For the longest time, I wondered whether I’d rather see a Flash movie or a Flash TV show.
As plans for a Flash movie languished in development hell, I started noticing patterns in the big-budget Batman, Superman, X-Men, Spider-Man, and finally Avengers and Green Lantern films, and I realized I’d rather have a TV show. I’d sacrifice the spectacle and scope of a movie to get a new story every week for 20 weeks out of the year. I’d rather get the origin out of the way and get to see lots of different villains, instead of one movie with an origin story, then if it does well enough a second movie with two villains shoehorned in together, and a third movie with as many villains as they could cram in because between audience drop-off and the stars getting too expensive/old for the part, they know this is it until someone comes along to reboot the series.
So I was actually quite happy (though extremely cautious) when they announced a Flash TV series last summer instead of a movie. Now that TV show is here, we’re two episodes in and it seems to be a hit.
Today, Warner Bros. announced a new slate of films with 10 DC-inspired movies through 2020.
And for the first time ever, I don’t have to choose between a Flash movie or a TV show.
The schedule announced includes:
2016: Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad.
2017: Wonder Woman — yes, Wonder Woman! — and Justice League
2018: Flash and Aquaman.
2019: Shazam and Justice League 2
2020: Cyborg and Green Lantern.
Newsarama speculates on a March 23, 2018 opening date based on previously-reserved dates.
Warner Bros. also announced that Ezra Miller will be playing the Flash, and confirmed Jason Momoa as Aquaman. I’m not familiar with Miller, but before anyone complains that he looks too young based on his IMDB headshot, keep in mind it was taken six years ago and the movie is scheduled for four years from now.
It’s been stated before that the DC cinematic and television universes will be separate, and casting different actors confirms it. (Unless they pull a fast one on us and it turns out he’s playing Bart.) That’s not unprecedented – Superman Returns came out during Smallville’s run, after all. And the more I think about it, it’s probably a good idea to let the TV show do what TV series do well — tell lots of stories, sometimes connected, sometimes stand-alone, with time to develop a wide cast of characters — and let the movies focus on the spectacle that works best on the big screen. (And based on the way Season 1 of S.H.I.E.L.D. had to spin its wheels until it could pull the big reveal without spoiling Captain America 2, allowing them to each go their own way without interference is probably best.)
I know I shouldn’t get too excited — I mean, they announced a Flash movie back in 2004 and it went through multiple scripts, writers and directors before stalling entirely — but after two episodes of the TV show, it’s hard not to feel optimistic about the Flash’s chances.