The Flash was intended to be a transformative movie for the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), linked closely to a grand multiverse storyline. Originally slated as a flagship project in the early DCEU lineup, The Flash underwent several transformations and director changes. Concurrently, the DCEU underwent significant shifts, leading to the cancellation of many proposed DC films. Regrettably, The Flash’s box office performance was dismal, grossing only $269 million against a reported $200 million budget, making it a major flop.
Recent developments like the Warner Bros. Discovery merger and the establishment of DC Studios have further reshaped the trajectory of DC’s cinematic plans. The new DC Universe, starting with James Gunn’s “Superman: Legacy” in 2025, will veer away from many of The Flash’s original setup. The movie reportedly had three alternative endings, potentially altering the DCEU’s course in different ways.
Originally designed to be a cornerstone of the DCEU due to its ties to the Justice League, The Flash’s failure squashed prospects for a sequel. Before the shift in plans by James Gunn and Peter Safran, a sequel seemed logical, similar to the trajectory of Wonder Woman and Aquaman. The failure now renders The Flash 2 improbable, and it’s unclear whether Ezra Miller will reprise his role as Barry Allen in the revamped DC Universe that introduces new versions of iconic heroes like Superman and Batman.
The Flash’s original ending could have led to intriguing developments, including the introduction of Sasha Calle’s Supergirl into the main DCEU timeline, but this was negated by the film’s actual conclusion. A potential solo Supergirl movie and a Batman Beyond film with Michael Keaton were also on the table, contingent on The Flash’s success. However, the movie’s underperformance essentially dashes these possibilities.
Plans for a Flashpoint movie existed, with Jay Oliva revealing Reverse Flash as a key antagonist, potentially leading to a DCEU-wide villain presence. This trilogy would have intertwined with Zack Snyder’s Justice League sequels and culminated in a franchise reboot.
Intriguingly, Batgirl’s cancellation and changes in Batman actors complicated the continuity established by The Flash’s intended ending. The envisioned Batgirl movie would have flowed from The Flash, with Michael Keaton’s Batman integrated into the DCEU timeline. Despite the upheaval, Keaton’s potential return as Batman captivated fans and could have extended to Justice League sequels.
While a Crisis on Infinite Earths movie derived from The Flash’s multiverse premise was once discussed, it never materialized due to organizational shifts. Ultimately, The Flash’s box office failure and the reconfiguration of DC Studios and the DC Universe have fundamentally altered the cinematic landscape, rendering many of the previously envisioned outcomes unlikely.