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Do you remember all those memes that show two nearly identical characters and say something to the effect of copying someone else's work? Yeah, here's the thing; Flashpoint has already been done. The CW series The Flash had Barry Allen kick off a version of Flashpoint and touched on the little ways that it screwed everything up. However, DC animated has also already done it, lifting straight from the source material, giving us now two perfectly serviceable versions of the story; one with big sweeping arcs and the other with continuity altering details.
That's just one reason the DCEU should steer clear of this story. The second is the same argument that fans critical of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice made of the death of Superman plot. The movies haven't earned this plot yet. We just barely got to meet this version of the Flash in Justice League, now is too soon to mess with him, not when there are plenty of other Flash stories to be told.
So what are filmmakers to do, if they can't copy the work of far more successful properties? Well scuttlebutt around the Flashpoint idea was to give the DCEU a chance to replace Affleck as Batman, possibly with Jake Gyllenhaal (is that seriously how you spell that?) as the caped crusader. Why him, I don't know. But here's the thing, let’s pretend it’s a good idea...it’s not, but Hollywood is all about make believe. There is a way to trade out Batman and NOT copy a story that's already been told. You just need a crisis.
I've touched on this in past articles but if you are just joining us, Crisis on Infinite Earths was an 80s story line that was used to clean up DC's very convoluted timeline, stripping away conflicting stories and focusing on one continuity. Do THAT. You can do that and make the story your own.
Here's how: something happens and Cyborg discovers that something is destabilizing reality. He calls the league together and Flash enters the speed force and discovers realities are crashing into each other. He returns and reports, realizing he didn’t come back alone but returned with Harbinger. She tells the team that the multiverse is being destroyed by the Anti-Monitor who is using the anti-life equation to crush all the different universes together (yes I know this is wildly off from how it went down in the comics but we’re trying to make a two hour movie here).
This story sweeps across the DCEU and features the heroes in a race against time to find a way to stop it. Finally Flash finds a way, stealing something from the vaults of Apokolips where Superman and Batman (Affleck) die fighting Darkseid to buy Barry time. Barry uses the MacGuffin to obliterate the Anti-Monitor and witnesses the birth of a new multiverse, and the Harbinger, ascending to the role of the new Monitor, tells him he died saving all realities. He looks over and sees versions of himself running alongside him, and they start disappearing back to their universes. Finally it’s between him and another version of him, with the other version made to look much older telling him he has to go, to tell the others of what he’s seen, and this older version disappears into particles, becoming the Speed Force.
Flash returns to his reality, happy to see the League alive, seemingly with no memory of what happened. Then Batman pulls off his mask and it’s not the same man. It’s still Bruce Wayne, but not the Bruce Wayne he knows.
This sets up a few things. This allows the DC movies to tell whatever story they want because if it doesn't follow the original timeline, it just happened in another reality. They can now course correct without invalidating the world building done earlier. This allows future creators to tell whatever story they want, maybe even loose the blue filters. You know, go crazy. They can swap out actors and do whatever and they are still in continuity because this is what DC does best. They have a means to do whatever story they want because they use their multiverse in the comics as an open playground...and Marvel has nothing on this. Marvel copied their multiverse from DC and when DC does this right, Marvel can't hold a candle to it.
Is my idea 100 percent perfect, oh God no. But I'm also not a filmmaker. I'm not a screenwriter...but maybe there a universe where I am.
Just think about it.
Of course this would also make all the previous DC films technically canon as well, which may not be a good thing after all…
Thanks for reading.
DC and all related characters are the property of Warner Bros/DC entertainment.
Marvel is owned by Disney