Warner Bros. Discovery is in the midst of taking a new approach to the DC Extended Universe, and while that should be good news for fans, the shock cancellation of Batgirl suggests otherwise.
While new CEO David Zaslav didn't hesitate to pull the plug on that $70 million movie, the studio is said to be weighing its options over The Flash in the wake of a seemingly endless string of accusations and controversies surrounding lead actor Ezra Miller. The last resort? Scrapping the movie altogether.
We'd rather that not happen, and there are some other possibilities on the table. It's become clear that, whatever happens, Miller can't continue playing the Fastest Man Alive moving forward and there are a multitude of ways this character can be seamlessly removed or replaced for future stories. Basically, if you're reading this David, we have some suggestions for you!
So, to take a look through our ideas, all you guys need to do is click the "Next" button below.
5. Kill That Motherf***er!
Okay, that subheading is a little more aggressive than we may have intended, but this would be a perfect solution to all of Warner Bros.' problems. While the original plan was for The Flash to set the stage for a Crisis on Infinite Earths movie, an element from the storyline could be brought forward, and that is, of course, the death of Barry Allen.
The Scarlet Speedster seemingly died saving all of reality in the event story. While it was later retconned so that he had been "lost" in the Speed Force, The Flash is the perfect opportunity to have Miller's Barry disappear into nothingness saving reality.
Death would mark a permanent end to this Flash's journey, but like Green Lantern, he's not as essential to this world as the likes of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. Another Barry could appear at some point, but wrapping up this version's arc in a definitive fashion that closes the door on Miller ever reprising the role might be for the best, don't you think?
4. Enter Wally West
Over the years, the DC Universe has seen multiple heroes hold the same mantle. In the case of The Flash, Wally West took over from Barry Allen when he died.
While we haven't met Wally in this world (and it's certainly too late to add him to the movie at this stage), a post-credits scene could introduce a younger actor as that character who gains the Scarlet Speedster's powers in the wake of the Fastest Man Alive's death. From there, Wally could become the DCEU's new Flash.
For many fans, Wally is their Flash, anyway, and while this would be a departure from the comic books - we'd likely give Kid-Flash a miss - it feels like a logical next step for this character on the big screen. Needless to say, Warner Bros. should cast this hero a little more carefully next time.
3. Make The Flash A Batman Movie
This would likely require a release date delay and some additional photography, but that would still be more cost-effective than scrapping this $200 million blockbuster-in-the-making altogether.
We know Michael Keaton returns as Batman in The Flash and that Ben Affleck's Caped Crusader makes his presence felt. A few tweaks here and there, and a greater focus could be put on both of those characters. Barry Allen would still be the lead (there's no getting around that at this point), but moving the spotlight to Batman could help in terms of marketing the movie.
Just imagine if it's called Batman: Flashpoint Paradox, for example? That and trailers focusing on how the two Batmen factor into this adventure, and Warner Bros. can quietly move on from the Scarlet Speedster and avoid Ezra Miller's controversies overshadowing the movie's release.
2. A New World, A New Flash
Rumour has it The Flash ends with Supergirl and Michael Keaton's Batman becoming permanent additions to the DCEU. This is a result of Barry Allen inadvertently rewriting reality, and we're assuming Crisis on Infinite Earths was going to deal with that and perhaps even create a fully rebooted big screen DC Universe.
However, if Ben Affleck's Dark Knight is replaced alongside Henry Cavill's Man of Steel, why can't Barry Allen also have a new face when he races into the new timeline before the credits roll?
This might take some explaining, but the original Flash disappearing and being replaced by a doppelganger means Warner Bros. can create a mystery and potentially even leave the door open to Miller returning should they eventually get through their issues. Who should be the new Barry? We'd go with Grant Gustin.
1. Written Out Of Reality
This is similar to some of the other suggestions we've made here, but it would be possibly be even more permanent than death for The Flash. That won't be what many fans want, of course, but it could be an appropriate possibility for this so-called 10-year plan Warner Bros. is putting together.
To save reality, the Fastest Man Alive would need to wipe himself from it. That would spell an end to The Flash on a permanent basis, at least during this era of storytelling. As we've mentioned, Barry Allen isn't as important to the DCEU as some of his more famous Justice League teammates, and if Miller's actions get any worse, this could be wholly necessary.
The Flash carries the weight of the SnyderVerse on his shoulders, and if Warner Bros. can shelve Green Lantern for over a decade just because that 2011 movie flopped, then we're sure they won't hesitate to do the same to The Flash. It would be a shame, but there's always a future reboot...