The Flash Director Describes "Emotional" Conflict at the Heart of Time-Travel Turmoil

The Flash director describes the "emotional" and "intimate" conflict at the heart of the DC superhero movie about speedster Barry Allen's (Ezra Miller) race against time to save his mother — in the past. Appearing at virtual DC FanDome China after Warner Bros. and DC Films unveiled a quick peek at The Flash and Michael Keaton's Batman return, director Andy Muschietti and star Ezra Miller revealed new details about their time-traveling origin story set after Justice League. The IT and IT Chapter Two filmmaker opened up about the "emotional drive" behind The Flash and going from horror to a superhero spin-off from the DC movies universe: 

"Mainly the emotional aspects of the story were very compelling to me. Obviously, it's a superhero movie, it's a big spectacle adventure, but what really brought me into it was the emotional power of it," Muschietti said at the Chinese version of DC FanDome. "There's an emotional message in the story, it's also a time-traveling story which is always very attractive to me. Time travel has something that is inherently compelling in general, but this one is very special because it's a very intimate conflict."

"It's about a boy who is looking for his mother, and that's what was so attractive to me, that emotional drive," added Muschietti of Nora Allen (Maribel Verdul), who died when Barry was nine. 

Barry became a student of forensic science to exonerate his falsely convicted father, Henry Allen (Ron Livingston, replacing Justice League's Billy Crudup), for the murder of his mother. The violent deaths of their mothers bonds Barry and the Batman of his universe (Ben Affleck), who is "a very substantial part of the emotional impact of the movie." 

"The interaction and relationship between Barry and Affleck's Wayne will bring an emotional level that we haven't seen before. It's Barry's movie, it's Barry's story, but their characters are more related than we think," the director previously told Vanity Fair. "They both lost their mothers to murder, and that's one of the emotional vessels of the movie. That's where the Affleck Batman kicks in."

Affleck's Bruce Wayne is "the baseline," Muschietti said. "He's part of that unaltered state before we jump into Barry's adventure. There's a familiarity there."

The unfamiliarity comes when Barry, breaking through the barriers of the Speed Force, encounters a Multiverse Batman (Keaton), an alien Supergirl (Sasha Calle), and a double Barry Allen (also Miller) wearing a Batsuit with a spray-painted Flash symbol

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Starring Ezra Miller, Ben Affleck, Sasha Calle, Kiersey Clemons, Maribel Verdú, Ron Livingston, and Michael Keaton, The Flash races into theaters on November 4, 2022.