The Flash has long been poised to usher in a new era of the DCU, going back far before James Gunn revealed his slate plans for fresh iterations of Batman, Superman, and plenty of other legendary heroes.
With DC having gone through multiple regime changes since The Flash wrapped filming, the movie's ending and what it will set up have also gone through several evolutions, including last-minute changes and two heroes getting cut.
The Flash's Batman Twist Ending Explained
Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for The Flash.
Having caused a host of Multiversal chaos after traveling back in time to save his mother's life, the ending of The Flash saw Barry Allen put things right by undoing his actions and allowing Nora Allen to meet her tragic demise.
Following Flash's return to the seemingly original timeline, the speedster attended court to see his father cleared of all charges in his appeal after spending years in prison for murdering his wife and Barry's mother, Nora Allen.
But after Barry left the courthouse, one major change to the seemingly-restored timeline quickly became apparent as Bruce Wayne arrived, but it was clearly not Ben Affleck's Batman as the speedster had been expecting.
The Bruce Wayne actor to exit the car was none other than George Clooney, who only played the Dark Knight once before in 1997's Batman & Robin.
The superhero pair ended off The Flash with a short-lived interaction as Ezra Miller's Flash expressed pure confusion to be greeted by this stranger, having expected to be reunited with Ben Affleck's Batman:
Barry Allen: "Who the fuck is this?"
Bruce Wayne: "Hey, Barry."
Barry Allen: "No, what? Where's... No, you can't... You're not Batman."
Bruce Wayne: "What's wrong with you?"
Is George Clooney Playing the DCU's New Batman?
Not only does Ben Affleck appear to be out of the equation, but Michael Keaton also met his demise before The Flash came to a close, leaving George Clooney as the only active Batman remaining. This is aside from Robert Pattinson, whose adventures will continue under DC's standalone Elseworlds umbrella.
With James Gunn and Peter Safran leading DC Studios to a franchise reboot that will debut a brand-new Batman in The Brave and the Bold, many will be left wondering whether The Flash indicates Clooney will be the DCU's new Dark Knight as Ben Affleck has already been confirmed to be recast.
Scooper Grace Randolph claimed that a former Batman with a cameo at the end of The Flash "could potentially stick around as the new permanent DCU Batman" and the father to Damian Wayne in The Brave and the Bold.
But James Gunn was quick to shut down rumors he may be eyeing Clooney for the DCU's Batman with a definitive "absolutely not" before revealing the rebooted Dark Knight will be played by a "new actor."
So far, the only heroes with confirmed actors attached in this new world featured at the end of The Flash are Ezra Miller's Barry Allen, George Clooney's Batman, and Jason Momoa's Aquaman in a post-credits scene.
With Clooney already confirmed not to play the rebooted Batman, this may indicate the world Barry Allen landed himself in may not be explored further at all. After all, The Flash did reportedly face last-minute changes after Gunn's DC takeover to make the ending more "vague" and avoid clearly teasing future plans.
So as George Clooney will clearly not be the DCU's new Batman, perhaps The Flash's shocking ending may actually have been intended for nothing more than dramatic effect and a clever twist to deliver one cameo before the credits rolled.
The Flash hits theaters on Friday, June 16.