While the future of DC comic book movies is r already moving in a new direction, there’s still a slate of films leftover that have to be released—the crown jewel of which being Ezra Miller’s The Flash. Praised by new DC Film head James Gunn as “one of the greatest superhero movies ever made,” the film from director Andy Muschietti (It) is DC’s version of a multiverse film, notably bringing Barry Allen (Miller) into contact with several different iterations of iconic DC heroes, like Michael Keaton’s 1989 Batman. The Flash is loosely adapting the event comic series, Flashpoint. Written by Geoff Johns with art by Andy Kubert, the storyline focuses on Barry creating another universe where his Justice League peers Aquaman and Wonder Woman are at war, Bruce Wayne’s father Thomas becomes Batman instead, and Superman is captured by the government and held in an underground bunker away from sunlight.
The Super Bowl heralded a long-awaited trailer that provided our first good look at the overall plot and offered plenty of details to scour over, so we’re breaking it all down to give you context on what you may have missed while you were getting excited about Rihanna.
Here we see Barry on the top of Keaton’s Wayne Manor as OG Batman provides some voiceover about what the speedster can do with his powers—most notably the ability to travel so fast he can move through time and universes as we’re treated to a glimpse of Keaton’s cowl and suit on a bloodied floor before cutting to Ben Affleck’s Batman at the mention of “another universe.”
Here’s a quick reminder of Barry’s origins: His mother was mysteriously murdered when he was a child, with his father unjustly taking the fall. We see that scene here with Ron Livingston stepping in to play Henry Allen instead of Billy Crudup, who was presumably too busy vamping it up on The Morning Show to return after playing the character in Justice League. However, as Barry states to Keaton, this new universe features a reality in which she survived—and he’s keen to ensure things stay that way.
After realizing his mother is alive, Barry comes across… himself, who is very confused and shocked at the appearance of someone who “stole my face,” officially kicking off the multiversal shenanigans at the heart of The Flash. This alternate version of Barry doesn’t have speedster abilities—yet. That won’t last long though—one scene teases the two Barrys recreating the lightning strike that gives the Flash his speed.
In the comics, Barry’s suit sits inside a circular Flash ring, which finally makes its silver screen debut alongside a more comic-accurate costume. That’s a shift away from the armor-like version seen in both the Snyder and Whedon versions of Justice League.
America’s most famous Dunkin’ lover is back for one last ride, as we finally see Ben Affleck’s version of Bruce Wayne posing a dire warning to Barry about crossing the timestreams and the chaos that could break out. Spoiler: chaos reigns.
It’s here where the plot begins to take shape. By traveling back in time to save his mother, Barry “breaks the universe” and makes a reality where Earth is free of metahumans, leaving it open to an attack from Zod as Michael Shannon (!) returns to reprise his villainous role from Man of Steel.
This is a quick tease of Sasha Calle as Supergirl, seen here very diminished and weak. Supergirl is filling in for the film version in the part her cousin Kal-El takes in Flashpoint. Given the fight scene at the end between the guards, a freed Supergirl, and Keaton’s Batman, Barry likely breaks into the facility to rescue Kara in hopes she’ll help fight back against Zod’s invasion. Worth noting: Gunn teased a “punk,” hardcore take on Supergirl as a key character in his first “chapter” of films set to release under his DC reign. One wonders if this Flash movie, with its shifting timelines, is going to be used to erase the Snyder era that came before and set up Gunn’s tales to come.
You wanna get nuts? Come on, let’s get nuts. Here’s the first official, full look at Keaton’s Batman—yellow oval suit and all—before he swoops down and takes out a group of soldiers inside the facility where Supergirl is held. Considering alt-Barry’s reaction, it’s likely the legend of Keaton’s Batman still looms large in this reality.
Barry speaks to himself (PS: Nice Pacific Rim poster, alt-Barry) after learning about the consequences of his actions and sets out to revert things to how they used to be, as the trailer previews a few of the film’s big setpieces, including the two speedsters working in tandem, Batfleck sporting a new suit with blue and gray touches, Supergirl putting the smackdown on Zod, and Keaton’s Batwing firing missiles into a Kryptonian warship.
The trailer concludes with a dedicated introduction to Calle’s Kara as she bodies a unit of soldiers and tells the Barrys who she is before debuting her costume alongside a Batwing, as the heroes head off to fight Zod in the desert.