Remake & Reboot: The Flash Movie

With the faint tinge of green glow already permeating movie houses with the upcoming debut of Green Lantern, there's another hero in DC's library that needs his moment to shine. And given his speed, one should wonder this — what took so long?

Although not in the informal DC trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, The Flash is arguably DC's fourth most popular hero — sorry Hal Jordan. DC has already tapped the writers behind the GL movie to work up a Flash movie script, but not much has been heard since. DC are betting big on the success of Green Lantern, and now's our chance to tell them how they could do The Flash movie — and do it right. I do admit that The Flash has never had a live action film to Remake & Reboot, but given the mark left after the early 90s TV series The Flash I think DC has a lot of remaking and rebooting to do to make a Flash film franchise work.

The Concept:

The story of The Flash would center on Central City CSI lab tech Barry Allen, who is in the doldrums and overworked with a string of unsolved cases by someone calling himself Captain Cold sitting on his desk. That all changes in a freak accident that gifts him with super-speed, and after reading reports of super-heroes springing up in Gotham, Metropolis and Coast City he takes on the name of forgotten hero the Flash. Using his criminal investigative skills and his superpowers, the Flash tries to put a stop to Captain Cold's conspiracy when his appearance draws the ire of Gorilla Grodd.

For The Flash film, the key special effect in this is speed. Not only do the filmmakers have to depict it, but they have to do it with a memorable and iconic style and plausibility. In the same way that Iron Man focused on the tech of the hero, The Flash needs to make super-speed more than just running fast but one of the coolest powers around.

The Director:

To take on this speed-centric cinematic experience, I'd look no further than Alfonso Cuarón. He showed his chops with Children of Men, and has also shown he can keep control of a big franchise with Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban. I'd love to see Cuarón take on The Flash as a challenge, mixing the needs of a super-hero movie with his drive to push himself with difficult but rewarding shots as seen in Children of Men.

The Cast:

Barry Allen / The Flash — Bradley Cooper: As we stated back in March, Cooper is designed for a comic book movie — and I think Barry Allen has his number. Cooper has a background in action movie as well as comedy, giving the Flash alot of range and a heaping helping of charm.



Iris West / Chyler Leigh: Although she might be pigeon-holed as a TV actress after her work on Grey's Anatomy, Avengers' Hawkeye Jeremy Renner was in that same position until someone took a chance on him with The Hurt Locker. Leigh has just the right mix of looks, romantic versatility and comedy to be more than a match for Barry Allen.



Gorilla Grodd / Vincent D'Onofrio: While he plays a cop for his role on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, D'Onofrio has made quite a living as a chief antagonist in films such as The Cell, Imposter, The Salton Sea and the remake of The Taking of Pelham 123. The actor has just the right skill and aptitude to play a hyper intelligent and menacing gorilla; he could even channel a bit of Orson Welles, a role he played in Tim Burton's Ed Wood.



Captain Cold — Harvey Keitel: Keitel can do cold, calm and cool — just look at his role in Pulp Fiction. Tone down the suaveness and turn up the gruffness, and Keitel could be a dominant force in The Flash film. In this first film he might run solo, but I could easily imagine Kietel-as-Cold putting the pieces together for the Rogues in the future.


  1. Don’t know if i would watch your movie. Didn’t like your cast either. Harvey Keitel could be a excellent choise do.

  2. The one thing I love about Barry is that When I see him, I see a guy who would work in the lab all night and would be part of the crowd, and would love to see Niel Patrick Harris in that role. He doesn’t have the action movie chops that cooper has, but has voiced the flash already (New Fronteir) and think he would look great in a the red and gold.

    @Chris, I like your choice in Cuaron as director, and yes he may have some big budget chops, but what besides the prvious two films you mentioned would make him great choice to Direct the Flash? Is it the way he shoots, the visuals he chooses, etc? And I am enjoying this feature, it gets us talking about these films and what might work and what might not. I would like to see a bit more info on the characters you think should be in the film, what visuals. characterisitics and personality they have in their comic book form, and compare that to why you think the actor is a right choice. Besides from D’onofrio playing a bad guy before, what make grodd grodd and why would D’onofrio be an ideal canidate for him?

  3. Dammed good cast. But Bradley Cooper might be too awesome for Barry Allen.

    I’d say that an origin story would be a bad idea, since the Flash doesn’t really have that “this is my destiny” moment, which already kinda tired anyway. However, that’s probably what they’ll wind up doing regardless.

  4. I could definitely see Bradley Cooper as Barry & have him & Ryan Reynolds go back & forth with each other if they ever have them together for a Justice League movie. Don’t know about the Iris or Grodd choices, but Harvey Keitel as Captain Cold is just such an inspiring idea. Don’t know if Harvey would ever do it, but it would be pretty awesome. How about Kristen Stewart as Iris?

  5. +10 points for Chyler Leigh

  6. -This I could get behind.

  7. I’m really not sure about Bradley Cooper as Barry. I can see him as Wally, but I always thought of Barry as older and such. I’ve always pictured Michael Mcdonough as Barry. If you don’t know who he is iMdb him.

  8. Like the Bradley Cooper idea. Keitel is a great actor, but is he too old? If he spends most of him time in a parka, I guess it doesn’t matter!

    Didn’t see CoM, so I only have Alfonso Cuarón’s Potter film to go on, which was fine. Heard CoM is good, so I will watch it.

    Not familiar with Chyler Leigh, but she’s damn cute! Give her a shot!

    I don’t think Grodd would work. That’s just too silly for the general public. Sure, Planet of the Apes and all that… I don’t see that working. I’m sure they could do a great motion capture, and D’Onofrio could totally do it, I just don’t know if I would buy it. Grodd is my least favorite DC villain.

    What I think would be better is if the movie starts with Barry as The Flash already, and it can flash back (see what I did there?) to how he became The Flash. I think Cooper could do some good voice-over narration to speed it along – he’s got a very sincere manner. Then, have the antagonist be at least a couple of the Rogues. I think a pairing of Captain Cold and Heat Wave would be great, since their methods are so diametric and could be a special effects extravaganza. Maybe include Mirror Master and/or one other, but don’t go overboard. This could show the genesis of the Rogues as a villain team.

  9. to be honest, I think that a Rogues film would be far more interesting than a Flash film. Make it as a heist movie set early in their career and get Tarantino to direct.

  10. @James696  I would give all the money to see that movie. All. The. Money.

  11. I really like @James696’s idea for a rogues gallery movie. Focusing on the villains would be a nice change of pace. 

    How about casting for a Legion of Doom movie?
    Luthor, Sinestro, Scarecrow, Black Manta, Cheetah, Captain Cold.   

  12. @kennyg I like your idea of starting the movie with Barry established as The Flash, but Id take it a step further even and have the movie start like “Star Trek” with Barry sacrificing himself to save the universe and Wally taking over, a quick montage to establish the sidekick becoming the hero, and then the rest of the story would be a loose adaptation of Waid’s “Return of Barry Allen” storyline with the Reverse Flash and everything. I always thought that would be a cool way to avoid the problem of the “becoming the hero” narrative.

  13. I still think Bradley Cooper would have been a great Hal Jordan.  The Flash has a great rogues gallery but one that I think would be tough to translate to film.  A talking gorilla and a guy named captain cold may be too goofy on the surface to appeal to a mass audience.

  14. I still think Neil Patrick Harris is one of the better choices for Barry Allen, but I LOVE this casting! D’Onofrio as Grodd is an inspired choice 🙂

  15. good casting but i think Neil Patrick Harris would be a great barry allen. not that cooper is bad and i would totally be down for him if he was cast.

  16. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Some really inspired ideas here, Chris. Probably not my take, but a cool one for sure. 

  17. I definitely dig the above suggestions of Neil Patrick Harris playing Flash.  The Flash is my all-time favorite, and since I don’t imagine we’ll see any of the gay heroes make it to the big screen in a big way any time soon, it would be outstanding to see an openly gay actor take on the role.  Still, thinking of Bradley Cooper in the crimson cowl seems right as rain to me.  I have a feeling the casting of Iris would become a typical insert-attractive-woman-here, so I can’t imagine that will be highly debated.  I will say though that I don’t care for the idea here of including a Gorilla Grod or Captain Cold casting in a Flash film.  Something that the latest movie-hero exploits have given us is a less campy transition from printed books to big-budget flicks.  My fear with either Grod or Cold is a violent shove back to camp that movies like Dark Knight, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man and now Thor have been doing well to get us all away from.  The Rogues, in general, are a fairly silly bunch of villains (which in comic form, I’ve eaten up with pleasure since I was 10).  Maybe the ones that would translate well to a screen adaptation though are Mirror Master, the Trickster, or possibly even Heatwave or Abra Kadabra.

  18. I don’t like Bradley Cooper as Barry or Chyler Leigh as Iris AT ALL T-T
    But I’d definetely spend all my money on this movie seeing as The Flash is my all time favorite super hero :]

  19. Forget Green Lantern, I think the character most deserving of a film franchise after Batman and Superman is definitely Flash. 

    I do like your choice of director and Cooper for Barry, not really digging the rest of the cast though.  

  20. Bradley Cooper for Barry? Horrible, might as well cast Ed Helms in the role and get it over with and make it a full on slapstick comedy.

  21. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I just sort of really want this Vincent D’Onofrio Grodd solo movie. Gorilla costume, no mask. And a Vespa. And don’t forget the battle spoon!

  22. Barry – Ryan Gosling
    Iris – Emily Deschanel

  23. Sounds great. The only problem is that he can’t referance old Flash. In the movie continum there was no JSA. In the Green Lantern movie the talk about how Hal was the FIRST human Green Lantern, which means Alan Scott never existed in this reality and neither did the JSA (most likely).

  24. Cooper’s too cool. Barry’s a dork. Gosling gets my vote.

    Keitel? Hmm. If ever there was more concrete evidence that we all read characters differently, I must’ve missed it.

    D’Onofrio’s a great actor, but whoever plays Grodd (if anyone) will be mostly vocal work mixed with some potential mo-cap. And you could probably find someone better suited.

    I like your Iris though.

    @Petertwnsnd: Irrelevant. I mean, you’re probably right that if they form a movie continuity, the JSA will most likely not be a part of it.  But you’re reasoning is a little weak.  Alan Scott has connections to the Corps, but he was never an actual officer.  Also, there’s no real evidence that DC will go to the extremes that Marvel has to connect the films so tightly (here’s hoping they don’t). Right now it’s anybody’s guess.

  25. @Peterwnsnd Even if Alan Scott were in the movie the Corp wouldn’t consider him a Lantern

  26. @Petertwnsnd  Barry Allen liked Flash comics in the the original issues. It wasn’t until he traveled to earth 2 that he retalized Jay Garrick was a real person and not just a comic creation. 

  27. @ResurrectionFlan  That’s what I think makes most sense then for the movie continum.

    @Heroville Even if they didn’t consider him a lantern, he still had a power ring and he went under the name Green Lantern, so Alan Scott would have been the first human green lantern whether part of the corps or not.

  28. @Petertwnsnd  Yea but there would be no reason for the Corps, especially Sinestro, to acknowledge him, especially since they were singling out the fact that Jordan was the first human selected by a ring which did not happen with Scott.

  29. @Petertwnsnd  Hell in Final Crisis  Alan says as much when he points out he’s a Lantern In Name Only and nothing he says to the Corps or Gaurdians is going to hold any weight regarding Hal’s inprisonment

  30. I will hunt down and torture every single person involved with iFanboy if this article gets noticed and generates support for Bradley Cooper, ultimately ending with his casting.

    Because this is a terrible idea and you will be 100% responsible for destroying my favourite superhero.

    Otherwise, keep up the good work.  Quite like the Harvey Keitel idea, but he’s a bit too old now. 

  31. @jmhillyer  Good luck! Some of us are very fast runners.

  32. @jmhillyer and some of us like torture

  33. i think a Flash francise would have earn its way to Grodd, he’s a poor choice for a first outing

  34. @jmhillyer  what happens when someone at fanboys actually does die and the police bring you on as a suspect because you threatened to kill everyone involved? Then we’ll see who’s laughing.

  35. I like the choices for BARRY & IRIS, but for GRODD, I think MICHAEL CLARKE DUNCAN would be a good fit due to his portrayal of ATTAR in the 2001 PLANET OF THE APES. For CAPTAIN COLD, I would consider BILLY BOB THORTON. CAPT. COLD needs a guy with a “squinty-eyed” look & I think that BBT has that particular look about him.

  36. These are great casting ideas for a Flash movie.  Harvey Keitel as Captain Cold?!  That is perfect!

  37. As a fan with sporting Flash tattoos, I want an actor that I know can cover all the key emotions of a struggling super hero. For my favorite hero I say Ben Foster can add the intensity to any action scene. Also just for nostalgic purposes let’s see a Wesley Shipp cameo. Villain wise id like Heatwave as it creates awesome ways to show how Flash can use his powers that can translate to the big screen. Awesome director choice tho!

  38. Is Alan Tudyk too old to be Barry?

  39. I think this casting is a total cave in towards the masses of idiots in Hollywood who dont care what we, as the fans want… Tom Cruise as Lestat? Just the first in many errors made by the suits. I personally am tired of 45 year old Bradley Cooper and his huge nose ruining movie after movie. Its really a disgrace. The only good insight I have heard (I am a New York City stylist and costumer who loves DC) is that a certain male model named Brandon Marcel Guertz showed up at a Halloween party in a custom Flash outfit. Everyone was so impressed that numbers and names were exchanged. I dont know if anything happened from there but I do know his resume is weak, mostly episodes of The Beautiful Life, but I really really like this kid and totally see him as my Flash. Brooding and handsome. Also possibilities, Jared Leto? I cant help it I love him and think he has that wiseass demeanor to pull it off. If he was bettter looking and in better shape I could see someone like Jamie Kennedy. Alan Tudyk is also a great choice and definitely not too old. I dont know I am torn. Go with the big name or give the new kid the shot (see how that bombed with Brandon Roth) but I like Brandon Guertz he has something. Trying to find his webpage but his Facebook is but I think Jared Leto is the odds on… just noooooo Bradley Cooper!!!

  40. Seeing how they keep giving the hero roles to either Ryan Reynolds or Chris Evans….I’m thinking Ryan Gosling would make a good Barry Allen? yes or no? I think it would be interesting for an actor such as him to take on a role like this?