Despite the fact that The Flash is enjoying enormous success on TV right now, Warner Bros. opted to introduce a different live action Scarlet Speedster for the DC Extended Universe, played by Ezra Miller. First cameoing in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, he’ll be properly introduced in Justice League: Part One, which will lead to his own movie in 2018. So far details are light on Barry Allen’s solo adventure, which will be directed by Seth Grahame-Smith. However, in the recent special DC Films Present: Dawn of the Justice League, there were some similarities noted between the big and small screen versions, namely the modern day struggle of Barry trying to solve his mother’s murder and prove his father was framed for the crime. This is already a familiar direction for fans of the CW series, though admittedly, this development originally came from 2009’s The Flash: Rebirth
Regardless, The Flash TV series has a dedicated fanbase, and by the time movie comes out, it will be in its fourth season. This means the movie needs to work extra hard to distinguish itself for both those who love the show and moviegoers who don’t have any experience with the Fastest Man Alive. Fortunately, the Flash’s decades-long history in the comics provides some ways for the movie to set itself apart and provide audiences with something unique. Here are some suggestions we have on how to accomplish that, and while not all of these entries can necessarily be paired together, doing at least a couple of them will help make the movie something special.
Don’t Give Him A Support TeamThis one is straightforward. On the Flash TV series, Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen doesn't fight crime by himself. He has help from the unofficially named Team Flash, whose current members are Cisco Ramon, Caitlin Snow, Earth Two Harrison Wells, Iris West, and Detective Joe West. Whether it’s analyzing evidence at S.T.A.R. Labs or helping track down a perp on the loose, these folks are crucial to Barry protecting Central City, and that’s fine for TV.
For the movie, however, he needs to be on his own. Yes, eventually people close to Barry will discover he’s the Flash in this universe, but as far as his non-Justice League activities go, let him handle crimefighting solo. His super speed lets him cover enough ground on his own (figuratively and literally), and his forensic science background makes him more than capable of tracking down bad guys by himself. Speaking of forensic science…
Include A Murder MysterySuperhero movies are so abundant right now that they’re starting to take other measures to distinguish themselves. For instance, Wonder Woman is (at least partly) a period piece set in World War I, while Green Lantern Corps is rumored to be a Lethal Weapon-in-space-type adventure. It’s already been said that The Flash is expected to be a more lighthearted movie, but why not take it further? If you have a character who works at a police station analyzing evidence left at crime scenes, then take advantage of his day job!
Barry Allen is more than just the guy who puts on a red costume and runs around fast. He’s scientifically gifted, and what better way to spotlight that than by giving him his own mysterious death to solve. Remember, just because a movie feels light doesn’t mean that a murder can’t be included. That said, whatever important murder he’s trying to solve would need to be connected to the main villain somehow. Otherwise, it would just feel random and unnecessary to the narrative.
Set It In A Different Time PeriodOne of Barry Allen’s best villains is Eobard Thawne, a.k.a. Professor Zoom/Reverse-Flash. Hailing from the 25th century, Thawne was originally the Flash’s biggest fan and even gained super speed via the same accident Barry Allen went through. However, when he learned he was destined to become Flash’s greatest enemy, he went insane and dedicated himself to making Barry’s life hell. It’s likely we’ll see the two do battle on the big screen (especially since Eobard was the one who killed Barry’s mom when he was a child). When that happens, they shouldn’t just fight in the present day. They need to take their conflict to Eobard’s time as well.
As mentioned earlier, Wonder Woman will be set in the past, so it would be wise if The Flash took the opposite approach and went to the future. It was confirmed in the CW special that Flash is capable of time travel in this continuity, so why should he be limited to just the present era? Whether Barry chases Thawne to the 25th century or is lured there, this movie provides a great opportunity to have one of DC’s heroes visit the future for the first time on the big screen. Seeing Barry navigate Central City centuries from now while pitted against Professor Zoom would make a compelling story.
Explore The Speed ForceBarry Allen’s super speed isn't just the result of lightning and chemicals being mixed together. That accident allowed him to channel the Speed Force, an extra-dimensional energy that gives all DC speedsters their powers. What makes the Speed Force even more interesting is that it’s also a physical realm that can be accessed, though not without tremendous effort. Since Barry Allen is the Fastest Man Alive, it’s time he finally visit that mind-boggling plane of existence in the DCEU.
TV’s Barry Allen has seen the Speed Force, but he hasn’t physically been in it yet. While it’s impressive how the TV series has used its budget (like creating Grodd and King Shark), the wonder of the Speed Force dimension is perfect for pulling off on the big screen. Barry could either end up there by accident or go there during a climactic battle with Professor Zoom. Most importantly, as seen in the New 52 Flash series, the Speed Force realm doesn’t always look the same. So Barry could visit it in the first movie, and, should he return in a sequel, it could be completely different. That way the filmmakers can keep things fresh.
Bring Together The Rogues Right AwayLet’s get something out of the way first. Yes, there have been superhero movies in the past that have suffered due to including too many villains, but there’s already precedent for many of Flash’s villains to band together. For decades, The Rogues have helped each other pull off heists and try to neutralize Flash, all while maintaining a code of conduct not usually seen in supervillain organizations. The closest to this happening on the TV series is when the metahuman prisoners escaped in "Rogue Air," and when Captain Cold (who soon left), The Trickster, and Weather Wizard teamed up in "Running to Stand Still," but what the movie needs is the fully-formed, official Rogues team.
Unless The Flash ends up being a prequel, Barry Allen will have already been the Scarlet Speedster for a while when his solo movie begins, so it stands to reason that he’s already made some enemies. They weren’t able to defeat him by themselves, so the next move is for them to join forces. Personally, I’d like the first Rogues lineup to be Captain Cold, Heat Wave, Weather Wizard, Trickster, and Mirror Master. Heck, if the DCEU wants to use more of Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang after Suicide Squad, bring him aboard, too. If the Rogues happen to return for a sequel, they could always alter the lineup a bit to feature others like Pied Piper or The Top.
Foreshadow Future SpeedstersThe Flash legacy has been a part of DC comics lore for over 75 years. It’s more than just Barry Allen, and while having one Flash in the DCEU is enough for now, it would fun to tease what the future holds for the Flash family. While Barry is fighting whatever adversary he’s been pitted against, he needs to get a glimpse of what the future entails, be it actually traveling there (as mentioned in the earlier section) or just a vision. There he could get a snippet of the other speedsters that will join him either in the near future or even centuries from now.
It may be hard to introduce Jay Garrick into the DCEU given that Barry’s the first Flash and there’s no guarantee that an Earth Two will ever be introduced in this franchise. Fortunately, there are still plenty of options, whether it’s Wally West as Kid Flash, Barry’s grandson from the future, Bart Allen, or even Wally eventually succeeding Barry as the Flash after Barry dies or disappears in some kind of "crisis." However this foreshadowing occurs, Barry can’t see everything that’s in store for his life, but it would be fun for him to learn that he won’t always be the only rapid superhero running around Earth. Plus, it would mean at least one of them could be introduced in a sequel.