DC fans are counting down the weeks until The Flash speeds into cinemas on 16 June 2023 – the next superhero flick that is exploring the concept of the multiverse.
The Flash is adapting the famous Flashpoint arc from the comics, and will be referencing numerous films in the DCEU. It will also tie in with a few older flicks, thanks to Michael Keaton reprising his role as Batman.
Therefore, you’ll get the most out of this film if you’ve seen some of the older ones. We’ve gathered all the movies that you should watch before The Flash, so you don’t have to spend hours searching (and risk getting spoilt).
We also have a similar article for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which is out now in cinemas. You can also find out everything we know about cinema tickets for The Flash here.
What DC movies do I need to watch to understand The Flash?
We are basing this guide on trailers alone – but we should know more once The Flash releases. Here are all the films you should watch:
Batman (1989) Batman Returns (1992) Man of Steel (2013) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) Justice League (2017) Optional – Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)
The Flash follows the story of the DCEU’s version of Barry Allen. He first appears in Justice League. However, that story is influenced by Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. Plus, these films feature Ben Affleck’s Batman, who also appears in The Flash.
As the trailers reveal, Michael Keaton is back as Bruce Wayne from another universe. He appears in Batman and Batman Returns – so watching these two films will give you a better idea of his backstory.
There are two versions of Justice League to choose from. The original 2017 movie is technically the ‘canon’ version within the DCEU, and much shorter if you’re planning a binging spree.
If you want extra content of The Flash, then you can watch the Snyder cut of Justice League, which many fans consider to be the better version. However, the story isn’t technically canon, and with a run time of over four hours, it is a major commitment.
How to watch all the DC movies needed for The Flash
US viewers can catch all these films on HBO Max, which will rebrand to Max later this month. HBO Max currently costs $9.99 per month for ad-supported viewing, and $14.99 for ad-free viewing – though pricing will be changing when the rebrand takes place on 23 May 2023.
In the UK, you can watch most of these films via Now’s Cinema Membership. This costs £9.99 per month, and new customers can also get a bundle deal with the Entertainment Membership, which also includes streaming access for the likes of Succession, The Last of Us and The White Lotus.
Man of Steel, Justice League and Zack Snyder’s Justice League aren’t available on any UK streaming service at the time of writing, but you can buy or rent them from the likes of Amazon, Google, YouTube and Apple. Alternatively, you can sign up to HBO Max from the UK by using a VPN and a smartphone.