The year is 2014. Warner Bros. makes a superhero-sized splash and announces not just that Justice League, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman movies are coming, but that a Flash movie is coming and the Flash will be played by Ezra Miller.
How The Last Airbender Inspired Lisette Olivera
Fast-forward to today. Finally, after almost a decade, The Flash is finally coming to theaters. In that time at least three different teams of filmmakers tried to figure out how to bring the speedster to the big screen, just as the DC slate of films had an almost unfathomable roller coaster of up and down success, from Justice League’s huge disappointment to Aquaman’s incredible triumph, the Snyder Cut, Superman cameos, and eventually, a whole new regime that’s pushing the reset button.
Director Andy Muschietti and his sister/producing partner Barbara Muschietti came on board The Flash in late 2019, as all of that was still taking place. Along with them came writer Christina Hodson, who’d also written Batgirl, Birds of Prey, and Bumblebee. The team got to work just as, a few months later, a video of their star Ezra Miller assaulting a fan leaked online. It was the first of several run-ins with the law for Miller, which—especially after Warner Bros.’ new CEO David Zazlav canceled the Hodson-penned Batgirl movie in 2022—seemed like a solid reason to cancel The Flash as well.
So, when io9 got on the phone with both Muschiettis recently, those were the two biggest things on our mind. Why did this version of The Flash make it to the finish line when none of the others could, and did they ever feel like the film wasn’t going to happen after Miller’s legal run-ins?
Ezra Miller (times 2) and Sasha Calle in The Flash.Image: Warner Bros.
“I think a big part of [our version getting made] was the push that we got with Christina Hodson to get the script in shape,” Barbara Muschietti told io9. “And when we bite on a bone, we don’t let go generally [laughs].”
Muschietti added that having time to really focus on the film during the pandemic, and not much else, also helped it along. “We developed it through the pandemic, which was absolutely nuts, but we wanted to keep it going,” she said. “So even if we had to push prep for six months, we just kept on working remotely. And by the time that the pandemic was at a place that we could actually go to the UK and start hard prep, there was enough there to hit the floor running and we got to make our movie.” It didn’t hurt that they had the idea to bring back Michael Keaton as Batman and he said “Yes.”
As for the controversy surrounding Miller, Andy Muschietti says there was never a time they thought that would get in the way of the film being released. “We believed in this project from the beginning and over the course of those two years, during the execution— prep and then production, and especially when the movie was finally shown to the first audiences—our belief and our confidence in the movie just grew.”
The Flash opens in theaters June 16.
Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.