The Flash has undergone a tumultuous pre-production process, cycling through 3 different directors over the course of its development. This has resulted in the film being delayed to June 3, 2022. The film is expected to start filming in 2021, although it is unclear whether these plans have been affected by productions being halted.
The Flash has been known to be based on the Flashpoint storyline for quite a while. However, earlier this year, current director Andy Muschietti teased that the film would be chronicling a “different version of Flashpoint than you’re expecting”.
A new report from The Wrap revealed that Michael Keaton was in talks to reprise his role as Batman, specifically the version last seen in Batman Returns. This same report also gave some new plot information about how the Caped Crusader would fit into the Flashpoint story...
The latest article from The Wrap gave some new information about how The Flash's story would reportedly draw from the Flashpoint storyline from the comics. It also notes how it would incorporate Michael Keaton's Batman should he agree to star in the project.
"Loosely based on the 2011 DC Comics crossover event “Flashpoint”... the story sees Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen travel back in time to prevent the death of his mother. The result? Allen inadvertently creates another universe protected by Michael Keaton’s Batman, now 30 years older."
The film will also apparently disregard the events of Batman: Forever and Batman & Robin, following on from where the character left off following Batman Returns.
WHAT THIS MEANS
It seems as though Andy Muschietti was correct in this being a very different Flashpoint to what fans may have expected. Batman does appear in the Flashpoint storyline from the comics, but the mantle is instead helmed by Bruce's father, Thomas Wayne, in this timeline. Using Michael Keaton's Batman seems like a good alternative to capitalize on the use of a Batman that the general public are familiar with.
The idea of an older incarnation of Bruce Wayne is not a new concept, having most prominently appeared in The Dark Knight Returns. Since then, there have been numerous interpretations of this idea, inspiring the likes of Batman Beyond and Kevin Conroy reprising the role of an older Bruce during the 'Crisis on Infinite Earths' CW storyline. Whether The Flash will depict a more brutal, brooding version of the character or feature Bruce as a mentor to Terry McGuinness remains to be seen.
Despite this change, the rest of the plot seems faithful to the original Flashpoint story. The noting of Barry creating a universe in an attempt to prevent his mother's death is interesting. In the Flashpoint storyline, The Flash simply changes the current timeline that he is in, rather than outright creating an alternate universe. This could be an attempt to rival Marvel's use of the multiverse in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, and to hopefully connect DC's various different properties that exist in separate continuities.
Nevertheless, The Flash should provide an exciting look at what Michael Keaton's Batman has been up to when it arrives in 2022.