Legends Universe/Youtube

‘The Flash’ fans want to know: Where was Grant Gustin’s cameo?

‘They cut out cameos of living, breathing actors to use CGI puppets of deceased performers..’


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

Grant Gustin’s absence from the new Flash movie is, in a word, weird.

Marketed as a crossover event full of nostalgic DC callbacks, the film co-stars Michael Keaton’s Batman alongside two versions of Ezra Miller’s Flash, plus cameos from Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot, and a multiverse montage featuring (among others) controversial CG resurrections of deceased actors Christopher Reeve, George Reeves, and Adam West.

Given that Grant Gustin just finished a nine-season run as the Flash on TV, you’d expect him to get a cameo. The CW’s Flash series even included a crossover where Gustin and Miller’s characters met face-to-face.

DC fans have complained for months about Gustin being snubbed, but things really came to a head this weekend, when people saw which cameos actually did make the cut.

Christopher Reeve’s cameo is the most divisive, while George Reeves (the 1950s Superman) is both obscure and problematic. Nic Cage’s Superman is a nerdy deep-cut that mainstream viewers probably find confusing, and the cameos from Adam West’s Batman and Helen Slater’s Supergirl are just sort of… there.

Basically, these cameos are more distracting than successfully nostalgic. Adding insult to injury, they’re joined by one alternate-universe Flash… but instead of being a recognizable figure, he’s just some random guy.

There’s so much confusion around this cameo that some fans thought he was a de-aged John Wesley Shipp (who played the Flash in the ’90s TV series) or Teddy Sears, who played an alternate Flash on the CW Show. Sears actually had to clarify it wasn’t him, with TVLine reporting that the cameo was a “generic” vintage Flash, played by “no actor of note.”

But some fans are now wondering if Warner Bros. intentionally copied Sears or Shipp’s likeness for the role.

In general, superhero audiences respond well to crossover events and fanservice cameos. But The Flash‘s cameo choices have clearly backfired.

Fans were baffled by director Andy Muschietti revealing he considered including Gustin’s Flash, but decided there wasn’t room for him in the film. Why prioritize irrelevant characters like 1980s Supergirl? And why did Muschietti originally want to include even more leftfield choices like the 1960s Joker?

Narratively speaking, none of these cameos have a meaningful role anyway. They’re included purely as nostalgic fanservice, which only makes Grant Gustin’s absence more confusing. You’d expect a Flash movie to appeal to fans of the Flash, who just spent nine seasons watching Grant Gustin on TV.

One possible explanation is that Warner Bros. was worried about Ezra Miller’s Flash being overshadowed by a more popular version from the less-prestigious CW TV franchise. If so, that’s pretty embarrassing.

We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the internet in your inbox every day.
Sign up now for free
The Daily Dot