After years of being in development hell, the much anticipated Flashpoint movie is finally gaining some momentum. The Project is moving forward and many optimistic news updates are cementing the fact that Flashpoint will be a one of a kind venture. The movie is being produced with the Blessing of Zack Snyder and will be the final DCEU movie to have his signature tone and theme. While acting heavyweights like Michael Keaton joining the cast of the movie have made huge waves, there is one update regarding the movie that has stupefied the fans even more.
Flashpoint is poised to be the first superhero movie of its kind. Unlike the other movies in the same genre, Flashpoint supposedly has no super villain!
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Now that is some next level cinematographic innovation right there. The basic formula for a superhero movie is that for every superhero, there has to be a super villain. That has been the norm since time immemorial. This seems like a risky gamble for DC Films. Although we are of the opinion that lacking a traditional villain and having an unorthodox approach to the genre is a risky but worthy gamble for Flashpoint in the long run.
For four years, the Flashpoint movie had an on again, off again relationship with Warner Brothers. It finally came on track a few months ago. The reason it was green lit was to help the story fix the flaws in continuity and the time line errors introduced via the erratic events of the Snyder Verse trilogy – namely Man of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Justice League. The movie will open up the DC Extended Universe to concepts like multiple alternate timelines. The idea is to use Flashpoint to reboot the DCEU and launch a superhero shared universe that could rival the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The approach to have no super villain in the first step of the way is radical and unconventional.
Now the question that arises is – if there is indeed no super villain, then who will the Flash be fighting against? Who will be the shadow to Flash’s light? Some had earlier claimed that the Reverse Flash will be coming to the DC Extended Universe – the assumed primary antagonist and trouble maker in the Flashpoint movie. There might be another side to the story. Since there have been no rumors regarding the casting of the Reverse Flash character, it seems like the antagonist of the villain is not a person.
The villain will be the Speed Force itself!
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice gave us the first glimpse of Barry Allen using the Speed Force to travel back in time to warn Bruce Wayne of the Knightmare timeline. The Knightmare sequence showed us a bleak future where the Earth has been taken over by Darkseid and his Para Demon Army. Superman has become Evil and now works with Apokolips. Batman is one of the few remaining heroes who lead a resistance against the invading force. The sequence ends with Batman dying at the hands of Superman.
With the departure of Zack Snyder, the Knightmare sequence never got past the drawing board and thus remained a dream sequence. When Joss Whedon took over Justice League, he completely rewrote the Snyder’ Vision, giving us a very shallow successor to Batman V Superman. When Superman returned back to life, he did suffer temporary amnesia and was full of rage and blood lust. At the sight of Lois Lane, Superman reverted back to normal. The Knightmare Sequence never became a reality.
After Justice League was a Box Office Bomb, many heroes left the DC Extended Universe. Ben Affleck’s exit was followed by Henry Cavill’s departure. Cavill returned shortly after that but Affleck was replaced with Robert Pattinson as the new Batman. As you can see there are some glaring continuity errors now. That is what the Flashpoint movie promises to fix. The aim is to combine the elements from the old DCEU and the upcoming New DCEU to create a better version of the original.
To do that, Flashpoint needs to persuade the audience. The road ahead is tough and difficult and to pull off a stunt like that (even in a fictional universe), DC needs to use a force of nature convincing enough to affect entire timelines and bend the fabric of reality. The Director of Flashpoint Andres Muschietti has stated that the movie will adopt the original source material differently. Considering the only obstacle to the Flash changing the timeline is the depth and intensity of his connection to the extra-dimensional realm of energy called the Speed Force, we would not be surprised if Flashpoint’s true villain is not someone but ‘something’.
Hollywood has used the concept of metaphysical antagonists before but it has always been the adventure or the horror genre. Even Disaster movies have nailed the abstract antagonist idea. Take for example The Day After Tomorrow or The Perfect Storm. There is not actual super villain in the movie other than mother-nature itself. Even the movie Final Destination does not actually have a villain. It is Death and its natural order of things catching up to the protagonists. Metaphysical Antagonists have never been used in the superhero genre before. The new Flashpoint movie will be an experiment of epic proportions. Let’s hope it all ends well.
Not that we are complaining though! It would be interesting to see how Muschietti makes up for the lack of a physical super villain with a metaphysical one. The benefits for the Flashpoint movie form having no traditional super villain would be immense. The movie is basically an attempt at rebooting the entire superhero universe. Introducing a villain right at the beginning of the reboot tends to make the viewer think that he will be the primary villain throughout since he was first to the scene. It will also help keep the DC Movie Rogues Gallery less crowded unlike the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
But most important of all – the lack of a proper villain would give the movie enough time to explore some really popular characters from the Flashpoint Timeline like Thomas Wayne’s Batman and Martha Wayne’s Joker.
DCEU’s The Flash movie is set for release on the 3rd of June, 2022.