This article contains major spoilers for The Flash.
As if it weren’t enough that The Flash brings back Michael Keaton to the role of Batman for the first time in over 30 years, the new, multiverse-spanning Warner Bros. superhero flick juggles a whole host of caped cameos. WB even spilled the beans on a few before the movie’s release. There’s of course Ben Affleck back as his own version of Batman for this DCEU swansong, with director Andy Muschietti also revealing recently that Nicolas Cage would finally get to play the Man of Steel in a nod to fans who still remember the days of Kevin Smith and Tim Burton’s Superman Lives.
But The Flash is hiding many more guest appearances throughout its jam-packed two-and-a-half-hour runtime — even beyond the cringey CG resurrections of George Reeves and Christopher Reeve as Superman as well as Adam West running through a zany ’60s Bat-adventure. The film also ends up bringing back much of the Snyderverse’s original Justice League, including Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, with a very brief CG nod to Henry Cavill’s Superman. With Ezra Miller and Batfleck also accounted for, that just leaves Aquaman and Cyborg. While Victor Stone is referenced in the movie, Ray Fisher doesn’t appear in the movie very likely due to his high-profile falling out with the studio after 2017’s Justice League. Meanwhile, you’ll have to wait until the movie’s post-credit scene to finally see the return of Arthur Curry.
Although The Flash seems like the perfect superhero extravaganza with which to unload a series of post-credit scenes about what’s next as the end of the DCEU gives way to James Gunn and Peter Safran’s revamped DCU, the movie practices restraint in this regard. Audiences who sit through the credits will be rewarded with just one bonus scene but it’s at least the payoff to a gag from earlier in the movie when Barry calls Thomas Curry’s (Temuera Morrison) home hoping to find Aquaman in the alternate timeline — only to discover that in this new reality, Arthur is a dog.
In the post-credit scene, Barry tries to recount this story to a very, very drunk Arthur, who is stumbling towards the Flash’s apartment in Central City after a night of drinking. Barely comprehending the story in his state, Arthur trips face-first into a puddle of the grossest street runoff you’ve ever seen. Deciding he’s quite comfortable sleeping in trash water, Aquaman decides to spend the night in the puddle despites Barry’s pleas that they’re just steps from his apartment.
No, it’s not much, and it doesn’t even set up this year’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, but with a movie as full of easter eggs and call backs as The Flash, it seems fitting to end on a lighter note. Plus, it’s difficult to top the movie’s final scene, anyway.
The movie ends with Barry meeting his pal Bruce Wayne outside of the courthouse where his father has just been exonerated. But the Bruce that greets Barry after the Flash’s timeline-shattering adventure in the past is not his version of the billionaire-turned-vigilante. Despite the Flash’s attempts to right the timeline and put everything back the way it was, Ben Affleck’s Batman has still been replaced by another actor from the franchise’s past — and it’s not even Keaton. The Flash ends with the return of George Clooney’s Bruce!
Forget the Snyderverse, the Schumacherverse is back.