The Super Bowl brought with it many things, mostly Rihanna, but also, the first trailer for the long-awaited, much delayed The Flash. James Gunn recently called it “probably one of the greatest superhero movies ever made”, and, honestly, the trailer is a cut above average. 


The best part, for me, an elder Millennial, is Michael Keaton showing up as the ’89 Batman (except he is, obviously, older now). It maybe doesn’t say anything good that the best part of The Flash’s trailer is Batman, but I got a little nerd sparkle in that moment, even if Keaton does look bored as sh-t. To be fair, it could be the Batsuit—famously heavy and stiff—but it could also just be Keaton. I hope he’s not actually as bored as he seems in this trailer, that would NOT bode well for the film.

Ben Affleck also shows up as Batman—also an older version of the character, that won’t get confusing at all, I’m sure—because The Flash is a multiverse story. Thanks to all the delays, Marvel ended up getting there first, and I truly wonder how big the audience’s appetite is for multiverse stories. I’m not saying The Flash is going to bomb—it is not. But I can see audiences getting burned out on a plethora of “same superhero, different guy” movies. This trailer also gives us a look at Sasha Calle as Supergirl, and Ezra Miller playing two different versions of Barry Allen.


And that is the crux of my issue with this movie. We’re all just gonna ignore Ezra Miller’s years of bullsh-t because the movie looks good. And if it is a hit, which it almost certainly will be, Miller will trundle on, no worse for the wear beyond a series of probation deals, I bet. Once again, I am not saying “no comebacks allowed”. But has Miller done enough? Is a boilerplate PR statement and a plea deal enough to justify fronting a billion-dollar franchise like nothing happened? Probably! 

It just really sticks in my craw that everyone at Warner Bros. and DC Studios insists Batgirl is unwatchable trash—which we will never be able to verify for ourselves—yet will not stop pouring money into The Flash and carefully massaging Miller’s public rehabilitation so that this movie can go ahead like nothing happened. It’s especially annoying because this movie is so clearly part of worldbuilding that doesn’t even matter anymore. Referencing Man of Steel? Bringing back Michael Shannon as Zod? After the new heads of DC Studios sh-tcanned Henry Cavill and Man of Steel2? Like! What are we even doing here? What are we saving, except the sunk cost fallacy of spending on a movie that could have been cancelled at any point in the last three years? 


This actually better be the greatest superhero movie ever made to justify the optics of abandoning Leslie Grace, who did nothing wrong, yet soft-pedaling Ezra Miller through countless criminal allegations and charges, literally, I have lost count of how many. I almost understood the thinking behind it, when The Flash still seemed like part of some version of Zack Snyder’s vision that was continuing on at DC. But now that’s all dead, so I don’t know what we’re doing anymore. I feel like Michael Keaton looks in this trailer, just sort of waiting for all this to be over so I can go back to bed.