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It almost felt like The Flash was a film that would never see the day of light, given its original release date was meant to be back in 2018. With multiple schedule setbacks, COVID delays and numerous directors attached to various versions of the script along the way, there was a lot riding on the project when filmmaking legend Andy Muschietti (the It films) stepped up to take control of the ship.
The director, sitting alongside sister and executive producer Barbara Muschietti at a press day in Miami ahead of the film’s release, tells Supanova his original pitch was “quite simple”; the foundation had to be about the emotional relationship between Barry and his mother.
“It was about creating a strong emotional pillar in the centre of the movie,” he emphasises. “Very simple, but pure, which is like a kid that wants to reunite with his mum. And therefore, creating a scenario where all the big spectacles and the chases and the adventure and the explosions and the final battle are basically ripples of the difficulties of the character to reach that goal.”
Barbara adds that they “couldn’t be prouder” of the final results.
“I’m a moviegoer, so I love that people will get to go to the movies and see this on the biggest screen possible, in a room full of people, and just fill themselves with joy,” she says. “It’s a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s a lot of fun, as you’ve probably seen. And that’s what we wanted to make, especially since we shot this through the pandemic, we wanted people to experience joy and fun.”
One of the more talked about inclusions in the film is Michael Keaton’s Batman. With a slew of other rumoured cameos, time travel, alternative universes and more, it would have been very easy for their vision to blow out.
“My brother is incredibly stubborn, incredibly stubborn, and he knows the story he wants to tell,” Barbara tells. “And when you’re shooting a movie of that size for that long, there are many voices. There are many voices for many reasons that want to tell you how, when, why, what. And he is lovingly stubborn and, in the end, is going to make the movie that he’s going to make and that’s what’s going to be on the screens, the movie that Andy wanted to make.”
Andy adds that, while the script was rewritten countless times, the story really came together in the editing room, where he makes his “final calibration”.
“We had the luck to work again with your co-patriot,” he says. “I don’t know if that’s a word, but Jason Ballantine, who is our brilliant editor, happens to be Australian, and this is our third movie together [after It and It Chapter Two].
“He helped me navigate those crazy waters. Our first assembly was four hours, so you can imagine that there was a lot of movie that ended up on the editing room floor, but one of the most exciting things is to shape the movie that you created to perfection in the editing room.”
One thing that didn’t get cut was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo from Andy himself involving a hotdog. “I’m glad that you noticed,” he says, smiling. Barbara adds: “He had one yesterday and he’s still digesting it.”
Andy: “I had two actually, and I felt terrible after eating that.”
The Flash is in cinemas now
Lead Image: Andy and Barbara Muschietti