It is no secret that The Flash bombed at the box office and took the DCEU down the tube with it. However, as our readers may know, this is not how DC Films at the time wanted things to go, and originally, they had big plans to reset the continuity and give the fans everything they were asking for.

Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) watches as a hospital collapses in The Flash (2023), Warner Bros. Pictures

Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) watches as a hospital collapses in The Flash (2023), Warner Bros. Pictures

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George Clooney wasn’t on the list clearly and neither was that one-off joke of a cameo. Ben Affleck was, though, along with other stuff Batman-related that would have launched an entire Multiverse of Dark Knights with space for the Snyderverse and a Batman Beyond movie. All of this is according to the latest findings in a report by Cosmic Book News.

Matt McGloin, chief proprietor of the news site, and his sources are corroborating the intel and much more. The Flash’s much-publicized old ending would have shown multiple returns including Henry Cavill as Superman to set up Man of Steel 2 which was going to co-star Supergirl (Sasha Calle). The either-or ultimatum was out in other words.

Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel (2013), Warner Bros.

McGloin says this decision was not the doing of former DC Films President Walter Hamada who had previously turned down a Man of Steel sequel pitch from Cavill and Mission: Impossible franchise director Christopher McQuarrie. Hamada was soon out of a job and producer Michael De Luca stepped in to oversee everything in the interim and it was he who crafted the unused ending.

It is also noted that De Luca is a comic fan that got the Blade movies made and gave writer David Goyer a leg up in the industry. Goyer worked on the Blade trilogy as well as The Dark Knight and Man of Steel so the two’s paths are intertwined with DC. De Luca was part of deciding its destiny at a critical moment.

Wesley Snipes as Blade in Blade (1998), New Line Cinema

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Before James Gunn and Peter Safran were appointed heads of the new DC Studios, David Zaslav had De Luca and Pamela Abdy run point for the brand and supervise the editing of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and The Flash. McGloin’s sources call the De Luca version of the latter a “masterpiece” with a “beautiful ending” setting up a Superman and Supergirl encounter with Brainiac in Man of Steel 2.

Plans for the continuation of the saga between Black Adam and Superman leading to their showdown were also in motion. Zack Snyder would have had the option to come back, James Gunn would’ve held a position similar to Kevin Feige’s at Marvel, and Ben Affleck was supposed to have his treatment for The Batman finally go into production.

Sasha Calle as Supergirl in The Flash (2023), Warner Bros. Pictures

That script he “couldn’t crack” and Warners rejected involved Batfleck going toe-to-toe with a Deathstroke played by Joe Manganiello and out for revenge. But first, the Dark Knight of the Snyderverse needed to return from the Multiverse he was stuck in. McGloin’s sources reiterate that The Flash had a scene where he was trapped in another reality.

The “real ending” as the article puts it shows Batfleck calling out to Barry, the only one who can save him, from the great beyond. It’s not specified if he is in the Knightmare world of Batman v Superman and The Snyder Cut, but prior rumors indicated that was so, and he left a message on either Barry’s phone or his computer.

McGloin has receipts in the form of behind-the-scenes photos showing such a sequence was filmed and postulates this unused scene was a nod to Bruce’s vision of Barry appearing to him in a vortex in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He adds it could also be a reference to the “Maybe some other time” line Bruce says in The Flash, only taken literally.

Twitter’s ViewerAnon claimed the scene played out this way: “Barry returns home and all of his monitors start flashing. Affleck appears on all screens wearing the suit but no cowl. He doesn’t know if this message will find Barry but if it does they need his help. ‘You have to find us, Barry! Find us!’ Ends with Barry saying ‘Oh, fu-’.“

ViewerAnon Twitter

Bruce really winds up in another time and place, different and more terrifying than his own, and is in need of Barry’s aid. That sort of thing happened in Final Crisis at Darkseid’s hand when Batman was sent hurtling back in time and presumed dead. Final Crisis was written by Grant Morrison and he has an intriguing connection to the failed reset.

Morrison had a cameo in the last season of Titans that paid tribute to the Fourth Wall breaking of Animal Man that inserted the author into the story. It’s believed this was meant to set up a deeper connection between the DC film and TV universes than the one Ezra Miller made on The CW.

Miller and Morrison also collaborated on a Flash script that was dismissed in favor of Christina Hodson’s. Despite that turn of events, it is said James Gunn will take inspiration from Morrison’s work for aspects of his DCU. Gunn may also have left the door open to working with Affleck because of De Luca’s plans.

When Gunn was laudatory toward The Flash, calling it the best superhero movie ever, he may have been referring to the De Luca cut. That is somewhat strange because – again – it’s the version that set the stage for a Batman Beyond film starring Michael Keaton (who was always going to show up in Flash’s finale until the 11th hour), the one Gunn reportedly canceled.

Ezra Miller, Michael Keaton, and Ezra Miller (again) as The Flash, Batman, and The Flash (again) in Andy Muschietti’s, “The Flash.”

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Granted, that aspect of the whole story has conflicting accounts. Kevin Smith would say one thing and then be completely shut down by career Batman film producer Michael Uslan. The latter’s word on the matter should be final, but there is too much chaos and scuttlebutt behind the scenes to ignore. When there’s smoke, there’s fire.

But who lit the flame? McGloin’s intel says it’s not Gunn as much as social media and DCEU supporters like to lay blame at his feet. No, the real culprit is David Zaslav who is driven by money – something the company he’s in charge of has in short supply. Warner Bros. doesn’t have enough to make any of these films or pay the actors.

Ezra Miller, Sasha Calle, and Ezra Miller (again) as The Flash, Supergirl, and The Flash (again) in Andy Muschietti's, "The Flash."

Ezra Miller, Sasha Calle, and Ezra Miller (again) as The Flash, Supergirl, and The Flash (again) in Andy Muschietti’s, “The Flash.”

The great DCU reset, like Batgirl’s cancellation, is a cost-saving measure, McGloin alleges, to get rid of the high-priced Afflecks, Keatons, and Cavill’s Zaslav doesn’t want to shell out for. This leads to the talk of a sale to Universal and various film, TV, and music rights being sold off. They are that broke, but Gunn won’t be affected.

If and when WB is sold to Universal, it’s theorized Gunn will still be in charge of DC Studios and able to carry out his DCU plans through the chaos. That’s one advantage of doing everything in stages or chapters and McGloin is being told “DC films as of now are just chapters in a saga.”

David Zaslav via CNBC Television

He is also told this phase of Hot Potato with Warner Bros. will end with Zaslav back at Discovery when all is said and done. People will definitely be skeptical about McGloin’s claims here, but he counters his sources are well-connected insiders who knew Stan Lee and Michael Uslan. That and they were right about DC scoops McGloin broke in the past.

NEXT: Kevin Smith Hints ‘The Flash’ Bombing Might Have Killed Hope For A ‘Batman Beyond’ Movie For Good

  • About The Author

    JB Augustine

    Writer, journalist, comic reader. I cover all things DC and Godzilla. Fan since Batman TAS was brand new. Favorite character is between Swamp Thing and Darkwing Duck.