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The following story contains a mild spoiler for Suicide Squad. If you do NOT want to know more, please stop reading.
It was the best kept secret that no one managed to keep. In Suicide Squad, Jai Courtney plays Captain Boomerang, a DC Comics villain frequently associated with The Flash. In a Squad trailer, fans spotted blue lightning in a scene with Boomerang, then they spotted Ezra Miller's name on the official cast list. Finally, I spoke with Jai Courtney ABOUT the scene, and he confirmed that while Flash was IN the movie, he actually didn't film his scene with Miller. Which is strange, but also highly possible.
So how did The Flash end up in the final cut of Suicide Squad? I put the question to director David Ayer, who also served as the screenwriter for this mashup of maniacal DC villains. Ayer had made it clear that Batman (Ben Affleck) was very much part of his screenwriting process. But was The Flash? And when did he know that he'd really be able to include him? Ayer told me:
Flash had always been in the script, but I got lucky, because of -- I don't want to speak out of school or anything like that, but I got lucky because [Justice League] is going, and they had Ezra and they had the costume, and it's like, dude, give me, give me, give me.
Suicide Squad, as much as it works as a standalone movie, is also part of something much bigger -- the DC Cinematic Universe, which began with Man of Steel and expanded in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. There are moments in Suicide Squad that speak directly to the larger universe, and the appearance by Ezra Miller in his Flash costume is definitely one of them. That's cool that Justice League director Zack Snyder allowed his Flash suit to be revealed in Suicide Squad, more than a year before the character will have his official big screen debut in Snyder's Justice League. Then again, we did see Ezra in the JL footage at San Diego Comic-Con, so it feels like we are very familiar with the hero by now:
This also helps fill in the timeline a bit. Jai Courtney told me in our interview that he believed this was Boomerang's first encounter with The Flash, and by the time Bruce Wayne meets the young hero in Justice League, he will be operating as a crime fighter, and using a makeshift suit that he has been testing in the field. I guess one of those test operations was a takedown of Captain Boomerang, which sent the villain to Bell Reve prison. I love the details.
Suicide Squad opens in theaters on August 5. Justice League will be in theaters on November 17, 2017.