Ezra Miller confirmed on MTV News that he will indeed play Barry Allen and The Flash in 2018’s film. This troubles some because the CW already has a very successful, much loved television show of the same name starring the same character played by Grant Gustin.
Of course, if you’ve been paying close attention, you’ll realize that television already has versions Deadshot, Katana, Amanda Waller, Alfred, Bruce Wayne, and Jim Gordon (to name only a few), and all of these characters are due to appear in film within the next few years. Furthermore, the upcoming Supergirl TV show is said to have a brief appearance by Superman himself!
But do not fret. DC Comics publishes these characters – Superman since 1938 and Batman since 1939 – and parallel worlds featuring characters of the same name is all part of the lore. In fact, at present, I believe there are 52 distinct worlds within the “DC Universe.” Most of these worlds have some kind of a Superman, some kind of a Wonder Woman, and some kind of a Batman, but they may not necessarily be the mainstream characters for whom you are familiar.
Of course, as a kid in the early 1980s, this sort of thing sent my imagination into overdrive. Seeing two men named Flash from different worlds teaming up … man, it influences me even to this day. Little did I realize back then that the comic books were making use of String Theory and ideas concerning parallel dimensions. As is so often the case, science fiction leads the way in those things that will one day be considered conventional.
I’m personally heartened to hear Ezra Miller say that they are not shying away from this bastion of the DCU – it even sounds as though they are embracing it. To love DC is to love the fact that you are allowed to have Christian Bale, Adam West, Michael Keaton, and Ben Affleck all inhabiting a world where they are the one, true Batman. Christopher Reeve will always be Superman on his world, just as Henry Cavill can be Superman on his. The TV show Gotham can exist in its own reality, just as CW’s The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow do, and it can be distinct from Batman v Superman’s Gotham City.
I believe the viewing audience is astute enough to accept these different planes of reality concerning these beloved characters. Why should we hinder ourselves to only “one” version of a character when multiple actors and productions can do that character justice in different, distinct ways?