BySean Gallen, writer at
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Sean Gallen

Warning! This article features spoilers to The Flash CW series, the comic book and potentially the film too so don't say we didn't warn you!

After the world fell in love with Ezra Miller's neurotic, dorky version of the Flash in the epic trailer for Justice League, fans were eager to learn more about the connected The Flash film that would follow. After securing Ezra Miller in the lead role, Warner Bros and DC announced over the weekend the addition of Billy Crudup to the cast as Henry Allen, father to the Flash. Henry Allen is as important to understanding the Flash as Uncle Ben is to Spiderman so Crudup's role will be a huge part of the story.

Check out the Flash in the Justice League trailer below:

DC have yet to reveal any plot details and many believe that the film might follow in the same footsteps as the comic books and The CW's TV series. In the comics, (SPOILERS) Henry Allen was wrongly accused and convicted of murdering his wife, Nora and sent to prison for life. He was later released when the true perpetrator was revealed, only to be murdered himself shortly afterward by Hunter Zoloman — talk about a hard life! In The CW series, the Flash found a way of traveling back in time to prevent his mother's death, bringing his father back in the process in an alternative timeline.

Ezra Miller in the 'Justice League' trailer
Ezra Miller in the 'Justice League' trailer

It will be interesting to see if the film follows the TV show, in which the Flash saves his mother through time travel — or the comic series, in which she is beyond saving, as obviously this will have a huge impact on Henry Allen and how Crudup will play the character.

Billy Crudup in Almost Famous.
Billy Crudup in Almost Famous.

Crudup caught people's attention with his performance in the seminal biopic Almost Famous in which he played Russell Hammond, the troubled but talented lead guitarist of the fictional, hottest rock band of the '70s, Stillwater. Here, we're going to see how Crudup's filmography makes him the perfect candidate for the role by looking at three of his key roles and how they'll inform his performance in The Flash.

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1. Watchmen

Dr.Manhattan is everywhere at once in 'Watchmen' / Legendary Pictures
Dr.Manhattan is everywhere at once in 'Watchmen' / Legendary Pictures

Crudup has plenty of experience in the world of superheroes after taking on the role of Dr.Manhattan in Zac Snyder's divisive adaptation of Watchmen. Dr.Manhattan became a super hero after an experiment in atom breaking went wrong and the celebrated physicist disintegrated himself and came back as an omnipotent force capable of changing his shape, flying, multiplying himself, moving through time.

Check out the trailer to Watchmen below:

Dr.Manhattan was so powerful that he was often left debating whether he was still human at all — his connection to society became more and more tenuous to the point where he sought refuge on Mars. Crudup can definitely bring some of that debate about the role of superheroes in society to The Flash as the character Henry Allen often questioned his son's sense of duty to the rest of the world.

2. Big Fish

Father and son change roles in 'Big Fish' / The Zanuck company
Father and son change roles in 'Big Fish' / The Zanuck company

The poignant and imaginative, Big Fish by Tim Burton tells the story of Ed Bloom (Albert Finney) who is reviewing his life on his deathbed with his son (Crudup). The frustrated son is trying to decipher what is fact and what is fiction in his father's stories as the memories and flashbacks start becoming stranger and more fantastical.

Check out the trailer to Big Fish below:

The core of the film is the relationship between father and son as their roles are reversed. The son now feels responsible for his father and needs to protect him but is frustrated at the father's reluctance as he is not willing to accept his help. Henry Allen was always supportive and proud of his son but was often reluctant to accept his support in return and essentially didn't want to be a part of his superhero life.

3. Rudderless

Billy Crudup with the late Anton Yelchin in 'Rudderless' / Unified pictures
Billy Crudup with the late Anton Yelchin in 'Rudderless' / Unified pictures

Rudderless is the heart-wrenching indie film directed by William H.Macy about a grieving father who finds his son's demos and lyrics and decides to bring them to life himself on stage. He uses them to keep his son's memory alive and as a means to cope with grief as the music takes hold of him.

Check out the trailer to Rudderless below:

The theme of loss and grief are the emotional core of the film and Crudup's performance is so complex and touching that it'll be interesting to see how he brings that to The Flash. Losing his wife, Henry Allen was distraught but in The CW series he argues with his son over bringing her back by going back in time. He refused to go against nature and knew that being with her would never be the same when he's already experienced the loss?

Do you think they will use the Henry Allen story line from Comic Book Flash or CW Flash?


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