If the creative powers behind the DC Comics cinematic universe need inspiration for the upcoming Flashpoint movie, they should look directly to Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War and use the story to bring all their biggest heroes together, rather than have it function as straight-up solo Flash movie.

Think about how Civil War felt like Avengers 2.5 despite focusing on Captain America, and you’ve got the perfect roadmap for how Flashpoint should unfold, superhero fights and all. The animated DC Comics movies already have an excellent precedent in Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, which is adapted from the superb 2011 DC Comics storyline of the same name.

In its various forms, the core conceit of Flashpoint remains the same: Barry Allen goes back in time to erase his mother’s death, but he also accidentally rewrites history and causes tons of problems. In the original story, just about every other DC hero shows up in this alternate reality, just as a dark alternative to the “real” world.

Wonder Woman and Aquaman go from lovers to bitter enemies in 'The Flashpoint Paradox'.
Wonder Woman and Aquaman go from lovers to bitter enemies in 'The Flashpoint Paradox'.

Aquaman and Wonder Woman start an affair that leads to Diana murdering Aquaman’s wife Mera and kicking off a full-fledged wear becoming horribly malnourished and psychologically underdeveloped. Bruce Wayne died as a boy, while his father became a gun-toting Batman. There aren’t even any Green Lanterns.

Yeah, it’s totally messed up, especially as some villains become heroes to fill the void. When Lex Luthor and Deathstroke are freedom fighters, you know things are really messed up.

And it’s all Barry’s fault.

Despite an ensemble cast, the story focuses entirely on the depowered Barry Allen, who connects with Thomas Wayne’s Batman and struggles to regain his powers so he can undo the disaster that is Flashpoint. All the while, he endures harassment from the Reverse-Flash, the only other person that comprehends they’re in a horrible alternate reality and the only person preventing Barry from escaping.

The Flash gets harassed by the Reverse-Flash in 'The Flashpoint Paradox'.
The Flash gets harassed by the Reverse-Flash in 'The Flashpoint Paradox'.

Over on The CW, The Flash’s version of Flashpoint was pretty tame — and kind of lame — by comparison. But DC could essentially adapt the animated story for a live action version that would be dark and gritty, filled of fan service moments, and totally compelling to watch.

We could see epic confrontations that kill off just about everyone (a la X-Men: Days of Future Past), all before everything is erased and the timeline gets restored.

All of the actors from Justice League could reprise their roles in a Flashpoint movie. They could even shrink Henry Cavill to become an emaciated person like they did with Chris Evans in the first Captain America movie.

There might be a way to get Billy Crudup, who played Barry Allen’s father in Justice League, to play Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash in this movie. I’ve long thought that Crudup would be perfect casting for this insane villain, and his looking like Barry’s father isn’t all that outlandish when you know that Eobard Thawne is directly descended from Barry Allen’s twin brother. Evil doppelgängers are always fun, right?

Barry's closest friend in Flashpoint is Thomas Wayne's Batman.
Barry's closest friend in Flashpoint is Thomas Wayne's Batman.

Perhaps best of all: Jeffrey Dean Morgan — who played Thomas Wayne in a Batman v Superman flashback — has been very vocal about wanting to play this Batman version of Thomas Wayne. In The Flashpoint Paradox, Thomas Wayne is the Bucky Barnes to The Flash’s Steve Rogers. A much younger Barry Allen teams up with a grizzled old Batman that loves getting drunk and shooting guns. The whole thing is gritty AF, but it also totally works.

If you haven’t seen The Flashpoint Paradox yet, then you can do so right now on Hulu to get a good approximation for what the upcoming live-action movie should be like. Considering that we’ve got until sometime in 2020 to wait for the movie to be released, you might as well spend some of that time watching great DC animated films.