A timeline of The Flash movie's not-so-fast road to the big screen
For such a fast superhero, the Flash sure is taking his time making it to the big screen.
Last October, Variety reported that production on the long-gestating solo outing for the DC superhero had once again been delayed. It marked the latest setback for the movie, which has struggled to find a script, director, and release since being announced five years ago. But the project refuses to die, and WB has now announced a new release date of July 2, 2022 for The Flash.
EW knows that timelines can get tricky in the superhero world, so we compiled a complete rundown of the bumpy road for The Flash.
October 2014: The Flash announced with Ezra Miller to play Barry Allen
A year after Man of Steel’s release and amid the successful launch of CW’s The Flash, Warner Bros. announces The Flash is coming to theaters in 2018 with Ezra Miller — not Grant Gustin — starring as Barry Allen.
October 2015: Seth Grahame-Smith hired to write and direct
The Pride & Prejudice & Zombies author is set to make his directorial debut as he’s hired to write and direct the film, working on a treatment from Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
March 2016: Miller cameos in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
The groundwork for Justice League is laid with Miller joining Jason Momoa and Ray Fisher with brief cameos in DC’s first attempt to bring their iconic characters together.
April 2016: Seth Grahame-Smith departs
Smith is out as director, but his script will reportedly still be used.
June 2016: Dope director Rick Famuyiwa hired
WB moves quickly and brings aboard Famuyiwa, the director behind The Wood, Brown Sugar, Dope, and HBO’s Confirmation.
July 2016: Kiersey Clemons cast as the female lead
Famuyiwa doesn’t waste any time turning to a familiar face as he casts Dope actress Kiersey Clemons as the female lead opposite Miller.
August 2016: Miller cameos in Suicide Squad
Another small cameo for Miller, this time in David Ayer’s supervillain team-up, Suicide Squad. Miller’s one scene is part of the extensive reshoots on the film.
September 2016: More casting
Watchmen star Billy Crudup is cast alongside Miller and Clemons in The Flash, joining the film as Barry’s dad, Henry Allen (he’d end up appearing in Justice League).
October 2016: Famuyiwa departs
Two years after the film was first announced and four months after Famuwiya was hired, The Flash loses another director as Famuwiya departs over the dreaded “creative differences.”
January 2017: New writer brought onboard
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword scribe Joby Harold is hired to “reimagine” the script.
May 2017: A new frontrunner for director emerges
After numerous high-profile filmmakers reportedly pass, Warner Bros. looks to make a possible big splash with Back to the Future and Forrest Gump director Robert Zemeckis emerging as the frontrunner to take over the film.
July 2017: “Flashpoint” is coming to the big screen
There’s no official word on a director, but The Flash has a story — and it’s a big one. After previously being adapted on TV for The Flash’s season 3 premiere, the movie will also use “Flashpoint,” a story arc from the comics that features Allen waking up in an alternate reality where his mother is alive and he’s not the Flash.
November 2017: Justice League is released
After two brief cameos, Miller gets to play the role for an entire movie in Snyder’s critically and commercially disappointing Justice League, which brought Flash together with Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Cyborg.
March 2018: Original release date passes
The original release date comes and goes with The Flash having not filmed one single shot.
January 2018: John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein hired to direct
Daley and Goldstein, the writers of Spider-Man: Homecoming and directors of Game Night, are the latest to take on the directing gig for The Flash. A later report suggests that the film will look to the Back to the Future for tonal inspiration (no wonder they wanted Zemeckis).
October 2018: More delays
The start date on production is now expected to not take place until late 2019, meaning a likely 2021 release date.
July 2019: New director and writer
EW has confirmed that It and It: Chapter 2 helmer Andy Muschietti is in talks to direct the film, after Daley and Goldstein reportedly left the project over creative differences earlier this year. Should the deal close, Muschietti’s sister Barbara will also board the project as producer. And, per The Hollywood Reporter, Miller had teamed up with comic book writer Grant Morrison to pen a new script, but Warner Bros. declined that manuscript in May and is now considering Bumblebee and Birds of Prey writer Christina Hodson to take a stab at it.
December 2019: New release date…again
With WB and DC riding a hot streak thanks to Wonder Woman and Joker, Flash has now ran its way back on to the release calendar, scoring the plum summer spot of July 1, 2022.
June 2020: "I'm Batman...again"
Despite Robert Pattison being set as the new caped crusader in Matt Reeves' The Batman, The Flash is going back to one of the OGs with Michael Keaton. The return of the star of Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns (and more recently Spider-Man: Homecoming) begs the question — how? Well, The Flash will tap into the concept of a multiverse where different versions of the same character can coexist (as seen in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse).
August 2020: The Batfleck is back
Batmans, unite! Ben Affleck may have bowed out as director and star of The Batman, but his run as Bruce Wayne is far from over. In addition to starring in director Zack Snyder's cut of Justice League, Affleck has been confirmed for an appearance in The Flash. "He’s a very substantial part of the emotional impact of the movie. The interaction and relationship between Barry and Affleck’s Wayne will bring an emotional level that we haven’t seen before,” Muschietti told Vanity Fair, which was first to report the news. "It’s Barry’s movie, it’s Barry’s story, but their characters are more related than we think. They both lost their mothers to murder, and that’s one of the emotional vessels of the movie. That’s where the Affleck Batman kicks in.” And now George Clooney sits in his Italian villa, waiting for his phone to ring.
This article was originally published Oct. 16, 2018, and most recently updated Aug. 20, 2020.
The Flash (movie)