Is The Flash The True Birth Of The New Gunn/Safran DCU?

Teased since the late 80s, the eventual release of a standalone feature film focusing on The Flash was to mark another dawn for media adaptations based on DC Comics properties. While The Flash thrills superhero fans with a long-awaited movie about the DC Comics speedster, it also set an exciting blueprint for the soft reset of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). The film franchise featuring DC characters began with Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel in 2013; and has now entered its phase-out stage with The Flash’s subtle introduction of a new era of superheroes under the DC Universe (DCU).

The new DCU franchise anchors a shared universe created by James Gunn and Peter Safran. It will continue to adapt DC Comics characters for films, TV shows, animations, and games. However, the adaptations will be unified and consistent across media. With the promotion of The Flash as the movie that sets up the new DC Universe, fans wondered how this could be, especially as Blue Beetle is the next DC Studios movie up for release. Although the new era wouldn’t begin until the release of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, here’s how The Flash ushered in the new universe.

How The Flash Partially Established James Gunn and Peter Safran’s DCU

The Flash cinematic image of Ezra Miller running directly towards the camera.

The Flash’s story is built around Barry Allen’s multiversal time-traveling adventures and the changes it brings to the universe. To avert a tragedy that befell his parents, Allen travels back in time, preventing his mother’s death and his father’s wrongful conviction. Returning to the present, he learns his action has created a different world with the multiverse on the verge of collapse. He sets out to undo the changes he made to the timeline and succeeds in saving the future. However, he didn’t undo a minor change he made in the past. This helps to prove his father wasn’t guilty of his wife’s death and also alters reality in the present.

Exonerating his father, Barry learns his minor change to the past created a different universe, and only he seems to be aware of the difference between the original timeline and the altered one. The tomato can he switched didn’t only facilitate the evidence that proves his father’s innocence. It also changed the identity of his friend Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne/Batman, who was replaced by George Clooney. Ultimately, The Flash created a different timeline with George Clooney as Batman. However, this change in The Flash didn’t fully usher in the DCU as it’s unlikely Clooney would be the new Batman in Gunn and Safran’s DCU.

Superman: Legacy Is The True Starting Point of The DCU

The flash (2023) dcu

By and large, The Flash seems to tease the premise upon which the new DC Universe will be established. Nonetheless, several changes still have to occur to fully introduce the universe, some of which are expected in Aquaman and the Lost KingdomThe movie has a December 2023 release date and will conclude DCEU’s run. Before this, Blue Beetle will introduce the first DCU character upon its release in August 2023.

According to Gunn and Safran, the co-CEOs and co-chairmen of DC Studios, the DCU story will come in chapters, beginning with “God and Monsters”. While the first chapter kicks off with Creature Commandos, an adult animated television series scheduled for release in 2024, Gunn and Safran have disclosed that Superman: Legacy will be the true beginning of the DCU. The film has a July 2025 release date and will revolve around a young Superman.

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