The Flash: Muted box office, TV star denial and ‘bizarre’ ending cameo, explained

Fans were left scratching their heads over two brief moments in the DC movie

Jacob Stolworthy
Sunday 18 June 2023 16:53 BST
The Flash, trailer

The Flash cinemagoers have been left feeling confused by two cameos in the controversial new film.

The superhero film, which was released on Thursday (15 June) after a lengthy delay, features many surprise appearances from the world of DC.

One such cameo was reported by viewers of the film as being Teddy Sears, who starred in The Flash TV series. He played a version of Jay Garrick before revealing himself to be Hunter Zolomon.

However, confusion reigned when, on Saturday (17 June), Sears revealed that the brief cameo in the film spotted by viewers was not him. Instead, the character takes the form of someone who looks alarmingly like him.

He told TVLine: “People kept telling me that I was in the new Flash movie....I mean, I’m sleep-deprived with a newborn at home, so my memory is a little foggy. But I’m pretty sure I would have remembered shooting a major DC Studios film.”

Warner Bros and Warner Bros television then confirmed with the outlet that the footage spotted by viewers of the film was not Sears, but a “generic Golden Age Flash representation played by no actor of note”.

The update comes after it was reported that The Flash had stalled at the domestic box office in the US. After three days, the film had amassed $55m which is around $15m-$20m less than studio projections. The film cost $200m.

Teddy Sears is not in ‘The Flash’ – although everyone thinks he is

*Major spoilers follow – you have been warned*

While it was known that Michael Keaton was in the film, reprising his role of Bruce Wayne from Tim Burton’s Batman films, a cameo featured at the end that may have left many viewers feeling rather surprised.

In a scene at the end of the film, set on the steps of a courthouse, Ezra Miller’s lead character approaches what he believes to be Ben Affleck’s version of batman. Instead, it’s George Clooney’s.

Clooney played the Caped Crusader in the critically mauled 1997 film Batman and Robin. His appearance in The Flash is entertaining fans, but has also left them scratching their heads – especially due to the current state of the DCEU.

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, turns out that Clooney’s cameo was the third ending, with two alternatives both set on the same courthouse steps – set to feature Keaton’s Batman and Supergirl actor Sasha Calle, with another one filmed featuring Keaton, Calle as well as Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and Superman (Henry Cavill).

Ezra Miller in ‘The Flash’

When James Gunn and Peter Safran overtook the reins of the DCEU, several planned projects – including a new Wonder Woman and Superman film – were axed, meaning a new ending had to be written. Gunn and Safran liked Muschietti’s idea about featuring Clooney and, after the actor watched and enjoyed the film, he agreed to return to the role he’s received arguably his worst reviews for.

The proble is that viewers seem to be unsure whether Clooney’s cameo was meant to merely be a fun plot twist, or whether it will have lasting ramifications moving forward.

With Musichietti officially hired to direct a brand new Batman film, titled Batman: Brave and the Bold, perhaps Gunn and Safran will find a way to work Clooney in. It’s worth noting that TheBrave and the Bold will be completely separate from the Matt Reeves-directed Batman series starring Robert Pattinson.

On social media, after watching The Flash, many have been expressing the feeling that ending the film on the reveal that the character is now stuck in the universe of Clooney’s Batman is a rather odd way to bring this iteration of the DCEU to a close. The decision has been branded “bizarre”, “weird” if “funny” and “leftfield”.

The Flash is in cinemas now. Find The Independent’s review here.

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