The Flash Superbowl Trailer: DCEU Taking a Page from MCU’s Playbook

The Flash is all set to release in June, later this year. There are a lot of months left for the film, but after being delayed so much, fans are hungry for any and all promos. Finally, the studios obliged by airing a Superbowl trailer that featured some pretty big reveals.

(Also yes, it once again confirmed that Ezra Miller will be starring as The Flash, despite all his public controversies).

As you watch the video, you may discern that this film shares some similarities with another superhero blockbuster, Spider-Man No Way Home — especially when it comes to having different generations of an iconic superhero all in one film.

However, while The Flash will live up to expectations and deliver a decent film, it won’t generate the amount of hype or emotional connect that Spider-Man: No Way Home did. It is expected that the Batman appearances will also be less impactful than the Spider-Man appearances.

The Flash – Official Trailer
The Flash – Official Trailer

Comparing The Flash and Spider-Man NWH has been a really interesting exercise. I don’t claim that the DCEU is trying to copy the MCU, but the two films have some undeniable similarities’ and I have come up with some compelling discussion points on whether or not this will help The Flash perform well. Let’s get into it!

1. Similarities between The Flash & Spider-Man NWH

If you’re a superhero movie buff, you won’t help but notice that the bases of both The Flash and Spider-Man NWH are quite similar.

The Flash Superbowl Trailer: DCEU Taking a Page from MCU's Playbook
The Flash

Firstly, both plots involve breaking the multiverse in some form. In NWH, Peter did this by asking Strange to cast a spell to make the world forget he was Spider-Man. But that backfired and disseminated the boundaries of the multiverse.

In The Flash, it seems like Barry will do the same when he tries to save his mom and time travels to the past. While the logics of time traveling and the multiverse haven’t yet been defined in the DCEU, Barry’s actions definitely break the established DCEU multiverse as evident by the appearance of Supergirl and a supposedly resurrected Zod.

Then there’s the very obvious similarity that both movies bring back actors that played a legacy character. In NWH, it was Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield as their versions of Spiderman, while in The Flash, it will be Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck reprising their role as Batman. 

2. Differences between The Flash & Spider-Man NWH

The Flash Superbowl Trailer: DCEU Taking a Page from MCU's Playbook
Spider-Man: No Way Home

Despite having a very similar skeletal structure, the purpose of The Flash and Spider-Man NWH differ in major ways.

Let’s look into the multiverse to begin with. NWH was Marvel’s first official tryst with the multiverse on the silver screen and its purpose was to show how expansive and complicated MCU’s storylines are about to get. MCU more than intends to keep using the multiverse as a key concept in their films/shows and build on it as a viable storytelling asset.

On the flip side, DCEU’s first and primary goal of introducing the multiverse in The Flash is “wipe away” most of the previous projects. More than a storytelling tool, the multiverse is a redo button for the entire company. In fact, James Gunn and Peter Safran have made it clear that they’d like to keep the different universes separate (rather than embrace the multiverse) by introducing the concept of Elseworlds for projects like Robert Pattinson’s The Batman.

So where Peter was able to stop his prime Earth’s timeline from changing due to the multiverse, Barry won’t be able to do the same for his prime Earth — as the fate of the new DCEU era depends on the prime Earth itself changing.

Coming to the second major similarity: Although everyone was buzzing with anticipation of seeing Maguire and Garfield on screen, MCU never openly marketed them in any way. Their main goal was to keep these appearances a “surprise,” which got a bigger positive response out of people.

The Flash Superbowl Trailer: DCEU Taking a Page from MCU's Playbook
Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck reprising their roles as Batman

For the DCEU and The Flash, the presence of Affleck and Keaton as their version of Batman is a big marketing tool, especially in the face of Miller’s controversial behavior and doubts about the new DCEU era. Not only are fans deprived of that surprise element, they now have heightened expectations from these characters’ involvement in the film.

Personally, I had expected NWH’s cameos to be miniscule, so I did not have any expectations, nor was I disappointed in the way these characters were utilized in the films. However with The Flash, the trailer has seemingly established that both Batmans will play an important role, which is why I might be disappointed if it doesn’t show through in the film.

When you pit both the cameos against each other, NWH was a more emotional story that depicted why Tom Holland’s Spidey needed the other Spideys, especially as passed the metaphorical baton onto him. It also gave the MCU’s three-film Spider-Man saga a heartfelt, bittersweet conclusion.

This same level of impact cannot be achieved in The Flash.

3. Conclusion: Will The Flash live up to expectations?

The Flash Superbowl Trailer: DCEU Taking a Page from MCU's Playbook
The Flash

I truly have mixed feelings here — The Superbowl trailer does hype up the movie enough for you to want to go watch it, but I feel like there may be a few factors that will keep it from being the best it can be.

For starters, the Flashpoint storyline is a little saturated and overdone at this point. It would’ve been better to have another classic Flash story explored cinematically. However, this is one of the few arcs that can provide a bridge to the multiverse plot point.

I do think that the film will do justice to its Batman cameo just by looking at the amount of Easter eggs and fan service that the trailer is filled with. From Keaton saying his iconic dialogue to Affleck’s Batcycle, fans are going to have a jolly ride with all things Batman.

It’s left to be seen if The Flash can give an equal number (or more) call backs to different Batman generations than NWH. In fact, it would be so easy to outdo NWH, since there are so many versions of Batman and legendary actors who played him — so fingers crossed that the films tried to honor all of them in some way or the other.

The Flash Superbowl Trailer: DCEU Taking a Page from MCU's Playbook
The Flash

Lastly, I think The Flash will perform well just based on the sheer factor that all it needs to do is successfully reboot the DCEU. Sadly, despite this being Barry’s first standalone film, his story actually does not matter in the grand scheme of things. Most fans are going to focus on how Barry’s story helped “fix” the DCEU and gave it a second chance.

So as long as it The Flash does that, most fans may not complain about the Flashpoint story arc or any Barry-specific plot points.

Overall, I’m excited to see what The Flash has to offer! I do think it will live up to expectations, but it definitely won’t generate the amount of hype, connect or emotion that Spider-Man: No Way Home did.

Watch The Flash (2023) on:

4. About The Flash (2023)

The Flash is an upcoming American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. The film is directed by Andy Muschietti and a part of the DCEU.

The movie will see Barry Allen travel back in time to prevent his mother’s murder, which brings unintentional consequences to his timeline.

Miller will be joined by actors Ben Affleck, Michael Keaton, Sasha Calle, Kiersey Clemons, Maribel Verdu, and Ron Livingston. The movie is set to release on June 16, 2023.

Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

Our talented team of Freelance writers - Always on the lookout - pour their energies into a wide range of topics bringing to our audience what they crave - fun up-to-date news, reviews, fan theories and much much more.


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