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The Flash Movie Could Be A Little Like Se7en, A Little Like The Matrix

The Warner Bros. adaptation of The Flash could be a good deal darker than you might imagine a movie about a guy in red tights who runs really fast.

Co-writer Greg Berlanti says that he and Green Lantern collaborators Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim gravitate to some unexpected cinematic influences when discussing alter ego Barry Allen and his job as a forensic scientist.

“‘Though Barry Allen was a little lighter in the comic, I think because of the nature that he was a CSI and moved in this world of crime before this stuff happened,” Berlanti told SuperHeroHype. “I think it’s tonally somewhere in between GL and Dark Knight. It’s actually a little bit darker than when we were working on [GL], because you’re dealing with somebody who is already a crimefighter in a world of those kinds of criminals and that kind of murder and homicide. I find you talk a lot about different films when you’re working on a film, and we spend a lot more time talking about Se7en or The Silence of the Lambs as we construct that part of Barry’s world, then I thought when we got into it. It helps balance a guy in a red suit who runs really fast.”

He goes on to note that The Flash, like Green Lantern, involves a blending of seemingly disparate elements.

“With GL, we used to say there’s a space opera component and then there’s the down on earth,” Berlanti said. In The Flash, there’s the sci-fi component and there’s the crime component and it’s fitting those two things together, and the sci-fi thing, we obviously want to nail that and honor that and do that in a way that feels visceral and real and cool and probably more in the tone of The Matrix films or things like that.

But it may not be all, um, viscera: Berlanti gives a nod to The Flash’s history of alternate-dimension adventures.

“I always think of The Flash stories where he met Jay Garrick and knows there was Earth Prime and things like that,” he said. “There’s an avenue for these films to broaden the DC Film Universe in that way, so that’s the hope.”

Berlanti added to the Los Angeles Times: “There’s an element of our society that feels like it’s on speed, for lack of a better word. There’s something very timely about the story of the Flash at this moment, Barry Allen’s story.”


  • Cap Storm

    Seriously? Introducing multiple earths? Why don't we just concentrate on how to sell the fast guy in red suit with gold wings on his head? I have a bad feeling about GL and this…

  • Not Harrison Ford

    Comparing a superhero movie to two completely different non-superhero movies is code for “the studio has no idea what to do.”

  • Redem

    I look forward to David Fincher's Flash

  • Squashua

    Professor Zoom is very very very very Se7en

  • Squashua

    By the way, the “Requiem for a Scarlet Speedster” Brave and the Bold episode is up on YouTube somewhere. That is, if you want to see an excellent Flash cartoon.

  • nailsin

    Hopefully it's just soemthing that'll be acknowledged rather than be a basis for a whole film.

  • nailsin


  • comic relief

    I’m glad to hear people talking about Barry as though he’s a contender for broad audience appeal and not just a:

    • Non-Trinity also ran

    • Proxy for stories about his Rogue’s gallery

    • His former sidekick (Wally’s) party crasher

    Barry’s crime scientist background is what distinguishes him the most from any other super heroes out there; and I believe this emphasis will rocket DC to a new place in the current film super hero stratosphere. Heroes like the Atom, Green Lantern, and the Flash (and even to some degree Hawkman) are so different from their silver age Marvel counterparts. Marvel heroes are reluctant heroes after falling victim to some accident or unplanned circumstance. DC’s science set in some cases volunteered for duty or in some cases fully embraced fate after they found themselves defined as change agents. That doesn’t mean that DC always took full advantage of this inclination from these heroes. But this does not mean DC's Silver age science sense shouldn’t get the mainstream spotlight it always deserved. Fortunately heroes like the Flash may be able to deliver in ways few of the other DC properties can or should.

    When audiences start to wear of Marvel’s entire whiny bunch of anti-heroes maybe we’ll start getting the kind of action we’ve never seen before. For some reason we haven’t seen the Flash take contemporary comic community to any unique places in some time. Maybe the film will do just that and maybe we’re about to see a Flash that just isn’t possible outside of a live action treatment.

  • The Coolest Dad ™

    Ha, this has 'Superman Lives' written all over it.