The Flash may set your mind racing as you try to figure out, from scene to scene, how director Andy Muschietti and his team doubled star Ezra Miller in scene after scene where Barry Allen, aka The Flash, races through time with his slightly younger self.
The answer involved an LED volume screen like those most famously used by The Mandalorian, but also Miller working with a double, played by actor Ed Wade. (Wade appears in the film as a reporter who asks Allen a question). Wade was replaced by Miller in post.
In our new digital cover story, Muschietti explains how it all worked.
How The Flash Did the Two-Barrys Scenes
The Flash has lots of doubles — we meet two Batmans, for example, in the form of the Ben Affleck Batman from the Zack Snyder films, as well as the Michael Keaton Batman from the Tim Burton Bat-films. But none involved the level of complication as the many sequences with two Barry Allens, since they both had to appear to be the same person.
“Some days Ezra played the older Barry live and other days they played the younger version. It changed every day and it depended on the importance of each character in each scene. Basically, the character that had more screen time, Ezra would play it, and the other character would be played by another actor, Ed Wade — he’s an incredible actor, by the way,” Muschietti told Joshua Encinias.
The director added: “Then volume capture was performed months later after the movie was edited. We knew it was not the way it was gonna work. We needed those scenes to be edited to know what performances we were using and condense the work that we were doing with volume capture. So Ezra would play one or the other character, and the way that they switched from one character to the other was instant. It was like so great.”
So how did The film find Ed Wade?
“It was quite the search,” said Muschietti. “We needed someone that physically resembled Ezra because there are many shots where we only replace the head. On the other hand, it was ever changing because Ezra was hitting the gym hard the last two months. So they really became a little more muscular.” [Miller uses they/them pronouns.]
Muschietti noted that Wade’s physicality made him uniquely qualified, noting that he is “a phenomenal actor, dancer, and a rugby player in England. “
But just matching Miller in terms of size wasn’t enough.
Ezra Miller, Meet the Other Barry Allen
“The other part we needed was chemistry with Ezra. Ezra was very much part of the election, let’s say, of choosing the actor. Another thing was the adaptability and the ability to mimic Ezra’s mannerisms. That was a job that Ed took very seriously and he just excelled at it,” Muschietti said.
There’s a sibling team behind The Flash — Andy Muschietti and producer Barbara Muschietti are brother and sister — and she noted that there was a sibling element to Miller and Wade’s performances, as well .
“It was hard when we were done because Ezra and Ed played together for basically 138 days. It was like watching twins separate,” she says.
Our digital cover story on The Flash includes a lengthy interview with Barbara and Andy Muschietti that includes not just the behind the scenes details above, but also the background on how the film recreated the visions of Tim Burton and Zack Snyder and seamlessly weaved them into the Flash storyline.
They also talk about the importance of casting Tu Mamá También star Maribel Verdú as Barry’s mother, and the thrilling insanity of the film’s opening sequence.
The Flash is now in theaters, from Warner Bros.
Main image: Ezra Miller as Barry Allen aka The Flash, Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne aka Batman, and Miller again as Barry Allen aka The Flash. Courtesy of Warner Bros.