From all appearances, The Flash was meant to be the first chapter of a totally new phase of the DC Comics movie universe. It was going to reintroduce Michael Keaton as the classic movie Batman, and seemingly would have reconfigured DC continuity through the use of time travel and alternate timelines. (The film is based on a comics storyline called “Flashpoint,” where a character travels into the past and totally rewrites DC history.) The movie would have then led into future DC cinematic installments like a Batgirl movie that was also to co-star Keaton’s Batman.
But you know what they say: Man plans, God laughs. Or, in this case, James Gunn. Because once Gunn and Peter Safran became the new CEOs of DC Studios, they began reshaping the future of DC’s movies, and tossing the previous regime’s plans out the window. (The Batgirl movie was canceled by Warner Bros. before Gunn and Safran even showed up.) In the last few weeks, the new bosses stopped development of Wonder Woman 3 and re-retired Henry Cavill’s Superman just two months after he made his surprise return in a post-credits scene in Black Adam.
And the changes and revisions continue. A new article in The Hollywood Reporter claims Cavill and Gal Gadot cameos in The Flash will now both be removed from the movie, since Cavill’s Man of Steel 2 and Gadot’s Wonder Woman 3 are no longer moving forward.
The piece also claims that Cavill was paid $250,000 each for his cameos in Black Adam and The Flash, and quotes one anonymous source who says the actor — who supposedly never signed a new contract with Warner Bros. — “was a pawn in Dwayne [Johnson]’s failed attempt to control a piece of DC.” That’s a bummer for Cavill, I guess, but hey: A quarter of a million dollars for a day or two of work ain’t too shabby.
The Flash continues to be one of the more unlucky — or maybe more chaotic — Hollywood productions of recent years. It has already been delayed numerous times, and its star, Ezra Miller, has been engulfed in so many controversies and scandals that industry figures have openly speculated whether Warner Bros. would have to delay the movie again, dump it on HBO Max, or cancel it completely. Thus far, they’ve kept moving forward and the movie remains on course for release next year — but as this latest news shows, The Flash, like its story’s timeline, is still in flux.
The Flash is scheduled to open in theaters on June 16, 2023.
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