territory and new obstacles for the characters, it’s less rewarding to watch and probably less rewarding [for the actors] to play.”
The Flashpoint storyline was also adapted as a DC Universe Original Animated Movie in 2013 called Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. Directed by Jay Olivia, that film condensed the story to just 81 minutes.
3. Robert Zemeckis Is a Frontrunner to Direct the Movie
The decision to change up The Flash movie to adapt Flashpoint comes after a behind-the-scenes drama. The director chair is still empty after Rick Famuyiwa left. And Ezra Miller also has to start work on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2, so that should give DC some time to put the film together.
Seth Grahame-Smith, who wrote Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, was the first person hired to direct The Flash.
4. Joby Harold Was Hired in January to Re-Write the Film From Scratch
In January 2017, Variety reported that Joby Harold was hired to re-write the script from scratch. Famuyiwa wrote the previous draft, but he clashed with executives, Variety reported.
Grahame-Smith also worked on the script. Before him, Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, who were fired by Lucasfilm from the Star Wars Han Solo movie last month, wrote the earliest script.
After they were fired, The Wrap reported that Miller and Lord were approached to re-join the project.
Harold’s credits won’t inspire a lot of confidence. He’s one of the many writers who worked on the critically drubbed King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. He also wrote and directed 2007’s Awake with Hayden Christensen and Jessica Alba.
5. Billy Crudup & Kiersey Clemons Were Already Cast in ‘Flash’ Roles
Before the title change was announced, The Flash‘s cast was already taking shape. Variety reported that Kiersey Clemons was joining to play Iris West, the romantic lead in Flash’s universe. However, Iris isn’t a big part of the original Flashpoint story, so it will be interesting to see if she’s still involved.
In May 2017, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Spotlight actor Billy Crudup hasn’t left the film. He was supposed to play Barry’s father. But again, Barry’s father isn’t in Flashpoint. Barry’s father was wrongly accused of murdering his mother, which was Barry’s motivation for becoming a crime scene analyst. He wanted to prove that his father wasn’t the murderer.
Ray Fisher, who plays Cyborg, will also be in Flashpoint. That makes sense, since Cyborg is a major player in the story.
The Flashpoint could also offer Ben Affleck a way out of playing Batman if he wants it. He told the Comic-Con crowd that he has no plans on leaving, but this offers him a way out in the future. First, he’s not going to want to play Thomas Wayne, since that’s an entirely different character. When The Flash returns to a “normal” timeline at the end of the movie, he could always find Batman a little younger and played by a different actor.