In 2019, the Arrowverse's Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event featured the first-ever meeting between Gustin's Scarlet Speedster and Miller's DCEU hero. This important crossover sequence led many to wonder if Gustin would return the favor and appear in the film.
The anticipation became even higher when The Flash film director confirmed in July 2020 that the film would adapt the Flashpoint story from the comics, a storyline from the comics that the Arrowverse series already featured in Season 3.
Grant Gustin’s The Flash Movie Absence Explained
In June 2021, a rumor claimed that Grant Gustin would make an appearance as the Arrowverse's Scarlet Speedster in The Flash film.
Fast forward to February 2023, and insider John Campea claimed that there was a possibility that Grant Gustin (Barry Allen in The CW's Arrowverse) would replace Ezra Miller as the new heroic speedster of the DC universe in The Flash.
Despite these claims, Grant Gustin told TV Line in April 2023 that he would not appear as the Flash in Ezra Miller's movie, noting that he's not "keeping some big elaborate secret:"
"No. (Laughs) No, there’s been a lot of rumors out there for a long time. And no one’s come out directly and asked me ever, you know, on the record. And the entire time, people ask me on the street all the time, and yeah, I’m not keeping some big elaborate secret, no."
In The Flash movie, Grant Gustin's Scarlet Speedster did not appear at all.
Speaking with Nerdist in April 2023, The Flash director Andy Muschietti confirmed that Gustin almost had a cameo in the film as the Arrowverse's Barry Allen. However, there wasn't any room to include the character:
“Of course, as I said before the list of cameos…was huge. So obviously we played with the idea of including DC characters from TV, but we just had to pick.”
Why Grant Gustin’s Absence in the Flash Is a Missed Opportunity
Many would agree that Grant Gustin's take on the Flash is one of the definitive versions of the character, considering that the actor played the role for nearly a decade ever since 2014.
That said, the actor's absence in the movie was a missed opportunity since seeing him would've connected the Arrowverse to the larger DCEU even more. It would've also paid off the first meeting of the two iterations of the Flash during the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover.
It's possible that DC didn't want to confuse audiences with hopes that Gustin could further return as the Flash following the Arrowverse's ending.
More so, a character that would've been fitting to appear in The Flash is John Wesley-Shipp's original Barry Allen from the 1990s TV series, mainly because he was the first live-action version of the DC hero.
The Flash is now playing in theaters worldwide.