Warner Bros.’ The Flash has had more than its fair share of problems ahead of its debut for the DCU, but its delay could tie back to one specific reason.
Originally announced to be in development nearly a decade ago, The Flash has faced one unfortunate roadblock after another as it looks to finally hit theaters in 2023. From multiple personnel switches in the director’s chair to the distributing public troubles centered around star actor Ezra Miller, concerns for the film continued to grow as the DC Universe struggles to gain more positive reception.
While fans got their first look at The Flash at DC FanDome 2021, the Scarlet Speedster’s first big-screen adventure has largely been kept under wraps. But the thing that has fans the most excited is that Warner Bros. is finally on its way to releasing the movie in full, following up on three other appearances for the character and giving Barry Allen his first experience as a leading character.
Now, on top of the more public news surrounding this movie, The Flash‘s editor opened up on another reason why the highly-anticipated outing is taking so long to finish.
Speaking with IBC, The Flash editor Paul Machliss divulged new information about a new piece of technology that’s being used for the movie, leading to its release date being delayed.
While he couldn’t reveal anything about the film, the new technology is said to be capable of “getting multiple versions of the same actor on the screen” differently than other movies that have done similar things. This will be particularly big for Warner Bros, as The Flash will be the first film on such a big scale to utilize the new technology on screen.
The Flash will utilize at least two different versions of Barry Allen’s hero, spotlighting a darker take on the Scarlet Speedster who is rumored to play a more villainous role. This technology will help best visualize each of Ezra Miller’s roles while the actor interacts with themselves on camera:
“Nothing. No, it’s gonna be exciting. I mean, Warners has charged us with making the best film we possibly can. What I can say is that we’re gonna be utilizing… We’re the first film to be utilizing some very, very new technology in terms of getting multiple versions of the same actor on the screen, rather than using either locked off cameras or even the motion controls we used in [Last Night in Soho]. There’s been a development with some wonderful technology, which I’d love to be able to talk about now, but this time next year once the film’s out, we can go into total, scrupulous detail. But that is very, very exciting and I’m very pleased to say that we’re the first, certainly on a film of this scale to utilize it. Probably why it’s taken so long to finish actually. But it’s worth the wait, because it looks fantastic.”
Machliss also praised the way that Matt Gauci from Vivid, a tech company that helped work on the movie, “constructed an entirely new system from scratch.” This allows for small pieces to be taken out or put back in and for the team to be able to get close-up angles directly fed into the team’s monitors, allowing for easy editing and range of movement for all the shots that are needed.
He encouraged the use of a system called Moxian, a “cloud tool normally for directors” and other movie professionals to use for watching shots as they’re being developed. Once the footage is cut, it’s immediately uploaded “to the cloud, and it’s available to anyone” that may need access to it on the production team.
Machliss looked back to his experience with director Andy Muschietti, who he convinced to let him use the new technology while shooing the movie before realizing how useful it was to his work:
“No, no, no. Because, I think– I mean, bless him. Andy Muschietti, who’s a fantastic director, but when I explained to him what I had and then he said, ’No, no, no, I don’t bother with that kind of thing. I don’t need on-set…” I said, ’I’ll tell you what, give me two weeks. If you don’t like what I’ve done, if it doesn’t help in two weeks, then I’ll go scuttling back to the edit suite, and you’ll never see me ’til we can join for the director’s cut. He said, ‘Okay.’ So of course, the first day, I’m not doing anything much. I’m collecting the media and putting things together. And, of course, the following morning, I show Andy and it’s like, he suddenly realizes how useful this tool is, as did the producers. I mean, some of them think I’d just turned lead into gold basically. They were just that kind of impressed, not only the turn around but how it affects the director, how it affects how they can modify or adapt to what they’re doing, look at yesterday’s work, and even start looking at other takes, and… especially if you’re shooting a scene over a couple of days. And so that was very exciting. Of course, after two weeks, he said, ‘Where do you think you’re going?’”
Even with this shoot being so extensive, Machliss shared how much he loves being “in the trenches” working on the editing for all the footage, learning each moment intimately. This ultimately helps when he puts the entire movie together months after the shoot ends, remembering every bit of footage and every scene that went into the databank:
“On something as big as a film like The Flash, it then becomes a six to seven month shoot. And suddenly you’re going onto all locations, not just on soundstages, but night shoots, the whole gamut… It’s very nice, because you’re accepted as part of the crew. And, of course, you’re doing those crew hours. You’re not doing editorial, just gently coming in in the morning, and leaving in the evening, and all that kind of stuff. So you’re in the trenches. But, actually, I have to say, I enjoy that after many years of being in darkened basements. It’s really invigorating for me… And what happens is, you get a knowledge of almost every take. And that’s, what happens as an editor, you learn about every take from every scene. But then, when you’re present at it, it pays off in huge ways. Because when you’re sitting in the cutting room with the director months later and you’re doing a scene, you go, ‘But ah yes, do you remember that day you though take two was better, and I though take four had something in there, and have a look at that.’ And so you have that recall… which is, as an editor, that’s what you do. You learn to amass huge amounts of information while you’re putting a film together, so you can do that. But the advantage of being on set was A. I built my relationship with Andy over that time, so he and I were pretty good when we got to the edit. But also, just amassing a whole knowledge of the film. It was indispensable.”
He’s been consistently busy with the job on this movie since February 2021, noting that “it will be February of next year” when everything is fully complete. And with the technology being so helpful to him on this movie, he’s set on making sure he works the same way for future projects on his schedule:
“Well, it’s one of those things I never really thought I would until I was invited to. And I mean, it’s hugely exciting. I started in February of 2021 and still going now. It still hasn’t totally finished. But I think by the time myself and my co-editor Jason Ballantine is done on it, I think it will be February of next year. It’s not going to come out ’til the end of July but it’s just incredible to work on something that scale with that kind of budget, but using this kind of technology as well, which has been… like I say, the producers have… one of them just said, ‘I’m never not going to work in this way again on future productions.’ And that’s great, just to be a catalyst and maybe have more people join in on this experience.”
For reference, The Flash has had six different release dates over the years, which are listed below:
Considering that the Flash is one of DC’s iconic heroes, especially one that requires top-notch special effects, this new technology will be one aspect of the movie on which fans will have a close eye. Rumors have even pointed to multiple versions of Ezra Miller’s leading character being involved with the story, which could make the new technology even more necessary to tell the story the right way.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many concrete details on what the tech was used for with the film and how it will play into the story, which already includes some massive events like Michael Keaton’s Batman coming into the DCU for the first time. But with the marketing campaign hopefully kicking off in the next couple of months, many are hoping those details will become clearer before too long.
The Flash is set to release in theaters on June 23, 2023.
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