The Flash: Release date, cast and trailer as first reviews land
Ezra Miller's long-awaited solo DC movie will hit cinemas this summer
Life moves pretty fast but not as fast as The Flash, the latest superhero from DC.
In the wake of James Gunn’s DCU shake-up, complete with a new slate and a confusing connection, the uneven DCEU still has three holdovers from the franchise formerly known as the Snyder-verse to hit cinemas.
So even as we try to wrap our head’s around what The Flash means for resetting the DC movie continuity we bring you the need to know info of the biggest, most important movie in the Justice League series.
The Flash release date
The Flash comes speeding into cinemas from Friday, 16 June, 2023 having been moved up a week from its 23 June release date.
The change, we assume, is to avoid competing too heavily with James Mangold’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny which comes out on 30 June.
It’s been a long road coming having lost a succession of directors including Dope filmmaker Rick Fukuyama but now comes at us via It and Mama director Andy Muschietti.
Read more: Every upcoming DC movies and TV show
The official runtime has been given as two hours and 30 minutes, a mammoth length — but given the plot is all about time-bending and offering the return of some previous franchise baddies and new threats, perhaps that’s to be expected.
The Flash cast
Despite high-profile personal issues, this is a film centred on not one but two Ezra Millers. Their personal life problems and legal issues have caused the film to be pushed back which has resulted in ripples since it's the cornerstone of the DCEU and whatever its future now holds.
Read more: Is Ezra Miller still The Flash?
Reprising their role from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad and both versions of Justice League, Miller plays Barry Allen aka The Flash, a superhero who can tap into the speed force and travel through time.
Also returning from the wider DCEU is Kiersey Clemons as love interest Iris West, previously seen in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Ben Affleck will cameo as the mainline Bruce Wayne/Batman in what might be his final time in the role.
Reprising their roles from Man of Steel are Michael Shannon as General Zod and Antje Traue as Faora-Ul, Zod’s second-in-command when Barry becomes trapped in a reality in which General Zod has returned.
Also, Temuera Morrison reprises his role as Thomas Curry, Aquaman’s father.
Ron Livingston replaced Billy Crudup in the role of Barry’s incarcerated dad Henry, with the new film diving into the mystery of Barry’s mother Nora’s death. Maribel Verdú (Pan’s Labyrinth) will play Barry’s late mother and form the emotional core of the film.
Read more: Why was Batgirl cancelled?
The two biggest casting coups are Sasha Calle as Supergirl, bringing the character to the big screen for the first time since Helen Slater’s much-maligned 80s outing.
Michael Keaton is also back in the pointy ears as an alternate-universe Batman. He reprises his role from Batman and Batman Returns in a turn that would have connected to the recently cancelled Batgirl.
Meanwhile, during a recent appearance on Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes Smartless podcast, Affleck also let slip that Gal Gadot's Diana Prince — better known as Wonder Woman — will also appear. in a key cameo, helping Batman escape from some baddies.
“I don’t want to give spoilers but it was a scene where I get caught — I get saved — by Wonder Woman during a conflagration with some bad guys,” he told the show's famous hosts. “She saves me … with the lasso of truth. And so what happens is that Batman divulges some of his real feelings about his life and his work.”
The Air filmmaker went on to suggest that the scene became a key turning point in how he should perform the character of Bruce Wayne/Batman. Shame it's his last crusade in the cowl.
The official plot synopsis explains: "Worlds collide in The Flash when Barry uses his superpowers to travel back in time in order to change the events of the past.
"But when his attempt to save his family inadvertently alters the future, Barry becomes trapped in a reality in which General Zod has returned, threatening annihilation, and there are no Super Heroes to turn to.
"That is, unless Barry can coax a very different Batman out of retirement and rescue an imprisoned Kryptonian… albeit not the one he’s looking for.
"Ultimately, to save the world that he is in and return to the future that he knows, Barry’s only hope is to race for his life. But will making the ultimate sacrifice be enough to reset the universe?"
Read more: Batman designs Barry Allen's new The Flash costume
James Gunn has said that the film will reset much of the DCU timeline, which probably means kicking out the dead-weight of the universe, recasting certain faces and using science jargon to explain keeping certain actors.
The Flash trailer
The second full trailer for The Flash debuted as part of CinemaCon 2023 in Las Vegas, giving audiences another good look at this multiple time-line meshing adventure.
"I spent a lifetime trying to right the wrongs of the past, as if fighting crime would bring my parents back," says Keaton's Bruce Wayne, addressing Miller's The Flash. "You actually did it."
What follows is an action-packed two minutes featuring Batmen, alternative Kryptonians and the return of Michael Shannon's General Zod.
Meanwhile, the first trailer for The Flash dropped during Super Bowl 2023 giving DC fans their long-awaited first look at Ezra Miller as two incarnations as the character, Ben Affleck back as Bruce Wayne, Michael Shannon as Zod, Michael Keaton as Batman, and Sasha Calle making her debut as Supergirl.
Watch it above.
The Flash first reactions
Despite not hitting cinemas until June, a select few within the movie journalism industry have been lucky enough to catch preview screenings of The Flash and their early reactions have made their way online.
Overall, reactions seem to be fairly positive, with many praising its action, humour and heart but others commenting on its uneven story delivery and over-stuffed ambitions.
Read some critic reactions below:
THE FLASH: First hr is pretty fantastic. Strikes the perfect tone. Ezra is great. Heroic. Funny. Emotional. The last hr is MOSTLY terrible. Just an utter mess that’ll leave you asking, “what the HELL is going on?” Fan service & DC villain problem strike again. Mixed bag overall.
— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) April 26, 2023
I was able to see the CinemaCon version of #TheFlash, and while I enjoyed it plenty, it's not 'best superhero film of all time' stuff for me. A satisfying, pleasingly simple story (as far as multiverse stuff goes), and I dug everything with Keaton, of course. But I had some… pic.twitter.com/7a8qFzR2RC
— Matt Maytum (@mattmaytum) April 26, 2023
#TheFlash is fantastic. I know Ezra Miller has made a lot of mistakes but they are soooooo good in this movie. Loved Keaton, the action, humor and emotion. Andy Muschietti has crafted something special. Thumbs way up.
WB didn’t show the after the credits scenes. pic.twitter.com/J8KsdrKVwz
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) April 26, 2023
Meanwhile, Screen Rant's Rob Keyes called it "the funniest DC movie," while The Wrap's Umberto Gonzalez said it belonged in the "same conversation as SUPERMAN 78 and BATMAN 89." High praise.
Of course, these are not official reviews and should all be taken with a super-sized pinch of salt.
The Flash reviews
Reviews for the film landed on Tuesday, 6 June, and the film had a mixed response among critics with some hailing it as the best superhero film of all time to others saying it was a "muddled" effort.
The Evening Standard review heaped praise on the DC movie, and said Miller has "never been more versatile, iconic or touching" in the role than they are in The Flash.
Total Film commented that while the film will be "entertaining" for viewers it "suffers from too many under-integrated elements in the mix, often caving to excess."
CinemaBlend also praised Miller's performance as well as Keaton's return to DC, adding: "The Flash is an absolute thrill ride for fans of all eras and ages, with the most well-rounded sense of humor in all of superhero cinema."
What other critics thought of The Flash
The Hollywood Reporter: Ezra Miller Brings Kinetic Energy to a Movie Caught Up in Nostalgic DC Fan Service (8-min read)
The Independent: Muddled, poignant and – because of Ezra Miller – morally tricky (4-min read)
Consequence: The Flash Can’t Outrun Its Baggage or Its Competition (6-min read)
The Flash is in cinemas from 16 June.