Everything We Know

The Flash: Release Date, Trailers, Cast & More

Get the inside scoop on The Flash. Learn about the plot, cast, release date, and folks behind the film, and watch the trailer on Rotten Tomatoes.

by | May 10, 2023 | Comments

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In the summer of 2014, Warner Bros. Pictures announced an ambitious film lineup featuring the Justice League heroes. Some of it, like Wonder Woman and Aquaman, eventually made it to theaters, but projects like a second part of Justice League and Cyborg vanished into the dusts of Multiversal upheaval and ongoing studio Crises. And for much of the time, it seemed the feature film version of The Flash, a project under development even before the 2014 announcements, would suffer the same fate.

Directors like Seth Grahame-Smith, The Mandalorian‘s Rick Famuyiwa, and the Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves pair of John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein signed on to make the film, but left due to creative differences with (depending on who you talk to) the studio or star Ezra Miller. Soon, the film’s original 2018 release date was in the rearview, even if the project was still slated to occur.

Flash forward to the summer of 2023 and The Flash is finally coming to theaters. Sure, it may be carrying the baggage of that prolonged development and the headline-making behavior of its star in the last few years, but according to reports, it is, somehow, a good superhero movie.

Beyond its alleged quality, what else do we know about the film? Did its cast survive the Crisis of Infinite Creatives? Will it be part of the larger narrative Warner Bros. has been trying to jumpstart for the DC heroes since 2014? Let’s take a look at all the information we’ve collected over the years about The Flash to discern if it will be the cornerstone superhero movie of 2023.

The Flashpoint Paradox

Ezra Miller in The Flash (2023)

(Photo by ©Warner Bros.)

As mentioned above, development of the film dragged on for nearly a decade (in this iteration, anyway) and saw the movie shift from an origin story to a universal reset to a “dark tale” to, once again, the universe restart.

The plot concerns itself with Miller’s Flash, Barry Allen – the Fastest Man Alive – as he uses his superhuman speed to undo the great pain of his life: the death of his mother. But as seen in the film’s trailers and the Flashpoint comic book event series upon which the movie is ultimately based, Barry’s choice to save her leads to unintended consequences.

Michael Keaton and Ezra Miller in The Flash (2023)

(Photo by ©Warner Bros.)

The Flash now finds himself in an unfamiliar world where the Age of Heroes never came to be. Wonder Woman remains incognito, Batman is much older and more isolated than the one Barry knew, and the Man of Steel seemingly never made his presence known. It could be a brighter world except for the fact that Kryptonian General Zod (Michael Shannon) has arrived on Earth to claim it for his own.

To stop the Kryptonians from reshaping the world in their image, Barry must team up with a version of himself from the new reality, the older Batman, and a Kryptonian refugee named Kara Zor-El (Sasha Calle) to stop Zod and find a way to send Barry home.

Although, if you’ve read Flashpoint or seen the animated film adaptation The Flashpoint Paradox, you may have some idea what Barry might find if he leaves the Flashpoint reality behind…

The Central City Of Two Worlds 

Ezra Miller in The Flash (2023)

(Photo by ©Warner Bros.)

Barry’s Flash usually sets up shop in Central City, a vaguely midwestern city with a surprising amount of tech firms like S.T.A.R. Labs and Mercury Labs. Of course, it is unclear just how much time Barry will spend in Central City as the trailer suggest his journey in the new world he made will take him to Gotham City to recruit Batman and a government black site to rescue Kara.

Nevertheless, we know he will spend some time in Central City convincing his other self that all of this is happening and, seemingly, helping him acquire speed. Presumably, this also means spending some time in his home reality’s version of the city to seed some noticeable differences, like where the Big Belly Burger is located.

And as all of this has Multiversal implications, it is possible we may see one or two other Earths and their versions of the Justice League characters. Also, presume at least one Metropolis will be destroyed before the final moments of the film unspool.

The Rogues Gallery 

Ezra Miller in The Flash (2023)

(Photo by ©Warner Bros.)

Miller stars as Barry Allen/The Flash. They were first announced in 2014, ahead of a cameo in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the filming of Justice League, and stayed committed to starring in the film through all of the upheaval, be it at the studio level or their own actions. In the last few years, the actor has been accused of strange behavior like allegedly choking a fan, hosting a family in unsafe conditions on their farm in the Northeast US, and, ultimately, creating a spree of legal troubles across the US in 2020 and 2021. Reportedly, Miller entered treatment last year at the studio’s behest so they could be cleared to promote the film in the coming weeks.

Joining them in the film as Barry’s one true love, Iris West, is Kiersey Clemons. She also survived various rethinks and the departure of Famuyiwa, who cast her in the part, to appear in Zack Snyder’s Justice League and renegotiate her Flash contract. It is ultimately unclear how much screentime she will have, though, as The Flash is seemingly more invested in Barry’s greatest mistake than the romance with the woman he will ultimately marry.

Maribel Verdu in The Flash (2023)

(Photo by ©Warner Bros.)

Filling out the Central City cast are Ron Livingston as Barry’s father, Henry Allen – replacing Justice League‘s Billy Crudup – and Maribel Verdú as Barry’s deceased mother Nora, although she will be very much alive in the alternate world. Additionally, Miller will play a depowered and seemingly less mature version of Barry from that other world. His yellow hoody in the trailers suggests he may also turn out to be the reverse of Barry, but that’s just speculation.

The big-name return appearance set for the film is Michael Keaton as Batman. The actor first played him in 1989’s Batman and returned for 1992’s Batman Returns before handing the cowl to other actors. His return, a feature of speculation about the film for years, has been welcomed by fans of Miller’s Flash, Batfans, and moviegoers alike. We dare say it is the most exciting element of the pre-release hype, even if the Batman of the film isn’t exactly the character from the ’89 film. Indeed, Keaton was said to recur in subsequent pictures as an almost Nick Fury-like presence to unite the next generation of heroes. That plan has since been abandoned – and his work in Batgirl completely shelved – but we at least get to see him in the part here one last time.

Michael Keaton in The Flash (2023)

(Photo by ©Warner Bros.)

Ben Affleck will also appear as his Batman for part of the film, presumably setting up the end of the world Barry knew before trying to save his mother. Reports indicate he will reprise the part one more time in December’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, but as DC film projects are malleable until just before release, it is unclear if this is still true. He has been spotted in Flash trailers, though, so we know he will both discourage Barry’s attempt to alter time and fight something.

Other actors appearing in the film include return appearances by Michael Shannon as Zod and Antje Traue as his chief lieutenant Faora-Ul. The pair first played the parts in Man of Steel. Temuera Morrison is also set to appear as Aquaman’s father, Arthur Curry.

Sasha Calle in The Flash (2023)

(Photo by ©Warner Bros.)

The one key new player in the film is Sasha Calle as Kara. Based on the trailers, the character appears inspired by the isolated and strange Superman from the Flashpoint comic and, therefore, is markedly different from the popular image of Supergirl. When her part in the film was first announced, most assumed she would go on to lead the Supergirl film that was in development. This is now unclear as that project has been abandoned and The Flash will indeed serve as a reset for the DC film universe, with parts getting recast and vast elements of the films from Man of Steel onward deleted from continuity.

Additional new faces include Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Rudy Mancuso, and Luke Brandon Field in as-yet undisclosed roles.

The Speed Force  

The Flash (2023) director Andy Muschietti

(Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffi/Getty Images)

After so many directors attempted to make the movie, It‘s Andy Muschietti ultimately saw the project through to the end. The script is credited to Christina Hodson, who wrote Birds of Prey and the shelved Batgirl film, with Francis Daley and Goldstein and Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s Joby Harold receiving screen story credits. Michael Disco produced the film with Toby Emmerich, former DC Film president Walter Hamada, and Galen Vaisman serving as executive producers.

Joining Muschietti’s crew are director of photography Henry Braham of Guardian of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and The Suicide Squad fame, production designer Paul D. Austerberry, costume designer Alexandra Byrne, and editors Jason Ballantine and Paul Machliss. Additionally, It Chapter 2 composer Benjamin Wallfisch provides the score.

The Finish Line

Poster image for The Flash (2023)

(Photo by ©Warner Bros. Pictures)

After one of Barry’s longest runs, The Flash will arrive in theaters on June 16th. The film series’ future, though, are less definite. Barry’s adventure signals the end of the shared DC film reality that began with Man of Steel. It will be replaced in with DC Studio’s co-CEO James Gunn’s new DC Cinematic Universe, set to begin with a Creature Commandos animated series and Gunn’s next film, Superman: Legacy, in 2025. As of now, a Flash 2 is not on the studio’s development calendar, but we imagine a big box office success may change that, even if Barry ends up with a new face or hands his racing shoes off to another character. Barry isn’t the only Flash, and fans of Wally West always hope he’ll get a chance to lead a film or series.

The Flash opens everywhere on June 16, 2023.

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