Skip to main content

The Flash could be the solo movie that changes the DC Extended Universe.

The DCEU has changed a lot since it really jumped off in 2016. Back then, Henry Cavill’s Superman and Ben Affleck’s Batman were key elements of the franchise. Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was still an unsure thing. And fans were hopeful Justice League could do for DC what The Avengers did for Marvel.

Fast-forward just a few years, and the DCEU is in the best shape it’s ever been. Both Cavill and Affleck are non-factors in the immediate future, leaving DC’s most recognizable characters off the board. Meanwhile, Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Jason Momoa’s Aquaman are carrying the franchise forward. Here’s why that is great news for The Flash movie.

Ezra Miller, Gal Gadot, and Jason Momoa at San Diego Comic-Con
Ezra Miller, Gal Gadot, and Jason Momoa at San Diego Comic-Con | Mike Coppola/Getty Images

‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘Aquaman’ are the DCEU’s most successful heroes

Although fans and critics mostly dubbed Justice League a missed opportunity, the film’s ensemble cast definitely worked well together. Coming just a few months after Wonder Woman, the team-up movie solidified Gadot as the best hero in the DCEU. And Momoa got the chance to flex his, ahem, acting muscles as the group’s resident bro.

Momoa left such a strong impression, in fact, that Aquaman became the DCEU’s first billion-dollar movie the very next year. So, despite the presence of other characters with a proven box office history, Aquaman and Wonder Woman currently stand as the two highest-grossing solo movies in the franchise.

Unfortunately, Gadot and Momoa didn’t have too many standout moments in Justice League. The few exchanges they have do hint at a fun dynamic that may or may pay off in future DCEU releases. If the powers that be at Warner Bros. do hope to tap into Gadot and Momoa’s chemistry and popularity, they are now faced with the perfect opportunity to do so.

‘The Flash’ movie will reportedly feature the ‘Flashpoint’ story

Ironically, the best and most interesting chance for more Wonder Woman and Aquaman isn’t in either’s upcoming sequels nor another team-up. Rather, the characters could interact in a surprising way in the upcoming The Flash movie. That film has been perpetually delayed — and will, so far, still star Ezra Miller — but is currently scheduled for release in June 2022.

According to reports, The Flash will draw inspiration from the comics’ Flashpoint storyline. One of the most popular tales featuring the character, the plot focuses on The Flash trying to find his way out of a dark alternate timeline. In this world, a deadly affair between Wonder Woman and Aquaman has led the Amazons and the Atlanteans into an all-out war.

As such, The Flash could allow Gadot and Momoa to play much darker versions of their characters. And because the two are fan favorites, the impact of just how different they are from their existing counterparts would work as narrative shorthand for audiences who — like The Flash — are shocked and appalled by the former heroes’ violent collision course.

Could ‘The Flash’ cement the next ‘Justice League’ team line-up?

If Flashpoint seems familiar, it’s probably because the story was previously adapted into 2013’s animated Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. Elements of it also found their way into The CW’s The Flash. But more than tapping into this recognizability, the story could give the DCEU the soft reboot it needs right now.

In both the comics and the animated movies, Flashpoint is used to launch a new continuity. Similarly, The Flash movie could be the movies’ chance to make any necessary adjustments. After all, the DCEU has changed quite a bit since 2016. If Warner Bros. wants a new Superman or to bring Robert Pattinson’s Batman into the DCEU, this could do it.

Likewise, The Flash could — and probably should — establish a new line-up for the Justice League anyway. That could include recasting existing characters or bringing Green Lantern or Martian Manhunter into the mix. Either way, The Flash movie could add them in without any set-up. At the very least, Zachary Levi’s Shazam should easily join the roster now.