I almost can’t believe I’m typing this next sentence but here goes. The Flash is now in theatres. Yes, after years of delays, scripts, and different filmmakers attempting to tackle the project, Ezra Miller is finally starring as the DC speedster in a theatre near you. And we think the movie was worth the wait, providing an exciting, surprising, and heartfelt experience.
There’s also a lot to talk about in terms of spoilers — the film’s ending, its end credits scene, and so much more — so let’s break it down and see if we can figure it all out, and where this film leaves the DC Universe.
So, after Barry 2 (the 18-year-old) dies stopping the future version of himself from destroying multiple universes that include Christopher Reeves’ Superman, Helen Slater’s Supergirl, George Reeves’ Superman, Nicolas Cage’s Superman, Adam West’s Batman, and more, Barry 1 (the main one) comes to terms with the fact he can’t save his mother. So he travels back, takes the all-important tomatoes out of the cart, and returns home. Mum is dead and that’s that. He has learned that he should not meddle with the past.
Only, he didn’t learn that at all. This time, Barry moved the tomatoes to the top shelf so that, in the surveillance footage, his dad’s face would emerge, exonerating him from the accusations of murder. That didn’t happen in the original universe at the start of the film and while Barry thinks he may have gotten away with a fast one, the final revelation that Batman in this universe is no longer Ben Affleck, but actually George Clooney, proves he still changed the timeline yet again.
Where does that all leave us? Well, a few more clues are given in the film’s end credit scene, where Barry meets up with Arthur Curry, aka Aquaman, to explain to him about all the new Batmen he’s encountered (at this point, he’s met Ben Affleck, Michael Keaton, and George Clooney). This scene not only keys us into the fact metahumans once again exist in this universe, but also that a new Aquaman movie is coming in the near future and that it takes place in the same reality as The Flash. (Though, to be fair, Arthur is so drunk there’s no guarantee he’ll remember any of that.)
However if that’s true, it sure seems like George Clooney, not Ben Affleck or anyone else, is the Batman in this universe now. And… does that make a lick of sense? Like, at all? We know there’s a new Batman coming to DC in the next few years. He’ll star in The Brave and The Bold. But George Clooney is not going to play that Batman. His cameo here is merely a joke. A callback to Batman and Robin. Yet it seems, the way things stand, that he’s the guy… unless one of two things happens. One, that the new DC Universe punts both Ezra Miller as Flash and Jason Momoa as Aquaman. Or, that this is merely a set up for a Flash sequel where Barry changes things again and, boom, ends up in the new James Gunn DC Universe.
Because here’s a fascinating (albeit worthless) fact: The Flash ends how it ends. That’s the ending. George Clooney. But, in early screenings, Warner Bros. cut off the Clooney stuff to preserve the surprise. It ended with Barry saying “Who the fuck is this guy?” and went right to the credits. That ending, in my opinion, would’ve been perfect. That’s the film acknowledging the upcoming new Batman movie and placing itself in that universe. Heck, it could even leave the door open for it to be Robert Pattinson. But that’s not the ending, this is, and while the Clooney bit is funny and fits in the scheme of the movie, it disconnects the movie from everything else in a major way.
We’ll see how it all plays out as the DC universe gets reset in the coming years but we’re very curious to know how Ezra Miller’s Flash, Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, and now George Clooney’s Batman for some reason, fit into the plans. Not to mention all those other multiverses.
The Flash is now in theatres.
Want more Gizmodo news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.
Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.
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