With the casting of both Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton to play two different versions of Batman in The Flash, and confirmations from Warner Bros. and DC management that there's a multiverse, the obvious question becomes: will we see more of the DC multiverse in the film? And if so, what worlds might we explore? It seems unlikely we will see the current crop of "Elseworlds" movies -- The Batman, Joker -- represented onscreen alongside Batman and The Flash, but almost everything else feels like a possibility -- especially after the events of The CW's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover, which brought the worlds of the 1989 Batman, the 1966 Batman, Superman Returns, the 1990s The Flash, Smallville, and more together in a single, massive story.
As we did with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, we got to thinking about what stories we might hope to see make a brief appearance in The Flash. Some of them, of course, present the problem of having to cast characters, who then would have that actor in the fans' mind if they ever showed up again. Others, though, are pretty obvious and low-stakes, in terms of shaping the future of the movies.
Even more than Marvel, DC has a long history of using its multiverse as a major part of its main publishing line, often with elaborate continuities going for more than one Earth at a time. That means this list could go on (and on and on) for a while, and we decided to cap it at ten...at least until we learn more about the movie and think about some more things that could be fun to see.
Check out our list below, and let us know in the comments (or hit me at @russburlingame on Twitter) if you think we missed an obvious choice.
There are long-standing rumors that the events of Flashpoint will inform the content of The Flash. That has been denied a few times over the years, but the combination of reports that Cyborg would play a major role in the film, and producer remarks that the movie would "restart everything" have made it hard to ignore the possibility.
At a minimum, it would be heartwarming to see Ben Affleck's Batman get the kind of sendoff that Batman gets at the end of Flashpoint. In the comics, Thomas Wayne has become Batman in the altered timeline -- and gleefully puts his life on the line to fix history and save his son, who had died instead of him during the mugging. Before the Flashpoint timeline is destroyed, Thomas writes a note to his son, which Barry delivers once time is fixed.
Not only would that be a pretty great moment for Batfleck (and you could write him out with that, given that the reality wave of Flashpoint might, as it did in the Booster Gold comics, take a few minutes to settle in), but it would give fans a chance to finally see a glimpse of Jeffrey Dean Morgan in the Flashpoint Batman suit -- something that has been a fantasy ever since the possibility was first floated.prevnext
Brandon Routh's portrayal of Superman is one of those performances that has gone down in history as being too good for the movie it was in. While the one-two punch of Bryan Singer and Kevin Spacey means that the movie feels a little radioactive in the #MeToo era, Superman Returns exists in the world of the Richard Donner Superman movies -- still seen by a lot of fans as the ultimate superhero films.
Routh's take on the character -- by way of Kingdom Come -- in "Crisis on Infinite Earths" would be something great to revisit...although if you wanted to just have a separate Kingdom Come universe, it would be easy enough to put Routh either in his Superman Returns costume, or in the Reeve costume, and play it that within the multiverse there are numerous different Routh-Supermen.prevnext
This is the obvious one. Again, going back to the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" event, you have a built-in reason for Ezra Miller's Flash to seek out Grant Gustin's Flash, since they have met already and The CW's version of the character even appears to have given the DC Films version his superhero codename.
While Stephen Amell, who appeared in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, is the only Arrowverse star to regularly talk about wanting to appear in the DC Films universe -- and his character is now dead -- it could be interesting for Barry to get a quick look at alternate versions of Superman, Black Canary, The Huntress, or the Suicide Squad. After all, we did see him arrest Captain Boomerang in Suicide Squad, and using Liam McIntyre's version of that character could be a nice piece of symmetry since he was one of the antagonists in the first-ever crossover between Arrow and The Flash.
"I would love to see Grant appear somewhere in their version of the film," The Flash showrunner Eric Wallace recently said. "Say I said, 'You know what? I'll give you a couple of weeks off easy now.' I don't know if they'll do that, but I'm putting it out there. Because I know Grant would be excited. I think he would have some fun. I also told Ezra, with open arms, we would welcome him back. I would love to have him back for longer, for a full episode of The Flash, if we can somehow make it happen. Schedules are so tough. He's a very busy man. He has not just The Flash franchise, but other franchises too. So I don't know how possible it is, but I do know it's not impossible because we proved it in Crisis when we saw the two Flashes together. So I'm going to be hopeful and I'm going to put that energy out there. Hopefully someday sooner, rather than later, we will see those two Flashes of Ezra and Grant together and for anybody reading this article, I am happy to help accommodate in any way possible."prevnext
With "Crisis on Infinite Earths" and Wonder Woman 1984 both paying homage to Kingdom Come, the 1997 miniseries from Alex Ross and Mark Waid, it seems like a gimme to have a brief appearance of that reality in the feature film world. If it were to happen, we'd want to see Zachary Levi's Shazam get a cameo, since the star has repeatedly said it's his favorite comics story featuring his character.prevnext
A lot of folks have guessed that reports of Michael Keaton coming to the main DC Films universe and serving as an older, wiser version of Bruce Wayne, it could be building to a version of Batman Beyond, the animated series in which a physically older and frailer Bruce Wayne serves as a mentor for Terry McGinnis, a new Batman with a high-tech suit in a near-future version of Gotham City.
Whether that's the long-term plan or not, there's something really appealing about getting a glimpse at the version of the DC Universe as The Flash moves through the multiverse -- and given that Terry's mask is a full-face rig, it would theoretically be possible to use a stuntman in the suit and not be beholden to any casting choices that The Flash director Andy Muschietti might make.
Heck, they could even use Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne (as they did in "Crisis on Infinite Earths" and Will Friedle's voice for Terry if they wanted to.prevnext
SYFY's Krypton was one of the best TV shows DC has put out in recent years -- which is saying something considering how much of DC's presence has been on TV, and how many of those shows have been very good.
Given the time-displaced element of Krypton, this one might be harder to sell as a stop on the way through the multiverse, but Cameron Cuffe and Shaun Sipos look the same as they did during the show, more or less, and it's one of the few places "Crisis on Infinite Earths" didn't go, so you could have some fun stopping off there and bringing more threads into the fabric of the multiverse.prevnext
With the Milestone Universe coming back in the comics, it would be amazing to see them have a brief appearance on film. There are likely rights issues that would prevent it -- that seems to have been a consistent part of why the comics aren't available and the characters haven't popped back up more often -- but those may have been settled out by now as part of the launch for new comics.
Certainly the fact that they are already talking about a Static Shock movie means it's not beyond the realm of possibility.prevnext
Like Milestone, the WildStorm universe -- originally comprised of creator-owned comics that Jim Lee brought with him when he came to DC in 1999 -- may have some rights issues, at least for some characters, attached to it -- but you can't say it wouldn't be fun to see characters like Maul or Grifter show up in live-action for a split second, likely not needing to be cast since they don't have the kind of looks that would require a traditional actor to be shown unmasked.prevnext
The Flash (1990)
If The Flash is going to move through the multiverse, meeting up with alternate versions of DC heroes and alternate Earths in the DC pantheon, it's hard to argue that the whole thing wouldn't be bettered by a quick trip to Earth-90, where John Wesley Shipp was the first live-action Flash to headline a project all his own.
In the context of "Crisis on Infinite Earths," the character got a hero's death -- but, again, multiverse! He could theoretically play an ever-so-slightly-different take on Barry Allen, for the sake of argument.prevnext
Sure, there's a movie Watchmen and a TV Watchmen, and really we don't need any more cross-pollination with the DC Universe...but given the connection of Wally West in the comics to Doctor Manhattan, as well as Doctor Manhattan's apparent role in realigning the multiverse post-Flashpoint and simply the fact that Barry's father in the movies (Billy Crudup) once played Doctor Manhattan...well, it seems like an easy thing to make a quick cameo for, and something that woudl drive fans wild, since it would evoke both Zack Snyder and the wildly popular HBO series based on the property.prev