It got nuts, alright! Andrés “Andy” Muschietti’s “The Flash” is now speeding its way into theatres with Ezra Miller helming the film as the titular hero. For those who have had a chance to catch it already, then you may be left with some lingering questions regarding how James Gunn and Peter Safran’s DC Universe (DCU) franchise will be moving forward from here. While inspired by the events of the comic-book event “Flashpoint”, Warner Bros’ “The Flash” has enough of its own little twists and surprises to leave us wondering where the DCU is heading, along with who gets to stay in the franchise.
Strap yourselves in as we do a deep dive into the ending and post-credits scene of “The Flash” along with a breakdown of what fans can expect from the DCU franchise moving forward, what’s going to change and what’s going to stay the same. Let’s go!
It’s revealed in the film that the true villain of “The Flash” is well…the Flash. Barry Allen’s older, alternate self, scarred and merged with metal shards, whom we’ll call “Demon Flash”, was the one who sabotaged the DCU’s original Flash to land in the wrong time period. This led him to meet an alternate, younger version of himself, whom we’ll refer to as “Flashpoint Flash”. Flashpoint Flash’s failure to save everyone in the battle against Zod breaks his mind and he swears to travel back in time over and over again until he gets it right. This eventually leads to Flashpoint Flash becoming Demon Flash. We also learn that Demon Flash’s constant meddling with time is causing different universes to collide with each other. We see glimpses of other worlds including one where Nicholas Cage plays Superman!
In any case, Flashpoint Flash realises the errors of his ways and makes the ultimate sacrifice by killing himself, thus destroying Demon Flash in the process. Then in one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the DCU, we see Barry travel back in time to give his mother one last hug before removing the can of tomatoes from her cart, which seals her fate to be murdered as in the original timeline. Thus restoring the status quo. Barry returns back to the present, just in time for his father’s hearing. His father is acquitted on the count of new footage uncovered by Wayne Enterprises. Barry celebrates as Iris West catches up with him to ask him out for dinner sometime. All is well for Barry and just he’s about to reunite with Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne…he is instead greeted by George Clooney’s version of the character.
So without further ado, let’s address the elephant in the room: Is George Clooney really the DCU’s new Batman? In James Gunn’s video announcement for Chapter 1 of the DCU, he said that “The Flash” is the film that resets the entire DC Universe. Therefore, the events of the film lead directly into James Gunn’s new lineup of DCU films and TV shows. So based on Gunn’s statements, we can say with some certainty that the events in “The Flash” are indeed canon. So to answer the question: technically yes. At this point, some of you are probably saying: No way! This must be some sort of joke cameo, George Clooney isn’t our new Batman!
Now, that’s what we thought too. Maybe the Barry Allen we see at the ending is in some other alternate universe. However, if that was the case then Barry’s real father on his true Earth would still be rotting in prison. We don’t think director Andy Muschietti would undercut Barry’s whole character arc just for a joke. Interestingly enough, James Gunn’s new Batman film, “The Brave and the Bold” is based on writer Grant Morrison’s run on the character. “The Brave and the Bold” is set to feature an older Batman going on adventures with his son Damian Wayne as Robin. Furthermore, there’s even been rumours that director Andy Muschietti might be working on it.
Based on Gunn’s statements and the tone of Grant Morrison’s characterisation of Batman along with Muschietti’s possible involvement in the project, it would make sense that we get a less dour, more mature Batman with George Clooney. We already have a more traditional version of the character in Robert Pattinson. So until further notice, George Clooney is tentatively the DCU’s new Batman!
Post-Credit Scene Explained
As suspected, Jason Momoa will be reprising his role as Arthur Curry, better known as the Aquaman, post “The Flash”. The scene starts with Barry walking a very drunk Aquaman out of a bar as he tries to explain the multiverse to him. Ultimately, his explanation falls on deaf ears as Aquaman falls face-first into a puddle of water, much to Barry’s annoyance. Aquaman tells Barry that he’ll be fine in the puddle as it’s his home.
It’s a short fun scene but it does confirm two very important things. One, Ezra Miller will apparently continue to play the character of the Flash and two, Jason Momoa will still be Aquaman.
So unless “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” is yet another time-travelling, multiversal adventure, then it’s safe to say that our two boys will be sticking around in James Gunn’s DCU. Other actors set to reprise their roles in the DCU going forward include Viola Davis as Amanda Waller and Xolo Maridueña as the Blue Beetle. All in all, “The Flash” has as much heart and humour as it does insane cameos and easter eggs. Though we haven’t yet gotten a chance to see the face of the new Superman of the DCU, we’ve gotten a fairly clear picture of which faces we’ll be seeing a lot more of in the future.