DC is multiple steps behind Marvel when it comes to creating a successful movie franchise. However, they’re really trying to catch up. The FLASHPOINT movie will be the DCEU’s honest effort towards resurrection, after recent box office failures like SUICIDE SQUAD and JUSTICE LEAGUE. The question is: will it work?

The Writers & Directors

News of the FLASHPOINT movie is rampant due to the fact that John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein are now directors on the project. What’s interesting, though, is the fact that they have more experience writing than directing. Known for penning movies like HORRIBLE BOSSES, VACATION, and SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING, the team has a solid grasp on writing comedy. But VACATION seems to be the only one they’ve actually directed. Can they pull off directing a blockbuster film as sizable as FLASHPOINT?

It’s a good question. Especially because they’re working with Joby Harold (ROBIN HOOD, AWAKE), who seems to write films resembling that of a thriller/adventure genre. One could argue that the genre team-up between Dailey, Goldstein, and Harold could work for the FLASHPOINT movie.

flashpoint movie
Courtesy of DC Entertainment

After all, Barry has a rough childhood mixed with a comedic personality. But frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Dailey and Goldstein eventually take complete control of the script. They might do this by changing Harold’s script so much in the making of the movie that it barely resembles the original. Or Joby Harold could jump ship — which seems to be a popular trend in the world of superhero films.

The FLASHPOINT movie doesn’t come out until 2020, so it could always be the case that Harold detaches himself from the project just like former directors Rick Famuyiwa (DOPE) and Seth Grahame-Smith (LEGO BATMAN MOVIE) already have. If such a thing happens, I firmly believe Dailey and Goldstein would compose the screenplay themselves. At least if push comes to shove, we’d be in good comedic hands.

JUSTICE LEAGUE: A ComicsVerse Review

Avoiding Another JUSTICE LEAGUE

The lineup of the FLASHPOINT movie includes Wonder Woman and Cyborg alongside our lovable Barry Allen (played by actor Ezra Miller). That’s half the cast of JUSTICE LEAGUE, and the more likable half, at that. You have Wonder Woman, whose solo film was a hit, and Cyborg, who hasn’t had an opportune chance to screw up his character yet (Ahem, like Batman).

And of course, Barry was a comedic star in JUSTICE LEAGUE. It’s as if DC said,

“Let’s take what we haven’t ruined or overdone so far, combine it into one movie, and then label it as a solo film.”

I hope, for the sake of Barry’s character arc, FLASHPOINT doesn’t harp on the other JL members. If they do, I feel like there’d be a greater chance of the film tanking in the same manner as JUSTICE LEAGUE.

flashpoint movie
Courtesy of DC Entertainment

It’s not that DC fans don’t love the characters in JUSTICE LEAGUE; it’s just that the movie doesn’t execute them well. We know this is the case because fans largely enjoyed Wonder Woman in WONDER WOMAN, as well as Superman in the SUPERMAN films. Just give Barry the same opportunity with the FLASHPOINT movie.

Believe it or not, we still want to see DC turn out good movies despite all of their past failures. But the only way this will happen is if DC stops shoving characters down our throats in every film.

The Supporting Cast

Two fairly new characters we’ll see in the FLASHPOINT movie are Henry Allen (Barry’s father) and Iris West (Barry’s love interest). We get a glimpse of Henry in JUSTICE LEAGUE, at times when Barry visits him in jail. We learn that Barry is working multiple dead-end jobs to pay for a degree in Criminal Justice, due to his fathers, “investigation [being] botched.”

Then, at the end of the film, Barry shows Henry the paperwork stating that he’s found a new job in a crime lab. Despite Henry’s criminal misconduct, Barry is still quite close to his father. In fact, Barry craves Henry’s approval. It will be interesting to see this father-son bond elaborated on in FLASHPOINT, as the movie goes further into the Flash’s backstory.

Reprising his role as Henry Allen, Billy Crudup will hopefully get more screen time than he did in JUSTICE LEAGUE. The actor’s most substantial role is probably as Russell Hammond in ALMOST FAMOUS, where he plays a drug-abusing rock star. With experience in comedy/drama’s and familiarity playing a bad boy, I have no doubt that Crudup will deliver in his FLASHPOINT performance.

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Ezra Miller and Billy Crudup in JUSTICE LEAGUE, Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

On the other hand, Iris West is a character we fail to see in JUSTICE LEAGUE. A deleted scene reveals the Flash is saving her during a battle, although it’s a very brief appearance. Kiersey Clemons (DOPE, NEIGHBORS 2) is currently cast to play Iris. With her background in comedy, Clemons should be able to pull off the role. But I wonder if DOPE director Famuyiwa leaving the FLASHPOINT movie will cause the role to be recast? Probably not, but if it were to be recast, something tells me that Dailey and Goldstein could find someone funnier, and with more experience.

Barry’s Backstory & Its Influence on Genre

The potential tone of the FLASHPOINT movie is quite an intriguing topic of conversation. This is because Barry’s comic book origin directly contrasts with his persona in JUSTICE LEAGUE. For starters, comic book Barry’s twin brother is pronounced dead but is unknowingly given away to a different family.

Also, Barry’s mother is murdered, and his father is convicted of the crime. However, you wouldn’t know about Barry’s rough upbringing based on the way he’s portrayed in JUSTICE LEAGUE. In fact, DCEU Barry makes a slew of hilarious observations that make him stand out among the other JL members.

“What is brunch? You wait in line for an hour for, essentially, lunch.”

So what will the genre of the FLASHPOINT movie be? It must lean towards comedy due to both (1) its new directors, and (2) Barry is already on the record for being a funny guy. To me, it seems like FLASHPOINT will basically be the DCEU’s version of SPIDER-MAN.

They’re both in the vein of, “boyish teen with harsh childhood is socially awkward and funny.” To add to this, in the comics, Iris West is unaware of Barry’s identity as the Flash (well, until he starts talking in his sleep). No wonder they took on the writers of SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING as directors! I’d expect FLASHPOINT to be extremely comparable to Spidey’s movies.

Genre Expansion: The MCU Post-Disney and Fox Merger

The FLASHPOINT Movie: Plots & Thoughts

As far as plot line goes, we’ll most assuredly follow Barry through the thick of his new crime lab position. In the comics, Barry doesn’t get his powers until he’s already working as a forensic scientist and engaged to Iris. A lightning bolt hits Barry through a window, splattering chemicals all over him and granting him his abilities. However, JUSTICE LEAGUE makes this plotline unavailable for the DCEU since the Flash has his powers as a career-less, girlfriend-less teen.

My guess is that, while Barry’s on the job in FLASHPOINT, he’ll meet Iris. Iris is a reporter, so maybe she’ll be present at a certain crime scene. It’s unclear if Barry will make advances on his dad’s case in FLASHPOINT, but it’d be a bummer if not. The film might involve Barry exploring these two subplots while juggling his hidden identity. Maybe he’ll also face a more personal villain… Professor Zoom, perhaps?

flashpoint movie
Courtesy of DC Entertainment

The FLASHPOINT movie has the opportunity to be one of the DCEU’s only successes. JUSTICE LEAGUE makes Barry Allen a very dimensional character: smart, awkward, funny, and with a troubled past. It also helps that Ezra Miller nails his role, knowing how to wear all different hats from comedy to drama.

As long as Dailey and Goldstein drive home the humor in FLASHPOINT, they’ll make a heartfelt script shine. FLASHPOINT is the movie the DCEU needs in order to prove it can deliver lovable characters to the audience. For now, the project seems to be on a better path as more and more time goes by.

The FLASHPOINT movie is maybe the only thing keeping my hope for the DCEU afloat.

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