Rather than release a straightforward Flash movie as previously planned, Warner Bros and DC announced at San Diego Comic-Con last month that that project was now being called Flashpoint. Just like in the comics and previous adaptations, the movie will see the Scarlet Speedster himself, Barry Allen, awakening in a twisted version of the DC timeline. The main Flashpoint story is certainly fascinating, but the event is also famous for generating a number of changes and retcons in the DC universe. Depending on how faithful the Flashpoint movie is to the story, similar changes might be forthcoming for the DC Extended Universe.
It’s too soon to tell just how the aftermath of Flashpoint will affect the DCEU, but needless to say that this could be a massive game-changer for the franchise. With that in mind, we’ve come up with some of the ways in which Barry Allen’s meddling in time might change reality after the story has concluded, from smaller twists to more radical alterations.
1. A New Actor Comes In To Play Batman
To be clear, currently there is no official indication that Ben Affleck will be departing the DCEU anytime soon. Rumors may suggest otherwise, but at San Diego Comic-Con, Affleck talked about how much he enjoys playing Batman. That being said, it’s not a ridiculous notion that somewhere down the line, Affleck may want to hang up the cape and cowl. Flashpoint is rumored to be aiming for a 2020 release date, and if we assume that Affleck appears in that movie and that The Batman movie comes out beforehand, Affleck will have played Batman in five movies. That’s a good run for a superhero actor. So if by that point Affleck decides he wants out, Flashpoint could be the trigger for recasting the Caped hero. That’s not to say that a universe-changing event is necessary for hiring a new actor to play Batman. The Joel Schumacher Batman movies switched actors to portray the Dark Knight without making a big fuss about it. Still, it would be interesting if upon undoing Flashpoint, Barry Allen races to the Batcave, and we see a new actor playing Bruce Wayne, but to Barry and everyone else, this is the same face they’ve always known.
2. More Justice League History Is Added
In the original Flashpoint story, the biggest change to the main DC timeline was that most superheroes had only been publicly active for approximately the past five years when the reboot began. What if the Flashpoint movie had the opposite effect? Sure, Batman has been battling crime in Gotham City for two decades and Wonder Woman has been in man’s world for a century, but aside from them, we’re in a world where the age of heroes has only recently been reignited. While making too many changes to the DCEU reality would be unwise since the franchise doesn’t want to alienate casual fans, it would be great if as a result of Flashpoint, Barry and the Justice League have more history with one another beyond the Steppenwolf battle. Maybe their encounter with the Apokoliptan general occurred a little earlier in this new reality, allowing the team to join forces on a few other occasions.
3. Jason Todd Is Resurrected
When Jason Todd was originally brought back to life in the comics, his resurrection was one of the many changes that came as a result of Superboy Prime punching the barrier of reality during Infinite Crisis (yes, it was as weird as it sounds). Nowadays Jason’s miraculous return is usually attributed to his corpse being submerged in the Lazarus Pit, but Flashpoint could combine the two explanations. In the pre-Flashpoint reality, Jason just stayed dead, but Flashpoint triggers someone to retrieve Jason’s body and take it to the Lazarus Pit, bringing him back to life and setting him on the path to becoming Red Hood, a villain-turned-anti-hero. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice established that Jason died at the hands of The Joker, so let Flashpoint pave the way for Jason’s return.
4. General Zod’s Invasion Is Toned Down
Man of Steel kicked off the DCEU with a bang, namely with General Zod’s invasion wiping out a large area of Metropolis. Many died that day, and while Zod was the one responsible for the attack, some people blamed Superman for the casualties or not doing enough to protect the innocent. In this universe, it’s necessary for Zod to invade Earth for Kal-El/Clark Kent to become Superman, but Flashpoint could lessen the tragedy. There would still have been causalities, to be sure, but whether it was due to Clark having more experience using his abilities for combat or Zod’s plans unfolded differently, there weren’t nearly as many deaths and buildings destroyed. Consequently, this could also be used to retcon the beginning of Batman and Superman’s relationship, specifically by not having them fight each other since Bruce Wayne wouldn’t be as distrustful towards the Kryptonian hero (though still appropriate suspicious).
5. The Joker Is Changed
Jared Leto’s portrayal as The Joker in Suicide Squad earned mixed reception, and right now, it’s not clear if/when he’ll reprise the Clown Prince of Crime. Should the cackling criminal return post-Flashpoint, he could be conceivably altered to better fit the new reality. This could be approached in one of two ways. The first option is that they could simply recast The Joker, just like what might happen with Ben Affleck and Batman one day. The second option is that Leto could be kept on, but his Joker more closely resembles the one from the comics, from using gag weapons to having a more anarchic philosophy. That’s not to say that this Joker has to be an exact duplicate of the one from the printed page or Mark Hamill’s iteration from the DC Animated Universe, but it would be great if we could get a contemporary Joker that had more of his classic traits while still retaining a unique, contemporary style.
6. A Great Evil Is Awakened
One of the consequences of Barry Allen creating Flashpoint in The Flash TV series was that Savitar, Season 3’s main antagonist, used the timeline alteration to enact his plan to escape his Speed Force prison. The Flashpoint movie could take a similar approach by having one of the temporal ripples awaken a villain who would have stayed out of commission had Barry not gone back in time and accidentally changed everything. Personally, I would go with Brainiac, who is usually a Superman villain, but has also been depicted as Darkseid’s equal when it comes to being a threat to the entire DC universe. There are other candidates who would also fit this “great evil” classification, like the Anti-Monitor, but let’s remember that the changes from Flashpoint don’t all have to be positive. Whenever Darkseid is vanquished, someone needs to be ready to take his place as the DCEU’s big bad, and Flashpoint is the means through which they can snag the spotlight.
7. More Sidekicks Are Added
As mentioned earlier, the modern age of heroes has only just begun in the DCEU, and there isn’t a sense of legacy yet outside of Batman’s world. More superheroes are set to be introduced in the coming years, like Shazam and the Justice League Dark, but thanks to Flashpoint, sidekicks would start to be introduced in this changed world. Nightwing and Batgirl are already geared up to lead their own movies, but after Flashpoint, Batman could now be working alongside Tim Drake, the new Robin. Wonder Woman could cross paths with Donna Troy and train her to become Wonder Girl. Aquaman could select one of his Atlantean subjects to serve as Aquaman, like Garth or Kaldur’ahm. Even Flash could find himself fighting crime with Wally West, a.k.a. Kid Flash. You know what they say: the more the merrier.