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Flash is a core member of the Justice League and one of the most recognizable comic book characters that DC Comics has. So when DC began building its cinematic universe, it was inevitable that the Scarlet Speedster would be getting his own movie at some point. Following his appearances in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad and Justice League, it seemed that the Flash's solo movie would be an adaptation of the event comic Flashpoint. That is a fairly dark story that finds Barry Allen waking up in bleak alternate reality. But, as with many DC titles, that tone is being rethought, and now the Flash movie will reportedly be going for a less somber approach.
Game Night directors John Francis Daly and Jonathan Goldstein will be helming The Flash and are expected to ditch the darker themes the film was expected to deal with. The duo will take The Flash in a more lighthearted direction, using Back to the Future as something of a guide, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This is in keeping with the many tonal shifts that have been taking place since the reaction to Batman V Superman in an effort to steer the DCEU away from the darker elements of that film.
This isn't an entirely unexpected change, as DC seems to want to make its DCEU shared universe more akin to Marvel's with a more lighthearted tone while using a potential sub-label, 'DC Dark' or 'DC Black' to push standalone, grittier tales like the Joker origin film. Using Back to the Future as a touchstone isn't a bad idea either, and it's a lofty thing to aspire to, as that film did fun, entertaining time travel with real stakes as well as any movie has ever done. This isn't the first time this approach has been taken either with the character. CW's The Flash TV series also did a Flashpoint episode and it too took cues from Back to the Future, as well as Terminator and Groundhog Day.
The new, lighter tone for The Flash raises the question of how much this will be a Flashpoint movie, if it is at all. Flashpoint always seemed like a strange choice to take the character in his first standalone film in this new universe, and while the Back to the Future reference indicates that it'll still be playing with time travel, it might be an entirely different story or one that only bears a passing resemblance to Flashpoint.
Without knowing more, it is difficult to form a concrete opinion on if this is right move for the Flash movie, but there are plenty of reasons to think that it is. John Francis Daly and Jonathan Goldstein come from a comedy background, and a more lighthearted movie would seem to be in their wheelhouse. Also, Ezra Miller's Flash was a standout in Justice League because of his youth and humor, and it seems like the right move to continue down that path for his first solo outing. If they want to put him through a darker adventure later down the line, they can certainly do that, too.
There are still a lot of questions about The Flash and the DCEU as a whole, but after some hits and some misses and plenty of behind-the-scenes changes, it seems that Warner Bros' DC film universe is recalibrating and putting together a plan that will move these films and characters forward in a successful way. Check out our guide for everything about DC's movies, and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all your comic book movie news.