Watch a Falling-Baby Rescue in ‘The Flash’

The director Andy Muschietti narrates a sequence featuring Ezra Miller.


‘The Flash’ | Anatomy of a Scene

The director Andy Muschietti narrates a sequence featuring Ezra Miller.

“I’m Andy Muschietti, and I’m the director of ‘The Flash.’ O.K., so this is part of the opening of the movie. It’s a scene where Barry Allen is summoned. Barry Allen is played in this movie by the great Ezra Miller. He gets a call from Alfred to come to Gotham, because he needs to assist Batman.” “Alfred. You hear that? That’s my stomach.” “And he’s arriving late to work. And ironically, he’s being the fastest man alive, he arrives late everywhere. This is something that all the fans know very well. So in the original script, there was a scene with a volcano. I thought that we needed something a little stronger to start with. So I came up with this scene where a bunch of babies are thrown into the void. And Flash has to do something about it. What I wanted is to put our superhero to a test. I wanted to put his superpowers to the test, and basically explaining that even if you are the fastest man alive, you can have trouble saving different people at the same time. So what happens is basically, he has to save nine babies that are not only falling. But also because he didn’t have breakfast, his calories are going down. So everything starts to speed up. That’s the other narrative gimmick that we’re having, that we’re basically seeing the events from his perspective. And when he’s in full energy, everything seems to be frozen in time. But when his calories go down, meaning that he doesn’t have fuel enough to be at the top of his capacities, everything starts to get faster. And this is what he does.” [BABY CRYING] “We think he’s going to go for the baby.” [BABY WAILING] “And instead, he goes and destroys a vending machine with the objective of getting enough calories to get his powers back.” [INTENSE MUSIC PLAYING] “But it definitely sets up a superhero that is vulnerable, that even though he has superpowers, he’s not invincible. And he has to basically recur to his intelligence and his human criteria and judgment, not only on his superpowers.” [WHOOSHING] [BANGING] “I really wanted Ezra to play all the shots where they are portraying Flash in the scene. And they were very eager to do the stunts as well. So basically every time that you see Ezra on the scene, it’s a practical moment. Obviously when you’re in post-production, you have to make some decisions that basically favor a more spectacular version of the shot, in which you have to go full CG. But in most scenes that you see Barry, it’s Ezra performing it with, of course, a set extension that is digital. So Ezra was hanging on wires during a lot of days to basically bring this scene to life, with that nurse hanging on wires. And no baby was harmed in the production of this scene, and voila.” [BABIES CRYING] [WOMAN SCREAMING]

By Mekado Murphy

In “Anatomy of a Scene,” we ask directors to reveal the secrets that go into making key scenes in their movies. See new episodes in the series on Fridays. You can also watch our collection of more than 150 videos on YouTube and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

The director Andy Muschietti was trying to figure out how to make a splash with an early scene in “The Flash.” He thought maybe a handful of babies falling from a skyscraper might do the trick.

Narrating a scene from the film, Muschietti said that the screenplay (by Christina Hodson) originally had a scene with a volcano, but that he wanted to raise the stakes. So in this sequence, Barry Allen, a.k.a. the Flash (Ezra Miller) arrives — a bit tardy — to a harrowing scene in which a building is collapsing and nine babies and a nurse are in freefall.

“I wanted to put his superpowers to a test,” Muschietti said, “and basically explaining that even if you are the fastest man alive, you can have trouble saving different people at the same time.”

The Flash’s troubles are compounded by the fact that he hasn’t had breakfast and his energy levels are dwindling, which means he slows down, and the slow-mo the audience is watching from his perspective begins to speed up. The scene is both comic and nerve-racking as the Flash uses wit (and perhaps a bag of Cheez-Its) to get him through.

Read the “Flash” review.

Read an interview with Sasha Calle, who plays Supergirl in the movie.

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Mekado Murphy is the assistant film editor. He joined The Times in 2006. @mekadomurphy

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