Rumors have been swirling about DC’s The Flash film for a while, mostly that it will involve time travel and be an adaptation of the acclaimed Flashpoint storyline from the comics. In a recent interview (via ComicBook.com), Flash director Andy Muschietti confirmed at least one of these facts, leading to even more speculation that the film will function as a soft reboot to the DC Extended Universe (DCEU).
“It is a story of time travel: Flash travels back to try to save his mother,” Muschietti said. “It is a spectacular action movie, but it has a big heart.”
In the comics, the Flashpoint time travel storyline was used to reset continuity, a convenient narrative for a studio looking to revamp its cinematic universe after Justice League torpedoed it into the ground.
Here’s where the speculation can get really interesting. Previous reports said that Michael Keaton may be returning to the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman for The Flash. If the film is indeed a Flashpoint adaptation, then that means Keaton would be playing the “new” Batman in this altered timeline. Could the altered timeline be the same one that the Burton Batmans take place in, or is this a multiverse of some other sort? Could DC keep the Flashpoint timeline around instead, triggering the aforementioned soft reboot while still staying canonical? Maybe they’re still trying to bring about whatever was going on in the Justice League future dreams Batman was having, though that’s unlikely. In any case, it could all get a bit messy.
This also isn’t the first time that DC has adapted the Flashpoint story. The Flash television show adapted it in its third season, causing some major ramifications for the series. The show handled the storyline pretty well and built off it into an interesting weave of timelines and universes that persist to this day. We know so little about the film that it’s not clear how close it will hew to the comic or TV show, but it definitely sounds like they’ll be looking to change the DCEU one way or another.
The Flash is scheduled for release on June 2, 2022.