The Flash's Defeat, Snyder's Universe (DCEU) Requiem: The Past, Present, and Future of this Film

The Flash's Defeat, Snyder's Universe (DCEU) Requiem: The Past, Present, and Future of this Film




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The Flash: From Anticipation to Catastrophe

Ever since The Flash premiered on streaming platforms, the global box office has stalled at $267 million, causing Warner Bros. to suffer a staggering loss of $200 million. This concept is hard to grasp. To be more specific, up until now, this is the most financially disastrous superhero movie in history. Calling it a "catastrophe of the century" is not an exaggeration at all. The failure of The Flash is thorough, transforming from being hailed as the best in DC film history before its release to becoming the biggest box office flop in film history. As the final glimmer in the Snyderverse, this awkward ending leaves one speechless.

Let's delve into the history and present of this film, summarizing the reasons for its failure, and speculating on who will ultimately remain in the new DC universe!

The Flash

 The Unraveling Journey

The Flash was a movie project that was delayed for nearly eight years. After three years of preparation, the plot was finally confirmed by then-DC Entertainment President Geoff Johns. It was based on the famous Flashpoint comic event, and the title was officially set as "The Flashpoint." Wonder Woman and Cyborg were already confirmed to appear, with Thomas Wayne, the alternate Batman, becoming a crucial character. Moreover, Miller expressed his intention to continue playing the role.

Later, Geoff Johns left, and the new president of DC Entertainment, Bintan, halted the Flashpoint storyline, changing the title back to "The Flash" and rewriting the script. Then Warner Bros. merged with Discovery, Bintan left, and Warner Bros. Pictures CEO Michael De Luca filmed additional scenes for the ending. Subsequently, DC Studios was established, with Walter Hamada taking charge of DC films. They once again filmed the final ending for the theatrical release.

David Zaslav

When we look back at these production experiences, it's like reading a history of Warner Bros. executive changes. When a movie goes through so many hands in the production process and is caught in massive corporate changes, success becomes very difficult. It's as if the movie has been cursed, and the box office has already said it all.

Ambitious Vision, Constrained Reality

First and foremost, 'The Flash' is not just a simple movie; its primary purpose is to reset the layout of the DC film universe. Bintan used it to achieve a de-Snyderization, resetting the DC Extended Universe, removing Henry Cavill's Superman and Ben Affleck's Batman, and bringing back the old Batman and Supergirl to reorganize the Justice League. Therefore, this movie plays a transitional role.

Under James Gunn's direction, the movie was used to bury the DC Extended Universe entirely.

Once the movie becomes a tool for corporate purposes, creativity becomes constrained within a narrow scope. For instance, the original script could have been a cinematic version of Flashpoint, with Wonder Woman, Cyborg, and Thomas Wayne involved, and Henry Cavill making a cameo later on – a complete blockbuster feeling.

Mini FlashPoint

The theatrical version has been drastically cut down, and audiences might wonder why they should pay to see a mini Flashpoint. Moreover, in terms of the film's structure, weaknesses are glaring. The essence lies in the first third of the movie, while the pacing in the latter part becomes sluggish. One of the highlights, Wonder Woman, is given too little screen time. The anticipated battle with Darkseid falls short of expectations and even lags behind the earlier car chase fight in terms of excitement. It's a classic case of starting strong but ending weakly, with a climax that feels like a trailer.

Downgraded Effects and Unfulfilled Potential

Secondly, the visual effects have suffered a significant downgrade, making it hard to see where the $200 million budget went. Is it all spent on the new technology of having both Flashes on screen together? Visible facial distortions during battles and the poorly received Time Sphere are quite noticeable. The CG of characters in the Time Sphere is on par with TV show quality.

The new Flash suit designed by Andy Muschietti is also underwhelming. Zack Snyder's realistic style suit has been completely abandoned, and the texture is a level below the previous version.

Considering all these factors, there isn't much more to criticize. However, it's unfair to label The Flash as the biggest financial flop in history.


A Universe Apart

Let's review recent Marvel misfires like 'Ant-Man 3','Black Panther 2' and ‘Thor 4’ After watching these movies, one wonders what they were even trying to achieve. The Flash might not be great, but it's still leaps ahead of these three. Especially "Ant-Man 3," which suffered in both reviews and box office. Now, The Flash has exceeded even that, losing over $200 million, leaving media outlets at a loss for words, collectively silent.

In my opinion, this is the gap in IPs. Marvel has an immensely successful universe. Watching Marvel movies is a habit for some, and others tirelessly search for breadcrumbs regarding the universe's layout or enjoy various Easter eggs. It's fan behavior, irrational and biased. On the contrary, The Flash cannot offer these emotional values.

Marvel Univers

Fatigue and Future

Furthermore, people are beginning to experience aesthetic fatigue with superhero movies. The novelty and immersion are waning, leading to consistently low box office numbers for this genre after the pandemic.

Summing up, these are the main reasons for The Flash's box office failure. However, the title of the biggest financial disaster in history remains quite unbelievable.

The Flash

Consequences and Farewells

For Warner Bros., the monetary loss might be manageable, but it's about protecting their reputation. It might end up as a case study in film schools, serving as a negative example. Even worse is the negative impact on the upcoming DC universe.

As for the lead actor of The Flash, Ezra Miller, his unstable temperament and inability to control emotions make him a ticking time bomb. Warner Bros. has probably been wanting to let him go for a while. After the movie's box office failure, he definitely won't be part of the new DC universe, and the Flash character might even be delayed. This affects our charming Supergirl, Sasha Calle, too. She's a pity, but she likely won't be featured anymore.

Including Jason Momoa, Gun hasn't explicitly confirmed whether he will continue to play Aquaman. This uncertainty stems from Aquaman 2 not having been released yet. Unless Aquaman 2 performs remarkably well at the box office, the chances are slim. He might be off to play Lobo next.


Bidding Adieu to the Snyderverse

In conclusion, it's time to bid farewell to the Zack Snyder universe. Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman has already said goodbye in the movies, and Ben Affleck's Batman had his farewell. Unfortunately, Henry Cavill's Superman didn't even get a proper farewell opportunity.

Bidding Adieu to the Snyderverse