There is heavy debate about whether DC or Marvel movies are superior, and the debate has sparked once again as the 2019 film “Avengers: Endgame” marked the end of Marvel’s Phase Three, ending storylines and revealing the shocking deaths of characters.
Attention has now turned to DC with a new movie, “The Flash,” set to release on June 16. This movie will reset the DC Universe. Viewers of the film have high expectations as DC faces pressure to fix its reputation for producing “bad” movies. As of 2017, 47% of Americans prefer Marvel, whereas only 11% prefer DC Comic movies, according to an Ipsos poll.
The trailer suggests that the Flash will travel back in time to prevent the murder of his mother, but he will become trapped in an alternate reality that does not have superheroes, ultimately changing the DCEU timeline. This jump backward creates a new timeline in which Bruce Wayne is killed, Martha Wayne is the Joker and Thomas Wayne is a murderous Batman. This compels the Flash to find his younger self and save the universe.
Despite its exciting storyline, there is much controversy surrounding the new movie, particularly around the actor playing the Flash, Ezra Miller. He faced numerous allegations and arrests in 2022. Miller was charged with disorderly conduct, had a temporary restraining order issued against him and burglarized a home, according to the Evening Standard. He is currently seeking mental health treatment and must undertake periodic drug tests.
This series of events has made him widely unpopular, causing some fans to demand that “The Flash” not be released with the infamous actor as the star. However, DC decided to proceed with the film due to the $200 million already spent on production.
Despite Ezra Miller’s criminal activities, “The Flash” has received some of the highest scores at test screenings since Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” movies, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Andy Muschietti, director of “The Flash,” shared his favorite element of the movie during an interview with Fandango.
“What captivated me about the Flash is the human drama in it,” Muschietti said. “The human feelings and emotions that play in the drama [of it]. It’s going to be fun, too. It’s a beautiful human story.”
Kaleb Bravo, freshman film major, looks forward to the film’s release after seeing the trailer. He believes that there is an underlying intention behind the time travel in this movie.
“When the Flash does fix the time shift, things are going to be changed,” Bravo said. “That way, they can fire old actors and hire new ones and have different people play the same characters.”
The DC Universe will undergo many changes set by the new co-chairmen and CEOs of DC Studios, James Gunn and Peter Safran, who intend to reboot the film franchise. However, the question remains as to whether or not DC can meet the success rates of Marvel.
Jonathan Mejia, junior English major, was impressed by the Flash trailer and looks forward to seeing how Gunn will fix DC’s hastiness with producing movies in the past.
“I think DC got too ambitious and tried to catch up after seeing the MCU’s success,” Mejia said. “Marvel had a long-term plan for their first 10 years that paid off, and DC just wanted to jump onto this big superhero team-up movie with Justice League only a few movies into their franchise without introducing certain characters first.”
On the other hand, some moviegoers have recently been unhappy with the Marvel franchise. Many criticize its declining quality compared to its more acclaimed movies in the past. Morning Consult found that 82% of Marvel fans still enjoy the studio’s movies, down 5% from their fall 2021 survey. Almost one-third of respondents also admitted they are “getting a little tired of so many” MCU films.
“Marvel recently has been doing terrible with the CGI because they are flooding the market with it,” Bravo said. “They cannot keep their production team to stay on one piece long enough before they have them move over to a different movie.”
This has created another reason for audiences to turn to the DC Universe for quality entertainment. Although fans have high expectations for “The Flash” movie, its success may not be important in the long run for the grander storyline of the DCEU.
“I think whether the film does well or horrible, it will not matter because it is DC’s way of ending this current franchise,” Mejia said.
Only after “The Flash” is released will fans discover whether the film is disappointing or if it is a new DC favorite that finally brings the franchise out of Marvel’s shadow.