Before Warner Bros. announced the official DC movie slate in October 2014, many fans hoped that the DC Extended Universe would follow in Marvel’s footsteps by having their movie and TV shows exist in the same continuity. Those hopes were dashed when Ezra Miller was cast as the cinematic Flash, eliminating any possibility of Grant Gustin’s Scarlet Speedster from The CW being part of the Justice League. Now Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director and DCEU overseer Zack Snyder has revealed that it was the tonal difference between the Flash series and movies that led to a different Flash being cast.
Despite how popular The Flash TV series is, and the praise Gustin has earned playing the speedy hero, Zack Snyder told The NY Daily News that the actor was never in consideration to join the DCEU. He explained:
I just don’t think it was a good fit. I’m very strict with this universe and I just don’t see a version where...that (tone is) not our world.
2013’s Man of Steel and the previews for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice have painted the DCEU as a much darker world, whereas The Flash TV series is more lighthearted and fun. So despite the popularity of Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen, Zack Snyder evidently believed that version of the character wouldn’t fit in with what the movies are trying to accomplish. There have been indications that the DCEU won’t be an entirely dreary affair, like Suicide Squad’s humor, and both The Flash movie and Shazam are said to be lighter in tone, but evidently Gustin’s Flash was too cheery for the big screen world.
Admittedly, even if Snyder had been on board with Grant Gustin as Flash, including the actor in the movies would have been difficult from a scheduling standpoint. Assuming The Flash solo movie was scrapped in favor of spotlighting The Fastest Man Alive’s solo adventures only on TV, it still would have been extremely difficult to coordinate his shooting schedule for the show with the Justice League movies. If they worked all this out somehow, then Gustin would undoubtedly have been exhausted, which is never good for a (fake) speedster.
The DC movie division has often cited the DC multiverse as a way for fans to get different interpretations of the same characters. That way, if someone doesn’t love one live action version of a character, they can turn elsewhere for a different portrayal. However, for now there are no plans to have the cinematic and television worlds collide Crisis on Infinite Earths-style, so don’t get your hopes of seeing Grant Gustin and Ezra Miller running side by side in their red costumes.
Ezra Miller’s Flash is making his cinematic debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice this Friday, and after returning on November 17, 2017 for Justice League: Part One, he’ll lead his own movie on March 16, 2018. Meanwhile, if you want to see what sort of excitement Grant Gustin’s Flash gets into, The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.