During his panel at Comic-Con, held this weekend, Warner Bros. revealed the upcoming DC Extended Universe (UEDC) films. Most of them we already knew, such as Batman, Suicide Squad 2, Shazam, Wonder Woman 2, Green Lantern Corps and Batgirl. Only one of them was a real surprise: Flashpoint (or Flash Point, as it became known in Brazil).
We already know that Flash will be properly introduced in Justice League, played by actor Ezra Miller. He will also have his solo film at UEDC. But the title is experiencing serious production problems, such as changes in scriptwriters and script and several directors who have already abandoned the ferry. At the moment, Robert Zemeckis is the favorite to take over the direction.
Renaming the hero’s film was a clever thing, as the name is the same as that of a significant comic book story and offers some clues as to the direction the film will take (and possibly, it should also affect UEDC in some way). As we have already seen in the hero’s TV series, Flashpoint / Flashpoint is an event that shows the consequences of changes in timelines.
What is Flashpoint?
Flaspoint / Flashpoint is a comic released in 2011 by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Andy Kubert, Alex Sinclar and Sandra Hope, in addition to being an event that had implications for DC’s main timeline.
Here, Barry Allen wakes up in a world he doesn’t recognize. He has no powers, the Justice League does not exist, and his companions are not like those he remembers. His mother is alive, but his father is not, although he has never been arrested.
Due to so many changes, Barry goes looking for Batman, to discover that this version of the hero is not Bruce Wayne, but his father, Thomas, who after the murder of his son (who died in his parents’ place) became a vigilant. Together, they recreate the accident that gave Barry his powers, and on the second try, it works. Convinced that his arch-enemy, Eobard Thawne, the Reverse Flash, has caused all these changes, the two are looking for him.
Throughout the series, Flash and Batman – alongside Cyborg, who is the greatest hero of this reality – rescue Kal-El from prison, who was arrested by the government since he was discovered as a child and was prevented from absorbing the sun to become Superman; find themselves in the crossfire of the war between the Amazons of Wonder Woman and the Atlanteans of Aquaman; and eventually they meet Thawne, who says he didn’t cause the events and that it was all Barry’s fault.
As depicted in the TV series, Thawne reveals to Barry that he traveled back in time to prevent his mother from being killed. He achieved this by making use of the Acceleration Force, which made Barry so powerful that he changed reality and altered the stories of the other characters. It also turned Thawne into a living paradox, which means that he no longer needs Barry around to guarantee his existence. To get everything back to normal, the hero needs to return to the past and let his mother be killed by Thawne.
After fixing everything and returning home, Barry maintains his memories of the alternate timeline, but he didn’t even realize that the correct timeline still has minor differences from the original. From these minor, but significant changes, came the New 52, which started the DC Rebirth series.
How can Flashpoint impact UEDC?
That’s the main question, isn’t it? How can the UEDC version of Flashpoint affect its continuity? As in the comics, the film can explore a completely different universe, with drastically different versions of DC heroes, new heroes or different characters taking on these roles.
For example, Flashpoint could introduce the version of Batman embodied by Thomas Wayne. The actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan of The Walking Dead) who appeared briefly in Batman vs. Superman: The Origin of Justice, is already a big fan of the idea. In addition, when Flashpoint is released, we will already have a good number of UEDC films, which means that the dynamic the relationship between your characters must already be established and ready to be subverted.
Even though Warner isn’t interested in strictly adapting the Flashpoint comic, there’s still a lot to do with a movie that offers the chance to change the franchise’s already established formula. Assuming that Flashpoint is being adapted as a title in which Barry’s actions inadvertently change reality, the feature could be a kind of “transformative” film by UEDC. It’s Warner’s opportunity to take advantage of what works and fix what didn’t work.
There are those who believe that this cinematic universe has already had a small correction, but a plot point that can easily explain any change that a studio wants to make is the one used by X-Men: Days of Future Past, which worked as a kind of “ reset ”or“ reboot ”for the mutant franchise.
In any case, the magnitude of the Flashpoint ad and its potential to radically alter (or at least shake up) what Warner has established for UEDC is enormous. A seed has already been planted that can create several possibilities, and may indicate a new direction for this cinematic universe or just a different adventure in which the studio can play with the expectations of the characters and the imagination of the fans.
As in the comics, Flashpoint can be the first step towards UEDC’s own rebirth (literal translation of Rebirth).