Perhaps in an effort to win back audiences who were turned off by the grim atmosphere of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, the Comic-Con trailer for Zack Snyder’s upcoming superhero team-up movie Justice League prominently featured Ezra Miller as the wise-cracking speedster Barry Allen a.k.a. The Flash. Barry will be the star of his own solo movie in 2018, directed by Rick Famuyiwa (Dope) and co-starring Kiersey Clemons (Transparent) as Iris West, which is expected to begin production this year.
Now, another intriguing bit of casting news has broken, as Variety reports that Billy Crudup (Watchmen) is in talks to play Barry’s father (Henry Allen, unless the movie decides to radically reinvent Barry’s backstory). Warner Bros. has yet to comment on the news, but Variety is generally a very reliable source. It sounds like Crudup isn’t locked in for the role just yet, but this would certainly be great casting.
Crudup recently wrapped production on Ridley Scott’s Prometheus follow-up Alien: Covenant, and also appeared in Tom McCarthy’s journalism drama Spotlight, which won an Oscar for Best Picture earlier this year. To superhero fans, however, he’s better known for playing (largely via motion capture) the terrifyingly powerful character Doctor Manhattan in Snyder’s 2009 adaptation of acclaimed Alan Moore graphic novel Watchmen.
Not only does Crudup have a connection to one of the DC Extended Universe’s chief architects, as well as some great recent credits to his name, he also bears a resemblance to Miller that would make the two of them very convincing as father and son. This would actually mark a reunion for Miller and Crudup, since they recently co-starred in true-life drama The Stanford Prison Experiment. Moreover, the TV version of The Flash over on The CW has demonstrated how emotionally powerful a father-son relationship can be on screen (using both Henry Allen and Barry’s adoptive father, Joe West), and prominently featuring Henry Allen would continue the DCEU’s trend of exploring superheroes’ strong connections to their parents.
In other words, let’s hope those casting talks turn out well, because Crudup would be an excellent addition to what is already shaping up to be an extremely buzzworthy solo movie outing for the Flash. There’s even a possibility that Crudup could make an appearance in Justice League, either by sneaking in at the end of principal photography or jumping in during additional photography. At the very least, Barry will probably have a picture of his father lying around.
Suicide Squad is in theaters now. Wonder Woman opens on June 2, 2017; Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. The Flash, the Batman solo movie, Man of Steel 2, and Justice League Dark are currently without release dates.