ByMichael Patterson, writer at Creators.co
I Write. Sometimes.
Michael Patterson

With a long and rich comic book legacy, The Flash is without a doubt one of #DC's most popular #superheroes. And the scarlet speedster's popularity has surged to even greater heights in the past few years, with the character starring in his own highly rated #TV series on the CW as well as making his presence felt on the big screen, featuring in the #DCEU films.

While the idea of two live-action Flashes initially angered people, DC's decision to keep the TV universe and film universe separate has since been accepted by fans. And so far, we have benefited from the two versions of the character — Grant Gustin has been doing a phenomenal job on The Flash TV Series and we eagerly anticipate Ezra Miller's first significant outing in the upcoming #JusticeLeague film.

Ezra Miller portrays The Flash in the DCEU.
Ezra Miller portrays The Flash in the DCEU.

However, 2018 will see the release of The Flash — if the recent director troubles don't delay the film. And in order to make it work, it's imperative that DC make it significantly different from the beloved TV series — after all, they need to prove that they made the right decision by keeping the universe's separate, and that won't work too well if the film ends up being a carbon copy of the beloved series.

The Film Must Be Darker

The Flash TV series has received critical acclaim for its uplifting, light-hearted tone and its reliance on family-heavy storylines has resulted in the show being considered a family show. While the lighter tone initially puzzled some — it was a spin-off of the significantly darker Arrow — it wasn't long until we all got sucked into the fun, metahuman-filled universe of the Barry Allen and his friends.

Grant Gustin has received widespread acclaim as The Flash. (via The CW)
Grant Gustin has received widespread acclaim as The Flash. (via The CW)

In order for the film to truly stand on its own two feet, it will have to go to extreme lengths to avoid similarities to the series. And the primary way to do that would be to completely change the tone. The best way to set the film and the series apart would be to change what's on the surface, and the best way of doing that is by giving the film a darker tone.

Now I'm not saying DC has to make things #BatmanvSuperman level grim — after all, Barry Allen was the main source of humor in the Justice League trailer — just make it significantly darker than the TV series, which shouldn't be hard to do.

All they would need is less colorful characters and a less colorful world. As Barry would be the comic relief in the film, nobody else needs to be funny and thus, a little doom and gloom could really benefit it. Just as long as it has its own type of brighter moments as well. We will automatically buy into it if we know we are getting something different.

Barry Allen Must Have A Different Backstory

As this is the first time ever that The Flash will have his own solo movie, it's likely going to involve his origin story, because we would like to know how he got his speed. The Flash must have a compelling origin story in order to convince us that this is all possible.

An example of a compelling origin story would be a young Barry Allen's mother is murdered in front of him and his father is wrongly convicted for her murder. Years later, an accident gives Barry lightning speed powers and he can use this gift to help solve his mother's murder, saving Central City at the same time. Compelling right? The only problem is that this is the plot of the TV series' first season.

How will Barry Allen become the Flash in the 2018 film?
How will Barry Allen become the Flash in the 2018 film?

So, if DC truly wants the film to be considered an original retelling of the story, it's vital that they come up with their own original interpretation instead of covering ground already explored by the TV series. While the series channeled the character's origin story and Henry Allen's conviction from The Flash: Rebirth, the creative team behind the film could always come up their own original childhood trauma for Barry or have both of his parents remain alive and well when he experiences the accident that gives him powers.

With Henry Allen confirmed to appear in the film version also, DC would definitely benefit from steering clear from the wrongful conviction angle as the TV series did that so well, it almost seems impossible to top. And moreover, it would be hard to get anyone excited if you're just going to retell the same story.

If you're a fan of either Flash, check these out:

A Very Different Barry Allen

We all love Grant Gustin's adorkable and quirky portrayal of Barry Allen on The Flash TV series. Back when Gustin was cast, the network took a risk by choosing an actor who was much thinner and had a completely different hair color than his comic book counterpart. But that risk paid off beautifully as Gustin has been a joy to watch for the past two seasons in the role.

Ezra Miller and Grant Gustin both portray Barry Allen/The Flash [WB/The CW]
Ezra Miller and Grant Gustin both portray Barry Allen/The Flash [WB/The CW]

From what we have seen so far, Ezra Miller's Barry Allen once again seems to be quite different from the comic book version. Allen's signature blonde hair is still absent, but this time we see a dark-haired, infectiously geeky and incredibly fast-talking Ezra Miller in the role. The great thing here is that although he differs from the comic book version, he also differs significantly from Grant Gustin's portrayal of the character. While Gustin channels his inner lovable nerd to bring Barry to life, Miller seems to portray more of a geeky loner that has no problem saving the city in secret.

This gives the film an advantage before filming even begins as Ezra will be carrying his Justice League portrayal of the character into The Flash film. It's important that he maintains all of the features that we already love when shooting the solo film because it makes his Barry Allen all the more unique.

While both Ezra Miller and Grant Gustin's portrayals are different interpretations of the character, they are both equally as awesome and both talented actors will continue to do amazing things with their own respective version of Barry Allen.

Steer Clear From Other Speedsters

Perhaps the most important way for the film to differentiate itself from the series would be to focus significantly less on speedsters. The TV series boldly featured the scarlet speedster's primary nemesis Reverse-Flash in its freshman season and did one hell of a job retelling the bitter rivalry between the two.

It would then feature the terrifying speedster Zoom as the big bad of its second season. But the reliance on speedsters didn't stop there as we have also seen the likes of Jay Garrick, Kid Flash, Jesse Quick, Trajectory, the Rival and have been promised the debut of speed-God Savitar this season.

The Reverse-Flash played a prominent role in "The Flash" TV Series. (via The CW)
The Reverse-Flash played a prominent role in "The Flash" TV Series. (via The CW)

The creative team behind the film could use this to help set it apart from the TV series. While the CW's series thrives on speedsters, this would allow the film to focus on other Flash villains and tell a story unique to the DCEU. Having already run into Captain Boomerang in #SuicideSquad, there could be scope to develop this altercation into the main story of the film.

Furthermore, there were rumors that the big bads of the film would be the Rogues. While many of the Rogues have indeed appeared on the TV series as well, none of them were really considered as big a threat as any of the speedsters that showed up. Thus, this would allow the film to highlight how dangerous these characters actually are. Not only would this introduce the likes of Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Heat Wave and Top to other a whole new audience, it would firmly place the film in its own universe allowing it to retell the Flash's debut story using different — but equally as important villains.

Will the Rogues be the big bads of 'The Flash' film? (via DC)
Will the Rogues be the big bads of 'The Flash' film? (via DC)

With DC's upcoming The Flash film recently losing another director, it's important that it doesn't suffer from any other major problems. And while comparisons are inevitable, one thing the film must avoid is covering ground that was already explored in the CW's beloved The Flash TV series. With the film still a long way off, this gives DC plenty of time to ensure that the final product is an original take on the scarlet speedster's origin and that the DCEU has their own unique Flash, set apart from Grant Gustin's interpretation.

With a lot riding on the eventual release of the film, DC must prove that they were right to remake the Flash's origin into a film instead of incorporating the world of the series into the DCEU. And in order for the film to truly be a success, it must stand alone as a completely separate entity from the TV series, choosing a different backstory and pitting the Flash against a whole new lineup of villains.

How do you think The Flash film should differ from the TV Series? Let us know in the comments below!