With Flash: Flashpoint, Can The DCEU Finally Lighten Up?

Warner Bros. has had an undeniably-rough time getting the solo outing for Ezra Miller's character The Flash up and running.

Having already gone through two directors - Seth Grahame-Smith left in April 2016, Rick Famuyiwa left in October 2016 - the movie has since changed its title from The Flash to either The Flash: Flashpoint, or perhaps just Flashpoint -- it's actually still unclear. Along with the change in title, it's probably a fair assumption that the film's story has shifted as well.

Initially described as Miller's first solo outing as the Scarlet Speedster, the movie is now looking like an ensemble feature, reportedly including Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman and Ben Affleck's Batman, among others. Due to the Flashpoint name, DC Comics fans immediately recall 2011's comic event of the same name. The original's story was anything but light, leading fans to wonder if the DC Extended Universe will continue the dark, gritty tone of Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeSuicide Squad and Justice League.

But the most recent development in the film's convoluted history might indicate otherwise.

Flashpoint appears to have finally found a new director -- or, to be exact, directorsSpider-Man: Homecoming scribes John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein were recently revealed to be in talks to helm the upcoming film, which hopefully indicates fan fears of the film continuing the DCEU's pervasively a dark tone might be unfounded.

Now, Homecoming wasn't exactly an all-out laugh-fest, but it's worth looking at Daley and Goldstein's past work. They wrote and directed Vacation, and they penned both of the Horrible Bosses movies as well as Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2. Put bluntly, the duo knows comedy.

This begs the question of whether Warner Bros. will allow each of the DCEU's movies to have a tone that suits the character. In Justice League, Miller displayed his comedic chops as Barry Allen, proving to be a likable addition to the DCEU. It would be a shame to completely strip the character of his humor. Audiences want something other than another dark, brooding flick, after all, and Ezra's proven his Flash can deliver.

If you think about it, The Flash and Spider-Man both fill similar roles in their respective cinematic universes. The Flash is a young, inexperienced superhero with a great level of intelligence. Similarly, Spider-Man is still in school, he's not quite sure what he should do with his powers, and he's an academic genius. While the stakes may differ between Flashpoint and Spider-Man: Homecoming, the tone should be somewhat similar, depicting funny moments that feel true and natural to the character while keeping the main storyline rife with drama and tension.

Flashpoint, the comic, is not a fun story. It focuses on an alternate version of the DC Universe, in which The Flash is seemingly the only person aware that things have gone wrong. Superman is being held captive by the United States government, Thomas Wayne (Bruce's father) is Batman, Bruce himself is dead, and a war between Wonder Woman and Aquaman is causing mass destruction. None of these radical changes should be taken lightly in any medium, which is why we hope the movie will only loosely adapt the story instead of strictly sticking to it.

In the past, comic book adaptations have not been direct translations from page to screen, and this will likely continue to be the case for Flashpoint. So while we expect the film will take some of the big plot points from the comic book crossover event, it should also look to carve out its own identity by mixing a little levity into the proceedings and, by default, the very fabric of the DCEU.

Flashpoint stars Ezra Miller as Barry Allen, Kiersey Clemons as Iris West, Billy Crudup as Henry Allen, Ray Fisher as Cyborg and possibly Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Originally intended to hit theaters on March 16, 2018, when it was titled simply The Flash, the film currently has no release date.

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