Much like Barry Allen himself, Warner Bros.' The Flash movie is running late.
The film was announced in 2014 as part of the original slate of DC Comics movies springing out of 2013's Man of Steel. However, the movie, which was originally set to arrive in 2018, has seen constant delays and production shifts over the years, and there have been a lot of factors contributing to just how long The Flash is taking.
The Flash Speeds Through Directors and Writers
The Flash has gone through a ton of directors over the years. Those formerly attached to the project are Seth Grahame-Smith, Rick Famuyiwa and duo John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. At one point, LEGO Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were also potential frontrunners, before scheduling conflicts caused them to withdraw.
The film has seen just as expansive a menagerie of screenwriters hoping to bring the Scarlet Speedster's solo adventures to the big screen. Lord and Miller, Grahame-Smith and Daley and Goldstein all worked on versions of the film. Even Barry Allen/Flash actor Ezra Miller himself has attempted to pen a script worthy of the fastest man alive, teaming up with legendary comic book writer Grant Morrison, who wrote The Flash comic book during the late 1990s.
Miller's version was described as "dark," at least when compared to the script that Daley and Goldstein had produced. This reportedly led to some tension between the star and directors. Although Miller's script was eventually rejected, Daley and Goldstein still departed the project. Why exactly Miller's script was rejected isn't clear, but it might have to do with the relative success of lighter DC films such as Aquaman and Shazam!. This would also fit given the generally lighter tone of The Flash as a character, and the mixed reception to Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice for making Superman much darker than many wanted him to be.
Just What Is The Flash About?
At one point, The Flash film was supposedly going to adapt Geoff John's 2011 Flashpoint story arc, The arc itself has already appeared in the 2013 animated movie Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox and was loosely adapted for The Flash TV series. The universe altering nature of this storyline lent credence to the theory, with some seeing it as an opportunity to retcon some of the more controversial elements of the DCEU. The movie's title was eventually confirmed to not be Flashpoint, and it's unknown how the event might affect the story.
It's also unclear who the villains will be, though that's a given when it comes to superhero movies in the early stages of production. Initial rumors suggested The Rogues, a familiar group of The Flash's greatest villains, would play a role. Captain Boomerang, one of these Rogues, was set up in 2016's Suicide Squad, which also featured a cameo from The Flash. Jai Courtney, who played Boomerang, expressed interest in being in a Flash movie, but nothing else concerning the roster of The Rogues was suggested.
Another report stated The Flash would feature four villains: Doctor Light, Captain Cold, Heatwave and Killer Frost. Interestingly, only two of these are Flash villains, with Killer Frost only being associated with the character in the TV series.
Miller also indicated in February The Flash would introduce a "Speedster Multiverse." What exactly he meant about this isn't totally clear, but it might allow some potential for more speedsters in the DCEU and even, potentially, a closer connection to the otherwise disconnected Arrowverse and its Flash TV show.
Since the box office failure of Justice League, the future of the DCEU has been pretty uncertain, especially since future installments are meant to be a lot more self-contained. Whether or not Warner Bros. sees Flash as having the momentum to keep moving forward might change in the future, as there are plenty of planned superhero movies that just never end up seeing the light of day. However, the potential addition of screenwriter Christina Hodson, who wrote Bumblebee and the upcoming Birds of Prey movie, and It director Andy Muschietti indicate that The Flash might arrive late, but Warner Bros. indeed wants it to arrive.