The Flash movie is coming, and with it, a lot of multiversal goodness. Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen will rub shoulders with the likes of Michael Keaton’s Batman and many others, but apparently this movie can only have so many DC legends. Not every actor can be celebrated in this movie, but I have to say, if this movie isn’t going to show any love to Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen, it’s making a huge mistake.
For those unfamiliar, Gustin has played The Flash on The CW ever since his character was first introduced in an Arrow Season 2 episode at the end of 2013. A decade later, The Flash series is in the home stretch of its final season and closing out its story with Barry Allen and the rest of Team Flash. It seemed logical that Grant Gustin would have some part to play in the upcoming Flash movie, but as Gustin himself confirmed, that may not be the case:
If we are to believe Grant Gustin at his word, then he did not film any new footage for The Flash. While that doesn’t effectively rule out the possibility that Gustin’s version of Barry will appear in the upcoming DC movie, it does make it seem like the movie could leave the beloved Arrowverse incarnation of the hero out of one of its biggest events for the character in a long time. To me, that’s a massive mistake for several reasons.
Grant Gustin’s Flash Has Elevated The Character In The Mainstream
Speaking for myself, I can say that prior to the start of The Flash on The CW, I didn’t know a ton about the title character. Much of what I knew about Flash was from Justice League and Justice League Unlimited in the 2000s, which provided a fairly bare-bones representation of him. Furthermore, that Flash, voiced by Smallville actor Michael Rosenbaum, was actually Wally West and not the Barry Allen we grew to know throughout the course of The CW series.
It was through The CW’s The Flash that I learned about the romance with Iris West, the death of Barry’s mother and the various nuances of Barry’s powers. Of course, the series took some liberties with the character and his story in various points compared to what’s in DC Comics, but some of those changes were certainly for the better.
The Flash‘s legacy on The CW will live on through the series, but also through original characters like Harrison Wells and Joe West. These characters elevated the Flash lore, and let’s be honest, the hero as a whole that, to that point, was probably more known for the symbol worn by The Big Bang Theory‘s Sheldon Cooper.
And really, even The Big Bang Theory did a better job of pushing The Flash into the mainstream than DC movies did. Following cameo appearances in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, Barry Allen made his full film debut in Justice League as an ensemble player, and if that was the only information we had to go on the character and his history, there would be a lot of ground for this upcoming movie to cover. Fortunately, The CW series and Grant Gustin’s character has already put in some leg work over the past decade so that Ezra Miller’s Flash can spend more time breaking the multiverse.
The Flash Movie At One Point Tried To Tie-In With The Series
Beyond the fact that The Flash movie is a tale of Barry Allen tapping into the multiverse, it needs to be said that it seemed as though there were plans for Grant Gustin to be in it at one point. At least, that’s what we were led to believe when Ezra Miller made a very unexpected cameo during the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover event. Check it out below in case you’ve never seen it:
For those that haven’t watched a lot of The Flash on The CW, the manner in which that scene was shot on is not the usual quality of the series. As such, it seemed like it was made to be used elsewhere, and it’s possible we see this scene recycled in the upcoming Flash movie. Of course, there’s also a chance that we don’t see that happen, which would have me all the more confused as to why it was shot in the first place.
Granted, this scene aired back in early 2020, when the movie we will soon see was still pretty early into pre-production. The Flash has gone through a lot beyond all of Ezra Miller’s controversies to make it to theaters, so it’s entirely possible whatever was planned with Grant Gustin initially was scrapped down the way. Even so, one wouldn’t think if someone wanted to include that scene or a different one with Gustin in any incarnation that followed, it wouldn’t be a huge problem.
DC’s Continued Snubbing Of Its Television In Movies Sends The Wrong Message In A New Era
I don’t think that it’s any secret that in spite of a few hit movies along the way, the DCEU wouldn’t have been retooled if Warner Bros. had thought it was a success. Despite that failure, fans were given plenty of DC content during that time thanks to The Flash and other Arrowverse shows. Without them, there would’ve been far less DC content in the past decade, and even fewer to celebrate.
And yet, so much of that decade was hampered by some of the most ambitious Arrowverse ideas being scrapped because of film division reportedly not allowing the rights to certain things. Additionally, the Arrowverse has acknowledged the films a number of times, while the movies weren’t expected to do the same. I get that one property is much bigger than the other, but that doesn’t make it any less disrespectful.
I believe if Grant Gustin is excluded from The Flash movie, it’s a big sign that the DCEU isn’t really interested in honoring the Arrowverse and possibly the other upcoming DC television shows in its film universe. Gustin deserves some shine for this movie, even if it isn’t a big part, but instead it appears we’ll just get Ezra Miller playing two versions of Barry Allen instead.
The Flash premieres in theaters on June 16th. Those looking to binge The CW’s The Flash can do so with their Netflix subscription and revisit some of the best episodes of the series.