What Will The Flash Movie Be About?

Published 4 years ago by , Updated January 23rd, 2013 at 6:56 am,

the flash movie What Will The Flash Movie Be About?

With all the DC movie updates we got last week, the news that writer/producer Greg Berlanti might direct The Flash movie kind of got swept up in the current. However, when that news did drop, we got an interesting reaction from many of our Screen Rant readers: a number of them didn’t feel like The Flash movie had anything to offer.

After reading so many comments claiming that The Flash is a lame character, I just had to write a response. In my opinion, the sentiment that The Flash movie will have little depth or complexity to it couldn’t be more wrong. So let’s discuss: what will The Flash be about?

WHICH FLASH ARE WE TALKING?

First of all, we need to establish which Flash we’re talking about.  The Flash has had more incarnations and copy-cat versions (some with multiple incarnations of the their own) than just about any other character in comic book history. We previously discussed which Flash is best for the movie; check out that discussion and weigh in if you’d like.

On the current Flash Family tree there is:

  • Jay Garrick (Golden Age Flash)
  • Barry Allen (Silver Age Flash)
  • Wally West (Kid Flash/Modern Age Flash)
  • Bart Allen (Impulse/Kid Flash #2)
  • Max Mercury (Quicksilver)
  • Johnny Chambers (Johnny Quick)
  • Jesse Chambers (Jesse Quick)

If you’re not familiar with The Flash comic book, time travel is a big part of the character’s mythology (his speed powers help him transcend both space and time), so there are actually even more variations of the character. The names I listed are what I would call the “primary speedsters” of the DC Universe; technically speaking, any one of the characters who have carried the Flash mantle (Garrick, Allen, West) are viable candidates for the forthcoming movie.

flash family What Will The Flash Movie Be About? Just some of The Flash Family

Comic book writer Geoff Johns has been in charge of The Flash comic book since 2000, and was also responsible for writing up a treatment for the movie, which he turned in to DC/Warner Bros. sometime in the Spring/Summer of ’09. When I asked Johns about his Flash treatment at Comic Con last year, this was his response:

“We’re caught up in a world that’s obsessed with speed these days. Texting, faster downloading… We’re always looking for ways to speed things up, it can be hard to slow ourselves down.”

Other comments made during that panel led me to believe that Johns’ treatment for the film had Silver Age Flash (and fan-favorite) Barry Allen at its center – which would make sense, since it was Johns’ reverence for Barry Allen that led him to resurrect the character more than two decades after his comic book demise (a record death length for a comic book hero, BTW).

THE NEW MYTHOLOGY

Since resurrecting Barry Allen, Geoff Johns has done a major overhaul to the mythology of of The Flash – much the same way he did when he took over writing duties on Green Lantern. With both books, Johns managed to sweep away the increasingly absurd/cynical storylines that came with the 90s era, while still preserving the core values that have made Hal Jordan and Barry Allen enduring icons. Johns also took the prudent step of revising (not erasing) those campy sci-fi origin stories of the 40s/50s era, giving them more logical and weighted narrative dimensions.

the flash origin What Will The Flash Movie Be About?

In the case of The Flash, Barry Allen was originally portrayed as a forensic scientist working with the Central City police. One night while preparing to leave work, a mysterious bolt of lighting strikes a case of chemicals Allen is working with, spilling them on him and imbuing him with the ability to run at super speed.

That must’ve been a great origin story back in the day, but it’s a pretty thin premise for today’s savvy comic  book audiences. Johns has updated Allen’s origin, adding a brilliant backstory where Barry’s mother was murdered when he was young and his father was arrested as the prime suspect. It was the need to prove “what really happened” regarding his mother’s death that drove Barry into forensic science in the first place. In Johns’ revision, Barry is essentially a cop trying outrun the one injustice that forever plagues – and just like that, we have a strong foundation for a complex and interesting super hero protagonist.

flashstockpic1 What Will The Flash Movie Be About?

The Flash caught up in The Speed Force

Over the years it’s been revealed in the pages of Flash comics that there is a (sentient?) ‘Speed Force’ at work in the universe, which occasionally empowers individuals with the ability to move so fast that they can literally breach the limits of time and space. In the Geoff Johns era, Barry Allen has been brought into the epicenter of this Speed Force mystery and it has (for better or worse) become a central theme of his story. However, that same Speed Force storyline comes with the burden of a lot of time travel logistics.

For example: that fateful lighting bolt that struck Barry Allen and gave him his powers? Well, without going too far into The Flash’s history with time-travel (no pun), let’s just say it has been proposed that the lighting bolt was Barry Allen himself, using the Speed Force to set his own destiny in motion. See what I mean about the burden of time-travel? It’s a tricky device to shape a cinematic origin story around…

Continue for Flash movie story and villain ideas…

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  1. I was actually a fan of the short lived Flash (live action) TV series they had going (whenever that was). True super heroes based in the TV world flop like a kid jumping from a picnic table (Hulk excluded), but I thought Flash succeeded as a concept where others have failed. I remember the Spider-Man live action TV version from the 80s… lamest thing I had ever seen next to the 'Shazaam!' guy series. Anyone remember the egyptian goddess Iris as a super hero? Ugh! I'm drifiting here… sorry. Flash movie would be great. Barry Allen version would be my pick.

  2. Agh! The whole “My mother was murdered” thing is just awful, in my opinion. I loved having just ONE superhero who didn't get into the business because of some great injustice, but because he was just THAT good of a guy. Barry held out as one of the few, and by far the most prevalent. Thanks, Geoff.

  3. I don't know much about the Flash, but including time-travel will open up the story to more potential plot holes, especially if the villain can time-travel too. I mean, whats to stop the villain from going back in time and killing off the Flash's parents and preventing him from being born? Or whats to stop the Flash from going through time and doing the same? Not necessarily killing the villain's parents, but stopping him from gaining his powers. Or whats to stop them from going through time and undoing each others work? It seems like a really weak foundation to base a movie off of. I'm not sure a 2hr movie would have enough time to cover the origins of both characters as well as cover all the plot holes incurred by time-travel, let alone love interests, etc.

  4. I don't know much about the Flash, but including time-travel will open up the story to more potential plot holes, especially if the villain can time-travel too. I mean, whats to stop the villain from going back in time and killing off the Flash's parents and preventing him from being born? Or whats to stop the Flash from going through time and doing the same? Not necessarily killing the villain's parents, but stopping him from gaining his powers. Or whats to stop them from going through time and undoing each others work? It seems like a really weak foundation to base a movie off of. I'm not sure a 2hr movie would have enough time to cover the origins of both characters as well as cover all the plot holes incurred by time-travel, let alone love interests, etc.

  5. I don't know much about the Flash, but including time-travel will open up the story to more potential plot holes, especially if the villain can time-travel too. I mean, whats to stop the villain from going back in time and killing off the Flash's parents and preventing him from being born? Or whats to stop the Flash from going through time and doing the same? Not necessarily killing the villain's parents, but stopping him from gaining his powers. Or whats to stop them from going through time and undoing each others work? It seems like a really weak foundation to base a movie off of. I'm not sure a 2hr movie would have enough time to cover the origins of both characters as well as cover all the plot holes incurred by time-travel, let alone love interests, etc.

    • Oh man, I know this is a year old, but I just found this site and reading its comments and I just can’t help but reply to this. In the comics, one of Barry’s “Flash Facts” is that it is impossible to go back through time and change history. Every time Barry tried it, he got catapulted to a different dimension, and Wally just flat out refuses to even attempt it. Zoom however,does have the ability to go back and change the past. But Zoom hates The Flash so much that he doesn’t want to simply erase him, but to torture him and kill him with his own hands. But, that being said, it doesn’t mean the writers won’t screw it all up anyways and create plot holes in the story.

  6. They'd be right behind each other preventing one event after another, one big cat and mouse chase after the next.

  7. Somebody's got to make sure people don't get confused with Flash Gordon and D.C.'s The Flash. Bradley Cooper for the Flash!!!!

  8. Somebody's got to make sure people don't get confused with Flash Gordon and D.C.'s The Flash. Bradley Cooper for the Flash!!!!

  9. Somebody's got to make sure people don't get confused with Flash Gordon and D.C.'s The Flash. Bradley Cooper for the Flash!!!!

  10. i thought flash gordon and the flash was the same comic.. that just proves i dont know anything?! whats flash gordon then? but i wud definitely like to see a flash movie!

  11. The Flash movie would be great. I have personally waited the last 10 or so years for it to materialize.
    My Screen Treatment:
    Central City- Not the worst city in the world but it has some dirt under its nails if you catch my drift. Somewhat backwater off the grid place where some people and things get lost… again catch my drift. A research facility is in the process of moving to the outskirts of town (Star Labs).

    Barry Allen, Rookie Forensics Scientist, near-obssessed with a serial rapist/Killer case (rapist may be a bit too dark for the kiddies tho). Angry because he could figure this case out but it wasnt given to him, citing his caseload and rookie status. He's always letting life pass him by because of his cases (especially a certain cold case ala Mommy). He secretly wants to be the one out there catching the badguys and collecting the evidence to be able to prosecute(police always taint the crime scenes). Anti-social but not out of touch… somewhat indifferent to life in general.

    Iris, reporter that wants to be the next Lois Lane( Ah continuity) needs a source on a big story…. nothing like a cute Rookie FS, huh. Fiesty, yet old fashioned classy. Somewhat aloof tho.

    Richard Swift, Serial Killer, has committed over a dozen murders from Keystone to Central City. Always a step ahead of the cops leaves little lasting evidence. Thinks of himself as a ladies man and a gentleman. Doesnt take rejection well… my drift.

    Story:
    R. Swift murders a wife and husband in an hotel just outside Central City. This is the 4th vic this month. Cops on the scene cant find enough evidence or a good witness. hotel manager says “its like he slipped into the shadows. Barry tries to find evidence on a earlier cold scene. Iris is there as well looking for a story. She meets him, gives him her card. He acts like he cant be bothered. She leaves. He finds some clues but since its not his scene its inadmissable so he calls Iris to publish his findings. They meet for dinner. He acts cold, she's super pissed he keeps blowing her off, but shes grateful for the story info. She publishes what she has and becomes Swifts next target. Swift give her a fake call with fake info on himself to get her to come to abandon building (5 miles from the semi-functioning STAR LABS). On the way to her new source she calls Barry who doesnt answer cause hes obsessing over his Mommy case. He checks his voicemail and realizes its a trap and tries to call back but shes out of service range. So he hops in the car and races to the scene. Meanwhile Iris goes in and is attacked by Swift. A storm Brews over head. She manages to escape and run to Star Labs, Swift in pursuit. Barry follows their trail and narrowly prevents Iris death. Swift retreats to a dark room in wait to ambush Barry. Barry searching for Swift finds strange Chemicals in one of the labs and is struck by Lightning thus knocking over canisters of this stuff and covering his body. He goes into shock and convulsions while some of the energized Chemicals splash Swift…… to pace the story up the chemical some how bounds the propertys of what youre in contact with to your body or so its “Implied”. Swift manages to escape tho in excrusiating pain. Iris gets Barry to the car and to the hospital. Swift becomes the Shade( due to being in the shadows when exposed). Barry wakes up in the hospital normal, thanks and checks on Iris. Goes home and while berating himself realizes he is super fast from the “Flash” of lightning. He gets suspended for his envolvement in this case. So he creates a costume. Rights many wrongs and minor crimes as the Flash. Shade attacks Iris again in the open with his new powers. They have an epic battle. He wins by surrounding Shade with light at a super sonic speed. The City loves him. He goes out to a desert to test his Speed limits and inadvertantly runs into the speed force or timestream…… The End …… After the credits you see a time rip open a few seconds after Barry Runs into his own. A figure watches then a Red and Yellow Speed Stream heads across the landscape. Is this Barry or possibly Reverse Flash/Zoom?

    How 'bout that. Add some elements to thicken it up a bit. Thats a great movie possibility. The Flash would be Great. Yay!!!

  12. no….don't bring it.
    too one dimensional…the blurrrrr from one place to another.
    way better characters out there.
    maybe as part of the justice league…a small part

    • You obviously know NOTHING about the Flash even after reading all this. The Flash family as a whole is hardly one dimensional and The Flash comics have easily been one of the best books over the past decade. Just another uniformed making a declaration who ends up bowing down to the movie when it comes out.

  13. The Flash is one of my favorite characters DC has to offer and one of the most iconic. The Flash that actually mastered the speed force was Wally West who has been the speedster since Barry died in the early 80's, Barry used to need the cosmic treadmill, Wally did it on his own. I would have loved to see a movie about Wally but since they are going with Hal Jordan as Green Lantern they will go with Barry Allen as Flash. The Villain will be Zoom the first one since there have been 2 of those as well. They may use Captain Cold. I do agree with the other guys comment that the Flash was supposed to be the mosre light hearted of the Characters who did the job to help people, not to fulfill the void left by their dead(whoever).

    Everyone always thinks this Flash has something to do with Flash Gordon, thats just filthy.

  14. I too am in the dark on Flash Gordon. I thought he was the bully at Peter Parker's high school haha.

  15. flash thompson

  16. flash thompson

  17. I'm excited for a Flash movie, but I don't really know of a real good villain to face him. I'm not sure Professor Zoom would really go over well on screen at least not with an origin story and that would over take the origin story of the hero…unless it is a 3 hour movie…but I think it would be better to have a smaller scale, yet ruthless villain.

  18. Don't forget about Sheriff Rosco. P. Coltrane's dog, Flash

  19. SAVED BY THE BELL actor Mark-Paul Gosselaar “Zack Morris” can make an awesome Barry Allen role… on “The Fastest Man Alive” he never did starred in a superhero movie in his life. Lets give Mark to make quality choices to see if he can play “THE FLASH” on the big screen. That's my positive opinion. Mark is right now busy playing the Jerry Kellerman in RAISING THE BAR on TNT.

    Also for THE FLASH's enemy “PROFESSOR ZOOM” can also be played by the role Denis Leary who is also playing Tommy Gavin in “RESCUE MAN” series can make a nice villain in this upcoming FLASH movie. I will like to see The Good Flash take down the Evil Flash

  20. Question: Why does every Comic Book movie need to be based in 'reality' or have a dramatic overtone? Why can't it just be based on a fun character and have a fun story.

  21. I like this story line. Even though I am very unfamiliar with the Flash's story lines, The Reverse Flash/Zoom villain seems to be too complex to be the primary villain in the very first Flash movie. Using a lesser known villain that is actually a threat to the Flash would be a much better choice as the first villain for the beginning of a franchise. This story line is good because it introduces the main character and his love interest and explains pretty well the origin of his abilities. It also had a great follow up to the sequel with that final scene that I think would look great on film. I don't know if the Shade would be able to be a strong enough character to be a sole villain in a film, but I love the concept. I hope they make this movie right.

  22. I would love to see a Flash movie with The Barry Allen version. Barry has always been my favorate Flash. I could see the film with Barry and Iris having some great dramatic moments. I think Zoom would be good as a villian, but possibily in a sequel. I might could see Captain Cold, maybe instead of using a freeze gun, he could have ice powers. Captain Cold the other way could be percieved as another Mr. Freeze ( if anyone still remembers 1997..hint..hint). I could see Chris Pine as Barry

  23. Speed Force???
    Sorry,Outlaw, sounds like another dreaded comic book cliché.
    In reading this piece it sounds as though you've proved the point that you wished to disprove; meaning that it would be VERY tough to make a Flash film work.
    Hey I loved the original Infantino books so here's an idea: instead of cluttering up another super hero film let's keep this one painfully SIMPLE. Barry Allen struck by lightning, gains these wild powers and… move on! No more outrageous than a guy wearing a red suit.
    Hey, almost every boomer paying ten bucks to see this knows who the Flash is anyway…

  24. Speed Force???
    Sorry,Outlaw, sounds like another dreaded comic book cliché.
    In reading this piece it sounds as though you've proved the point that you wished to disprove; meaning that it would be VERY tough to make a Flash film work.
    Hey I loved the original Infantino books so here's an idea: instead of cluttering up another super hero film let's keep this one painfully SIMPLE. Barry Allen struck by lightning, gains these wild powers and… move on! No more outrageous than a guy wearing a red suit.
    Hey, almost every boomer paying ten bucks to see this knows who the Flash is anyway…

  25. I say there shall be a Good Flash vs The Evil Flash in this movie.. I hope Greg Berlanti makes that decision.

  26. I have always liked the Barry Allen Lightning Bolt twist.
    It would be interesting if that makes it into the film.
    Good article Kofi.

  27. I would love to see The Flash as a movie, I was a big fan of the 90's tv series, so I think Barry Allen would be the way to go. Brad Cooper as Barry would work, but if they were to go with Wally West, then for me there is only one guy to play Wally, too bad he's playing Hal Jordan in the GL movie, and Wade Wilson in the Deadpool spin off, which would be one Ryan Reynolds.

  28. 'The Flash is a lame character.'

    Let us examine comments that start with the above. In 99% of cases these are made by teenagers who know jack sh*t about the Flash except maybe from reading a 1-line introduction somewhere. They usually follow it up by saying how lame his powers are(Again, they know absolutely nothing about his powers except 'he runs fast') while ignoring that superhero characters aren't interesting only because of their powers.

    In short, ignore such comments. They're made by narrow-minded retards who are likely to do a complete U-turn when they eventually see the film in theatres.

  29. Yeah I was thinking “GREAT IDEA” then the possibility of casting Reynolds made it sound better.

    Then I read this write up and think that some great comic book characters will/can not transcend to the big screen that well.

    Justice League? Sure. Why not? Most people know of the Flash becasue of the Justice League. They know he can run fast. There is no reason not to include him.

    Origins…. meh for the JL movie I dont think anyone would care. Bats, Supes and WW sitting around a table with cheat sheets of various “heroes”…

    “This one in Central City has not reached his true potential but being the fastest man alive <side glance at Superman> deserves a close look”

    “Im an Alien Bruce”

    Anyway… you get my point.

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