The Flash Will Have Two Actors at Once. How Has That Gone in the Past?

Can modern superhero pop culture handle two of the same superheroes at once?

The CW

Warner Brothers’ chaotic approach to superhero movies and TV will soon produce not one, but two men as Barry Allen, aka The Flash, DC’s personification of speed. There is already The Flash on the CW starring Grant Gustin, which is dope, but soon there will also be The Flash, a movie starring Ezra Miller and directed by the guy who wrote Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

It’ll be awhile until Seth Grahame-Smith’s The Flash film releases in 2018 (but Ezra Miller will debut sooner than that in 2017’s Justice League). But by that point, The Flash show will be between Seasons 4 and 5.

This isn’t a new phenomenon. Back when movie executives laughed at the idea of interconnected universes, Warner Bros. aired Smallville on TV alongside the 2006 movie Superman Returns directed by Bryan Singer. On TV, Clark Kent was Tom Welling, but in the movie, he was Brandon Routh. Both guys were good and did the job for being handsome, chiseled, and non-threatening; fanboys didn’t mind. Everyone was cool with different people being the same superhero.

That other major DC superhero, Batman, has also been played by actors, plural, at the same time. Just after Tim Burton’s Batman Returns starring Michael Keaton, Fox aired the Emmy-winning Batman: The Animated Series, with Kevin Conroy as the voice of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The series went on to win several Emmys and become a classic, airing until Val Kilmer donned the black leather for Batman Forever.

While Batman: TAS was “just” a cartoon, any fan worth their collectibles will rank Kevin Conroy among the best actors to play the caped crusader. Conroy easily outshines Kilmer and George Clooney, and he even stayed on to voice Batman through the Justice League animated series and the Batman: Arkham Asylum video games, all while Christian Bale was rasping his way through Christopher Nolan’s movies.

And while Ben Affleck is brooding for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, David Mazouz is playing Bruce Wayne right at puberty on Fox’s (again) Batman prequel, Gotham.

This isn’t exclusive to DC, either. Right now, Marvel is shooting Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 with the original cast. Since those guys are busy, Marvel’s and Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy animated show stars completely different people, some of whom you may know.

Remember Eric from Boy Meets World? Yeah well, he’s Star-Lord now, just like how Chris Pratt is Star-Lord too. They’re both funny and handsome, so why not?

So, while some of today’s fanboys might be irritated that Ezra Miller is going to be The Flash while Grant Gustin is doing a bang-up job already, maybe they need a reminder this isn’t new.

And what do the Flashes think? Well, Grant Gustin from TV is totally on board.

And Ezra Miller, the movie Flash? As he excitedly told MTV:

“I think it’s awesome! C’mon, we’re The Flash! It’s parallel universes! Grant Gustin is The Flash AND I’m The Flash, don’t you see? It’s the Event Horizon, we crossed it baby! Grant and I are chillin’, we’re gonna have a race, it’s gonna be dope. Like Jay Garrick and Barry Allen back in the day.”

Woah. Dude referenced that time Jay Garrick and Barry Allen teamed up and opened the DC multiverse. We’ve got nothing to worry about.

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