The Flash may be the “fastest man alive” in the pages of DC Comics but the superhero’s film franchise is taking a slower route to the silver screen. The Warner Bros. plan to give the Justice League character a spin-off screen adventure of his own is still in the running but now it’s looking more like a marathon than a wind sprint.
The Flash is now expected to get filming underway late next year, which puts the superhero movie on pace for a release date sometime in 2021.
The Flash solo film has never secured an official green-light status and studio sources point out that no official release date has ever been announced. But those same studio sources confirmed Monday that a finish line in 2021 was not the target they had hoped for — in relatively recent discussions their best-case scenario had been a March 2019 start-date for filming. Now they say that is simply too impractical due to scheduling conflicts.
The primary issue they cited is the schedule of the movie’s lead actor. Ezra Miller, who portrayed the Flash in Justice League (2017), and is tabbed to reprise the role, is already locked-in for duty in another high-profile Warner Bros. project: Fantastic Beasts.
Miller plays Credence Barebone in that spin-off of Harry Potter and its magical mythology. Miller is needed on-set in July to start work on a third Fantastic Beasts installment.
The new target of a 2021 release was first reported by Variety on Monday. But Warner Bros. has struggled for years to get The Flash project up and running. Filmmaking tandem Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The Lego Movie) were on board to direct back in 2015 ; then Seth-Grahame-Smith (who wrote the film’s script) was considered the ideal director. The following year Dope director Rick Famuyiwa was the new name in the mix.
The studio has invested a lot of time and effort with not much to show in return. Warner Bros. shareholders, meanwhile, have been hearing about the ramping movie (and Miller’s participation in it) as far back as October 2014.
The Flash has a long and illustrious publishing history in comic books that dates back to 1940 although that original FDR-era version of the character is quite different than the hero Miller portrayed in Justice League. Miller’s Flash wears a mask to protect his secret identity as Barry Allen, and that version of the Flash has a comics heritage that trace back to 1956.
The fleet-footed DC hero already has a screen franchise of his own but it’s on the small screen: The CW has aired the live-action primetime series called The Flash since 2014. The show stars Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and as his red-suited alias but the series differs from Miller’s version in notable ways, including tone and canon.