The Flash Trailer Breakdown: Batman Returns And Introducing Supergirl

The fate of James Gunn’s new DC Universe (DCU) rests on the shoulders of The Flash – and luckily, its latest trailer suggests this is a bold gamble that might pay off.

The new head of DC Studios recently revealed that Barry Allen’s multiverse adventure will set the stage for his rebooted take on the cinematic universe, whilst tying it neatly into what came before.

The new trailer, which premiered at this year’s Super Bowl, more than delivered on that promise – Ben Affleck is back as Batman for perhaps the final time and more intriguingly, we got our first proper glimpse of Michael Keaton back in the Batsuit too.

It was as much a celebration of nearly 40 years’ worth of DC blockbusters as it was a way to usher in Gunn’s new era.

Let’s dive into the trailer with our detailed breakdown.


Warner Bros. Pictures

In the opening voiceover, Keaton’s Bruce Wayne asks Barry why, if he could go to any timeline, anywhere in the universe, he chose this one. The answer is simple: “It’s the only one where my mom lives, and I’m not gonna lose her again.”

As we learnt from the previous trailer, the film is a loose adaptation of the Flashpoint comic book series, which sees Barry Allen tear a hole in the universe by going back in time to prevent his mother’s death.

However, in this full-length promo, we discover more about what this butterfly effect has caused.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Before we get to that ripple, we do get teases of some of the bigger action sequences, with Barry in The Flash costume zooming through a city, and the surreal sight of Affleck’s Batman riding the Batcycle whilst Keaton’s Batman is speaking via voiceover – the multiverse is breaking already!

Double Act

Warner Bros. Pictures

After being warned against going back in time to save his mother, Barry immediately sees the consequences of his actions (more on those shortly), but not before he meets up with the alternate universe version of himself.

This version seems comparatively more serious, although their initial meeting does frontload the comedy we can expect to see Gunn bring more of to the DCU, as Barry 2.0 tells the original that he “stole” his face.

“You Could Destroy Everything”

Warner Bros. Pictures

Yes, Barry’s time-travelling rescue mission may have led to an emotional reunion with his mother, but it also rewrote the most recent iteration of the DCU in its entirety (to avoid confusion, we will refer to this timeline as the Snyder-Verse here).

We flash back to the events of Man Of Steel, and see that in this timeline, Michael Shannon’s General Zod managed to defeat Superman.

In Barry’s words, his actions have created a “world without meta-humans” – but there is a super-powered hope to be found aside from Bruce Wayne, hidden deep within a laboratory.

Who’s That girl?

Warner Bros. Pictures

In the comics, the events of Flashpoint lead to a completely rejuvenated origin story for Superman. Instead of being raised on a farm by the Kents, Kal-El is held captive by the US government upon his arrival on Earth, where he is tortured as they study “Subject One” throughout his lifespan.

As a possible set-up for the events of upcoming film Supergirl: Woman Of Tomorrow, this origin tale has instead been repurposed for his older cousin Kara Zor-El, played by Sasha Calle.

Barry is responsible for helping break her out of captivity, and luckily for him, she has a Supergirl costume ready to put on, which came with her from Krypton all those years ago.

“I’m Batman”

Warner Bros. Pictures

As hinted repeatedly throughout, the break in the timeline has led to the fun mixing-and-matching of the various Batman mythologies we’ve seen on-screen over the years.

A shot of Batman’s mask on the floor seems to recall Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, whilst Keaton’s suit bears more of a passing resemblance to the Val Kilmer one from Batman Forever than his own – and is that Batwing a replacement for the one Jack Nicholson’s Joker shot down in the 1989 film?

Yet, despite these nods to the many big screen takes on Batman, this is the Keaton show, and as he teams up with Barry to free Supergirl and help defeat Zod, Danny Elfman’s beloved score from Tim Burton’s Batman movies firing up.

But what really seals the deal is the reminder from the man himself: Keaton IS Batman.

Honestly, the immediate cut to him swooping into action – kicking butt so effectively he makes at least one of the two Barrys pass out – is everything we could possibly want from Keaton’s return to this role.

“We Try Not To Die”

Warner Bros. Pictures

The last part of the trailer sets the stage for the final battle and the stakes at play, with Barry warning that there “might not be a future” if they don’t succeed. Sadly, their plan amounts to little more than trying “not to die”, in the words of Keaton’s grizzled hero.

Luckily, it seems that our heroes are very good at the whole “not dying” thing, with various action-shots that largely focus on Supergirl’s efforts in helping the gang – blasting flames from her eyes and going toe-to-toe with several armed guards on a snowy rooftop. It’s certainly one way to make a new hero as immediately iconic as a returning legend.

Another intriguing moment here is a scene where it appears that the two Barrys are struck by lightning. In the comics, the events of Flashpoint lead Barry to initially losing his powers – and whilst it isn’t clear that this happens here, the pair getting struck is followed by a recreation of the Speed Force incident, with both characters now able to hit high speeds, as that glimpse at the final battle teases.

Warner Bros. Pictures

The trailer ends on a light-hearted note, reminding audiences that whilst the film will have major ramifications for this cinematic universe, it’ll also be a lot funnier than many of the comparatively gritty recent DC efforts.

One of the Barrys takes a photo of Supergirl to “show our kids”, which not only hints at how enthralled he is to be fighting alongside another meta-human, but further reveals that the comedic dynamic between the two iterations of the character will be a chief selling point of the movie.

It has taken nine years since it was originally announced to hit our screens, but this trailer suggests The Flash will be more than worth the wait.

The Flash is released in UK cinemas on 16th June.

Shop our DC merch here.

For all things pop culture, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.

Alistair Ryder

Alistair Ryder

Contributing Writer

Alistair is a culture journalist and lover of bad puns from Leeds. A regular writer for Film Inquiry and The Digital Fix, his work has also been found at the BFI, British GQ, Digital Spy, Little White Lies and more. Subject yourself to his bad tweets by following him on Twitter @YesItsAlistair.