What Do You Need to Watch Before The Flash Movie?

Ezra Miller's The Flash looking up
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Ezra Miller's The Flash looking up
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Many heroes are expected to appear in The Flash movie starring Ezra Miller, and based on the film’s synopsis, there will obviously be multiple timelines and universes involved. So, what are the DC movies you need to watch before The Flash?

The Flash movie follows the story of the DC Extended Universe's (DCEU) version of Barry Allen as he travels back in time to prevent his mother's death. In doing so, he creates an alternate reality in which metahumans like himself do not exist.

He then asks for help from heroes from alternate dimensions, including Michael Keaton’s Batman and Supergirl (played by Sasha Calle), to save this new timeline while he tries to return to his own.

So, what do you need to watch before The Flash movie? Here’s a list of the DC movies you need to watch before The Flash.

Batman (1989)

Michael Keaton's Batman in his costume
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Credit: DC

Since Michael Keaton’s Batman will be in The Flash movie, it’s best to watch his Batman films. Batman is the film that introduces Keaton’s version of the hero.

From the trailers for The Flash, we know that Keaton’s Batman will have a major role in the movie. So, it’s best to watch the film that introduces his version of Bruce Wayne to know more about his backstory.

Batman Returns (1992)

Batman pointing his weapon
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Credit: DC

While Batman is the film that introduces Keaton’s Bruce Wayne, Batman Returns was the last time where we see his version of the hero before he appears again in The Flash.

Thus, watching Batman Returns is crucial because The Flash movie will likely be a direct continuation of the 1992 film for Keaton’s character.

Man of Steel (2013)

Henry Cavill's Superman looking up
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Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

General Zod will be a villain in The Flash movie, with actor Michael Shannon reprising his role from Man of Steel. And while the Kryptonian in The Flash is Supergirl, not Superman, it’s best to watch Man of Steel to get a background about the Kryptonians.

The Flash movie will reset the DCEU to fit into James Gunn’s DCU, so it’s best to watch Man of Steel, the first DCEU film, to see how things will change.

Additionally, there are reports about Henry Cavill’s Superman appearing in The Flash movie. So, it’s best to watch Man of Steel before watching The Flash.

RELATED: How Long Is the Flash Movie?

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Ben Affleck's Batman looking up with glowing eyes
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Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

It’s important to watch Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice because this is where we’re introduced to Ben Affleck’s Batman, the Batman of the DCEU.

Affleck’s Bruce Wayne acts as a mentor to The Flash/Barry Allen in The Flash movie, so it’s best to know about his backstory.

Additionally, we’re introduced to Ezra Miller’s The Flash in Batman v Superman although just in a brief scene. This is the movie where Affleck’s character becomes aware of The Flash.

So, it’s best to watch Batman v Superman before The Flash as well.

RELATED: Will The Flash Movie Have Wonder Woman?

Justice League (2017)

Aquaman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and Cyborg standing up
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Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Justice League is the first DCEU film where The Flash plays a major role. We get to know more about his character in Justice League after being teased in Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad (2016).

While there are two Justice League movies, the 2017 version is the one that’s considered canon within the DCEU. Also, if you’re planning to do a quick binge-watch, Justice League (2017) is shorter.

RELATED: Will The Flash Movie Have Reverse Flash?

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

The Justice League looking beyond
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Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

If you want more details about Ezra Miller’s The Flash, Zack Snyder’s Justice League (Snyder Cut) is something to watch before The Flash.

The 4-hour version of Justice League contains scenes that were omitted in the 2017 version. You get to know more about Barry Allen’s life in the Snyder Cut, specifically in Part 3 (Beloved Mother, Beloved Son) of the film.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League includes scenes where Barry visits his father in prison, his first interaction with his love interest, Iris West, and his ability to time travel.

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While there are questions as to whether the Snyder Cut is canon, it’s still something to consider watching if you want to know more about the DCEU’s The Flash.

RELATED: Is The Flash Movie Part of the Snyderverse? DCEU Timeline Explained

Ezra Miller’s The Flash Cameos

DCEU's The Flash meeting Arrowverse's The Flash
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Credit: The CW

It is worthy to note that Ezra Miller’s The Flash does have cameos in other DC films and series, such as Suicide Squad (2016), Peacemaker (2022), and the Arrowverse’s Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Ezra Miller’s Flash appears briefly in Suicide Squad when he stops Captain Boomerang from robbing a bank in Central City. “No honor among thieves, eh,” The Flash says.

The character also appears in the DC series Peacemaker, specifically in episode 8 titled “It’s Cow or Never”, where the Justice League arrives to help.

And lastly, the DCEU’s Flash appears in the Arrowverse’s Crisis on Infinite Earths, specifically in Arrow Season 8 Episode 8, titled “Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Four”, where Ezra Miller’s The Flash meets Grant Gustin’s The Flash.

So, if you want to do some major binge-watching, you may want to consider these as well. And while DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn said that you don’t really need to watch anything before The Flash, you may want to consider watching the films listed above to get some context before watching The Flash movie.

Watch the trailer for The Flash movie below:

The Flash’s official synopsis, as provided by Warner Bros. Pictures:

Worlds collide in “The Flash” when Barry uses his superpowers to travel back in time in order to change the events of the past. But when his attempt to save his family inadvertently alters the future, Barry becomes trapped in a reality in which General Zod has returned, threatening annihilation, and there are no Super Heroes to turn to. That is, unless Barry can coax a very different Batman out of retirement and rescue an imprisoned Kryptonian… albeit not the one he’s looking for. Ultimately, to save the world that he is in and return to the future that he knows, Barry’s only hope is to race for his life. But will making the ultimate sacrifice be enough to reset the universe?

RELATED: Is The Flash Movie Connected to the TV Show?

The Flash movie will be released in theaters on June 16, 2023.

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