The Flash is an upcoming American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. Produced by DC Films, The Disco Factory, and Double Dream, and set for distribution by Warner Bros. Pictures, it is intended to be the twelfth film in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). The film is directed by Andy Muschietti from a screenplay by Christina Hodson, and stars Ezra Miller as Barry Allen / The Flash alongside Ben Affleck, Michael Keaton, Sasha Calle, Kiersey Clemons, Maribel Verdú, and Ron Livingston. In The Flash, Allen travels back in time to prevent his mother’s murder, which brings unintended consequences. Development of a film based on the Flash began by 2004, with multiple writers and directors attached to the project through 2014. The film was then redeveloped as a part of the DCEU, with Miller cast as the title character. Multiple directors were attached to the film over the following years, with Seth Grahame-Smith, Rick Famuyiwa, and the duo of John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein each departing the project due to creative differences. Muschietti and Hodson joined the film in July 2019, and pre-production began in January 2020. The film is influenced by the comic book storyline Flashpoint, featuring multiple DC Comics characters including Affleck and Keaton as different versions of Batman. Filming began in April 2021 at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden, in England, and wrapped in October 2021.
Development of a film based on the DC Comics character the Flash began in the late 1980s when Warner Bros. hired comic book writer Jeph Loeb to write a screenplay. That version of the film did not materialize, and Warner Bros. hired David S. Goyer to write, direct, and produce The Flash in December 2004 after he impressed them with his script for Batman Begins (2005). Goyer approached Ryan Reynolds to portray Wally West / The Flash after working with him on the Marvel Comics-based film Blade: Trinity (2004), and intended to have the character Barry Allen appear in a supporting role. Goyer was influenced for the film’s tone by Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy and the Flash comic book runs by Mike Baron, Mark Waid, and Geoff Johns. By early February 2007, Goyer left the project due to creative differences with the studio, and Shawn Levy was hired to direct and oversee the writing of a new draft written by Chris Brancato, which used elements from Goyer’s script. Later that month, Warner Bros. announced the development of a Justice League film with Michelle and Kieran Mulroney writing the screenplay. That September, George Miller signed on to direct the film, entitled Justice League: Mortal, with Adam Brody cast as the Flash. The film was envisioned as the start of a new franchise centered on DC Comics characters, with planned sequels and spin-offs including the Flash film.
Levy left The Flash in October 2007 due to scheduling conflicts with Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009). David Dobkin took over as director and began developing the film as a spin-off from Justice League: Mortal with a focus on Wally West. Craig Wright was writing a script for the film the next month, before Justice League: Mortal was canceled and Warner Bros. set a 2008 release for The Flash. Further development was delayed due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. Charles Roven joined the project as a producer by July 2009, with Geoff Johns consulting and writing a film treatment that Dan Mazeau adapted into a screenplay. In October, Roven said the studio was not confident enough in their take to greenlight the film, though Mazeau disputed this and said the film was moving forward as planned. In June 2010, Green Lantern (2011) writers Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, and Marc Guggenheim were hired to write a new treatment for The Flash based on a recent comics run by Johns that featured Barry Allen.
The Flash is scheduled to be released by Warner Bros. Pictures in the United States on November 4, 2022. The film was initially scheduled for release on March 23, 2018, when Warner Bros. first announced their slate of DCEU films,before it was moved to March 16, 2018. In July 2016, this release date was given to Tomb Raider, and The Flash was not given another release date until the hiring of Andy Muschietti in July 2019, after which the film was slated for release on July 1, 2022. It was then moved up to June 3, 2022, before being delayed to the November 2022 date after Warner Bros. shifted its release schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film will be available to stream on HBO Max 45 days after it releases in theaters.