Why Grant Gustin Should Not Be The Flash In The Movies
There has been a controversy brewing within the new DC cinematic universe, and I'm not talking about the abysmal Batman v Superman reviews. I'm talking about the decision to cast Ezra Miller as The Flash in DC's movies going forward. Miller was awarded the role way back in October of 2014, but the casting decision has come under fire again recently thanks to Miller appearing as the character in two cameos in Batman v Superman. Many fans of the CW's The Flash would have preferred to see that show's star, Grant Gustin, in the role, but I think DC knows what they're doing with Miller, and I'm here to put forth the idea that Grant Gustin shouldn't be The Flash in the movies.
When tasked with answering why Miller was chosen over Gustin, the pseudo architect of the DC cinematic universe, director Zack Snyder, gave two compelling reasons to Ethan Sacks of the New York Daily News. First, Snyder stated that the tone of Gustin's Flash is different from the world the movies are building, and he's right. The Flash is a fun show, with a pretty sunny disposition. Barry Allen is a nice guy, and even the bad guys (Gorilla Grodd, King Shark, etc.) are really fun and somewhat campy. The DC universe movies so far, Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, for better or worse, are dead serious in tone. They're bleak. They're dour. And none of their heroes are having fun. Therefore, Gustin's happy-go-lucky version of Barry Allen would stick out like a sore thumb alongside sourpusses like Ben Affleck's Batman and Henry Cavill's Superman.
The second reason Snyder gave also makes sense. He said that the movies are already committed to taking place in an alternate universe than The Flash TV show, and he's right. Not only that, but there are currently five live action DC TV shows on the air right now (The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, Gotham, and Supergirl), and none of them acknowledge events from the DC movies. The reason for this is that the shows take place in an alternate universe compared to the movies, and even compared to each other in some cases. And that's fine. It honors DC Comics' long tradition of having a multiverse, and it also allows the shows and the movies to do their own thing without worrying that they line up with each other.
The alternate universe approach is the opposite of what Marvel has done, since their TV shows and movies exist in the same universe, but even for Marvel that approach hasn't always worked out so great. For one, it's not a symbiotic relationship. The movies influence the TV shows, which, for example, left Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. scrambling to reflect the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But the shows never influence the movies. Going back to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., that show has been building a world full of Inhumans for a while now, but no one in the movies is talking about Inhumans. Not only that, but when the Inhumans movie premieres in 2019, I can almost guarantee that no one from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be in it, nor will anyone in the movie know any of the details about Inhumans that have been revealed on that show.
Another reason why it's good that Gustin isn't playing The Flash in the movies that Snyder did not touch upon is that the movies are looking for a much larger audience than the CW. If Gustin were to play The Flash in the movies, then that would essentially make The Flash movie a spinoff of the TV show. A TV show that, while it does fairly well in the ratings, is simply not big enough to warrant a movie version with a nine figure production budget. Plus, casual fans would likely assume that they had to watch The Flash TV show in order to understand the movie, and many who would go to the theater otherwise may feel like that would be too much of a commitment. Also, if Gustin were to play The Flash, that would set a precedent for other DC TV characters moving into movies down the line. Stephen Amell's Arrow, Melissa Benoist's Supergirl, and the various villains from Gotham would all have a case that they should be in the movies, too, and Warner Bros. is not going to want to limit their casting in that way.
Look, I understand why fans are upset. Grant Gustin makes a great Flash, and he will continue to do so on the CW. But recasting the role for the movies makes the most sense for the most people, and Ezra Miller is going to be dynamite as The Flash, so there's really nothing to worry about.
Images: The CW; giphy.com