What Will The Flash Movie Be About?

Published 5 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?


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).


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. Unfortunately, Marco, DC announced that the actors playing GL, Superman, and Batman will not return for the Justice League movie. Different people playing them means a different take on each character.

  2. I really think they should make a movie about this, I know the difficulties, but definitely go on with it. It needs to be done. I love the flash

  3. If WB and DC want to make a pant load of money, and a truck load of fans happy they will retreat on several of their “on the back burner ideas” and concentrate on releasing a series of “Blackest Night” movies instead.

    Flash, green lantern corps, etc etc, that would make for some serious kick ass movies. And after that, “brightest day” series.

    And get off your asses and put a justice league on the big screen. For god sakes, if we can put a man on the moon, we can put JL on film.

  4. …And the only reason they are putting new characters in their DC universe for JL is to save a wack of dough for special effects. But whatever, just do it!!!

  5. If the movie is about Wally West then Ryan Reynolds would be good but Ryan Gosling wpuld also be good in my opinion.

  6. Um, Ryan Reynolds does Green Lantern, so if DC puts them together it wont work. Ryan Gosling would be good i agree.

  7. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, KEEP GREG BERLANTI AWAY FROM THIS MOVIE!!!!!! He screwed up Green Lantern, who is my favorite comic book character of all time, so if he screws up Flash too, I swear I might explode. WTF, DC?! You’re gonna have the man who directed Life As We Know It, which was HORRIBLE even by the standards of a romantic comedy, direct a movie for one of your main characters. You know why Marvel movies are more successful? Its because they have people who write the comics themselves, or who are at least familiar with them, writing the stories for the movies. Why don’t you follow their example?!! Greg Berlanti has never written a comic in his life; I don’t know if he’s ever even read one.

    Its so frustrating, because I love DC Comics, but every DC character except for Batman has been given crappy movies. I really wanted to love Green Lantern, but it was just okay. I’d honestly just give it 3 out of 5 stars. I still want it to get a sequel, just to fix the mistakes made in the first movie, but I WILL not see any DC movies if Greg Berlanti has any part in them. He’s just not a good writer OR director, so can his untalented butt. Get Geoff Johns to write the script for GL2 and maybe for Flash. Just, get a comic writer, a good one, to write the stories for these movies, not some Hollywood type who doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing.

  8. @Mike: I like the way you nailed it: “…if we can put a man on the moon, we can put JL on film.”
    Why not DC or Warner tap Richard Donner again to do any DC comics film. He’d be great.

  9. Good thoughts. If they did use thawn as the villain they could use hunter zolomon in a sequel and have Wally west as the kid flash. Just some extra thoughts.

  10. The Flash could be a great film if the right people were involved with the writing, directing and acting. For all the visual splendor of Superman Returns and The Green Lantern, the stories were very weak and that showed at the box office. If Warner Bros. wants some excellent writers, why not hire those who wrote the various animated Superman movies that were produced over the last several years? The scripts were dark and serious, totally lacking the adolescent, tongue-in-cheek camp we keep seeing in superhero films. Hire the writers who penned the last two Batman films, they weren’t have the method established beyond reasonable doubt. Of course, the real test comes next year when Superman: Man Of Steel comes out. Only time will tell? Oops, there we go with the time travel scenario again.

  11. They MUST do this.I would force all my friends to go with me just so I can help them make money from this. I’m a huge fan of Flash.
    For me I’d love it if it’s based on Wally West! Starting from how he got his powers to Kid Flash then being the current Flash. It would be awesome!

  12. Okay stop complaining! The flash is cool

  13. They should get Rian Johnson to climb on board to direct and assist with the writing since he messed with time travel in Looper. I hardly doubt Nolan will do this but that would be cool

  14. What about The Top… he seems to be a forgotten villian. The storyline about his death would make a good movie plot, since the trend seems to be kill the villian in almost every superhero movie now.

  15. it’s a shame this movie will never get made into a movie. heyn atleast we got tasm 2 and ironman 3 on the way.

  16. That would be cool if they made a the movie straight sci-fi about time travel and paradox


  18. Everyone thinks the Flash is an awesome character! But everyone hates a lame story… MAKE THE MOVIE… DON’T MAKE THE STORY LAME! Follow Geoff Johns story line and it will work.

  19. I do feel there should be a flash movie. It be a cross from a iron man meets spider man style origin. Just think if he time traveled to his mother’s death and still not able to stop it that would be a tear jerker. Tho flash in the comics never got a good reboot with villians and what he could do. This would be a good time to do it. Plus with the movie epic screen shots of him jumping and running off buildings. Run on water be bad ass for a fight on water with zoom. But I agree zoom be best fit as a villian. But in comic world flash/berry needs a deeper depth of a story to him and new villians that can stand out. But the flash movie can work with the right people and right cast.

  20. I really think they should make movies on the original 7

  21. No Reverse Flash? Think of the possibilities. Reverse Flash is the perfect villian for Flash. It’s like Batman without the Joker. this saddens me greatly.

  22. I hope they do make this movie it’s said the flash is the fastest out of all the superheroes even superman I mean if flash built up enough momentum he could knock superman on his ass but on the other hand the movie could be over in a flash 😉

  23. Maybe he can be a villain at first because of his speed but the government tracks him down to ask him to help because the reverse flash and followers are trying to start world war 3 or something like that and by the way nothing can out run time maybe space like running through different dimensions but not time

  24. If you are worried how audiences are going to react to a movie about a superhero who’s only power is to go really fast then the answer is not to put him against a villain who’s only power is to go really fast. People won’t want to see that movie. I’d put him up against Cobalt Blue. It’s cliche but bringing in the evil twin brother could be awesome. Maybe throw in Mirror Master just to make things even more intense.


  26. Rob, pretty sure dc is not going to change cavill out anytime soon as superman

  27. iv been waiting over 20 years for a good flash movie I still love the originals from the late 80s early 90s but the talk of making this movie has gone on to long they just need to do it

  28. I really hope they do go ahead with this flash movie. He has forever been my favorite Superhero, nobodies coming close. I will probably go everyday to see it until it stops playing, and than I will buy the DVD and hopefully a video game( a really good video game) gets made as well(one can dream right) lol. Now To who I believe who would be a good candidate to play the flash in the movie. Because I am a big flash fan and am very picky as to who can actually do the character justice I don’t think there is any big actor who can really do justice to this character. I would hope that DC/WB and the director go with a brand new actor who is super sarcastic, funny and says what ever he wants. I have faith ,

  29. Flash is my all-time favorite, DC, Marvel, dark gorse, all universes…. I’m really surprised that an attempt has not been made at this one yet, really. As a staple of the Justice league and the DCU as a whole, I can’t believe that W. is only now getting into serious talks about making this thing happen. I’m a real flash fan lol, when people say ” oh yeah, he’s the red guy that can run fast, right? It makes me cringe lol….I nod politely and say yes but that not even the half of it!!! I’m thinking that on the other hand maybe he’s too complex to transfer into film with any grace, anybody feel me on this? I’d rather not have a movie that’s have some crappy 90 minute piece of garbage like the way Marvel did the Fantastic Four, or the way Marvel did the X-Men, or the way Marvel did Captain America, or the way Marvel did the Wolverine flicks, or the way Marvel did the Elektra movie, or the way Marvel did the daredevil movie, or the way that Marvel handled the Punisher movie, or the way Marvel did the First class movie… Lol I’m done…. But seriously what if there’s no good way to make it, short of getting Spielberg or Zemeckis to do it? Directors of a caliber that simply wouldn’t do it. Even if they got a great director, who would we want to play Barry Allen? I say this as the biggest flash fan that I know, I’d rather have Barry Allen stay just the way he is, for all of these reasons and one more….Ryan Reynolds, you dumb prick!!!!! Why did u hafta f’ up the whole Dc universe by playing GL, a role that 50 other guys could’ve played when u were born to be Barry Allen or Wally West!!!! I hate u Reynolds! U were born to be Barry Allen or dead pool, and since Marvel sucks, it was a clef choice…… Anyway, glad I got that off my chest. If a good flash movie can’t be made, would u still want it to be made anyway? That’s the question that I pose to you guys……