For a while, dark clouds were forming over pretty much every future DCEU movie that wasn't either Wonder Woman, Aquaman or Shazam! (by virtue of the last two already being completed). Even the apparently critic-proof Suicide Squad series was a little uncertain in the wake of Justice League's failure until James Gunn came striding in confidently).
Things look a little more stable now with changes behind the scenes, but there are still some questions over some of the slate, with it looking distinctly like DC and Warner Bros are waiting to see what happens with some of their more bankable assets like Aquaman and Wonder Woman's sequel before expanding with purpose again. After all, they don't want to appear to be over-reaching again like they were when they announced so many projects that were never completely concrete.
One of the projects that STILL has a bit of a question mark above it, and which might not seem as nailed on to happen as some of its fellow announced properties is the Flashpoint movie, which will represent the first solo Flash movie. It's been through the wringer a little in its production so far what with losing a couple of directors and being shunted around the release calendar like a hockey puck. If you don't believe it's coming out, you're probably not alone.
And now, just to compound that feeling, the film has been delayed once more, with a new start date on production of late 2019, which means there's no way it's coming out until 2021. So you can forget that 2020 release date that's currently listed.
But why are Warner Bros looking at moving it AGAIN? Well, aside from issues with confidence (and perhaps moving it to allow more positive DC movies to come out in the meantime to distance it from Justice League), Warner Bros have very openly announced that Fantastic Beasts is their biggest focus in terms of movie franchises right now.
Even with the brand power of Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Rock and all of the rest of the franchise formerly known as the DCEU (and its confusing off-shoots), the DC Comic Book Movies umbrella simply isn't the top-billed concern for the studio. That billing goes to the Wizarding World and the currently active Fantastic Beasts series, whose second, heavily-hyped chapter is heading into cinemas this winter.
Consider the marketing campaigns of both Aquaman and The Crimes Of Grindelwald and it feels a lot more like Warner Bros know who they're aiming at with the latter. They know they have a captive audience and they've recognised that appealing to Harry Potter fans more overtly by drawing the Fantastic Beasts sequel closer to Hogwarts is a smart move for that very reason. The marketing has been tighter, more nostalgic and more heavily focused on the return of (a new) Dumbledore.
In contrast, Aquaman has just seen an extended look released, which is not as regular a thing as you might expect and which smacks of a more unfocused approach to marketing. It's showing off more than you'd generally want to see in the hope of arresting any negativity and building a more positive response. It's worked, but it was a gamble that simply hasn't entered the Fantastic Beasts conversation (at least from the outside).
Why does this all matter to The Flash?
Well, because the decision to move the production is very much a reflection of the greater importance of Fantastic Beasts. According to Variety, The Flash schedule would clash with the third Fantastic Beasts movie, which is due in cinemas in 2020. And, of course, Ezra Miller is in both of them, so there's a headache there.
You could put this down to an innocent scheduling conflict and nothing more sinister than that, only The Flash was announced before Fantastic Beasts' sequels. So a choice has been made here and it says a lot about what's the most important.
Hopefully, we're still going to get to see a Flashpoint movie, but it's just a shame that we're having to wait so long.