The Flash, starring Ezra Miller as the superhero Barry Allen, comes to theaters on June 16 and has already received mostly positive reviews from critics, currently standing firm with a 70% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s the penultimate film in the current DC Extended Universe (DCEU)—this December, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will be the last movie released before co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran overhaul the fictional multiverse through the newly-formed DC Studios. In October 2022, it was announced that the two would take over as the co-heads of DC film and TV projects, following a clunky rollout of poorly received movies like Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. The pair plan to recreate DC’s film and TV universe, with a reboot of Superman, a new Batman, and more projects on the docket.
The Flash arrives following several delays and controversy, after multiple stories surfaced about Ezra Miller’s pattern of erratic behavior spanning years. They have faced charges for felony burglary and assault and allegations of grooming and harassment. Earlier this month, Miller made a rare public appearance at the premiere of The Flash and thanked Gunn and Safran for their “grace and discernment and care.” It is unclear whether they will return to the role. As Barry Allen gets one last story in the current DCEU, here’s what we know about the Flash’s future in the newly revamped DCU.
The Flash will reset the DC Universe
Gunn said in January The Flash would “reset” the DC Universe. “Everything from Superman forward…will be canon and will be connected,” Gunn said. “We’re using some actors from the past. We’re not using other actors from the past, but everything from that moment will be connected and consistent.”
It is unclear, so far, who is staying and who is going, but Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is not getting a third movie; Gunn said his new Superman movie will not include Henry Cavill; and while Ben Affleck’s Batman makes an appearance in The Flash and maybe Aquaman 2, he “will absolutely not” join DC to direct any movies. Jason Momoa, who plays Aquaman, told Total Film Magazine that his character will “absolutely” be involved in the DCU (this remains to be seen—the latest rumors suggest he might play a different character named Lobo).
Will Ezra Miller return as The Flash in the new DC Universe?
Gunn and Safran will decide Barry Allen’s fate. It’s still unclear exactly what will happen to The Flash as a character and whether or not Miller will continue to assume the role.
What else do we know about the new DC Universe?
In January, Gunn announced that the projects would be released in “chapters,” similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The first chapter is called “Chapter One: Gods and Monsters” and will officially kick off with Superman: Legacy, which Gunn is directing and writing, with a slated release date of July 11, 2025. “It focuses on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing,” Safran said. Gunn also confirmed during a podcast appearance that while the first official movie of the new universe won’t come for two years, we will see a new character before then. Blue Beetle, a movie produced under the pre-Gunn DC creatives, which stars Xolo Maridueña and is due in theaters this August, will be the first character in the new DC Universe: “I mean, the first DCU character, for sure, is Blue Beetle and the first full DCU movie is Superman.” It’s not yet clear what role Blue Beetle will play beyond this movie.
According to Collider, director Andy Muschietti said during an early screening of the film that he was still unsure if The Flash closed out the DCEU or was the beginning of the co-CEOs’ new universe. “We can’t predict the future; everything that we hear is gonna happen is very exciting,” he said. “We don’t know much more than you do, honestly. But again, this is a movie about beginnings and not endings, and we certainly hope so.”
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