From Glasgow to London, the Flash Uses Super Speed to Change the Past

Updated On: September 23, 2023

flash movie illustration

Dipping into the multiverse through a travel-in-time theme, The Flash 2023 heralds a return of superheroes and superpowers. Also, it brings to the front burner the cities of Glasgow and London – both chosen as perfect locations for filming the events.    

Doubling as Gotham City, Glasgow is again on the big screen in The Flash 2023. It is a powerful comeback, given the city’s starring role as the backdrop for multiple shots of the feature movie.

The scenes are not only filmed in Scotland’s Glasgow, though. London is also the location where important events of the movie unfold, telling the story of a superhero, who uses his superpowers to change the past but, due to unfortunate consequences, rushes to save the future as well.

Overview of The Flash

Would you sacrifice your future for a better past – if you could? The Flash raises this question through a multiverse story in which Barry Allen wants to change his past with all its shortcomings (an assassinated mother and a wrongly indicted and imprisoned father) using his super speed. He does that regardless of any massive implications for the future.  

In his attempt to stop his mother’s death and help his father, Barry Allen (The Flash) ends up in a different timeline and setting, where the war-hungry General Zod prepares to invade Earth. He meets Barry of that timeline, and both Barrys would deal with General Zod. Barry seeks the help of Supergirl and a retired Batman (his alternate universe self) to fix this mishap and save the future.

We are in for a happy ending, though. Barry is back to his original timeline, his father is acquitted, and he is dating Iris West, for whom he had a crush for a long time. The movie is not just a dip into the multiverse but a time-travel story as well. The filmmakers want the audience to indulge in multiverse adventures and get entertained by the fun antics of Barry Allen/The Flash.

Starring Ezra Miller in the leading role, The Flash’s cast also groups Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton as different versions of Batman. 

The Flash is set in London’s Central City, Barry Allen’s hometown, and Bruce Wayne’s (Batman) residence in Gotham City, and its storyline switches between 2013 and the present day. 

The Cast of The Flash 

The Flash
  • Ezra Miller plays Barry Allen/The Flash. He plays a forensic investigator from Central City who sets off to change the past using his superhuman speed. In this movie, two different versions of Allen are shown. 
  • Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck are co-starring with Ezra Miller, who reprise their roles as Bruce Wayne/Batman.
  • Sasha Calle plays Kara Zor-El/Supergirl, who is also Superman’s cousin and has her powers.
  • Michael Shannon plays the main villain of the film, General Zod. Boasting the same powers as Superman, General Zod is back to wreak havoc in the alternate timeline created by The Flash

Glasgow and London Back on the Big Screen

Playing host to blockbuster movies, such as The Flash, is good for the economies of Glasgow and London, whose outstanding architecture is showcased in a widely seen film. 

It is a win-win case for the production team and the host cities. The Flash could also promote travel to both cities by bringing showbiz excitement to Glasgow and London. 

The Flash in Glasgow

Glasgow’s beautiful architecture and its street system have made it a big hit as a location for filming The Flash 2023. It was a perfect cast for the iconic Gotham City, where many racing and chasing scenes occur. 

This is the residence of Bruce Wayne/Batman, who will team up with Barry Allen/The Flash to restore order to their timeline. Standing in for Gotham City, Glasgow serves as the centre stage in The Flash 2023.

Several scenes from the Hollywood movie were shot in Glasgow’s George Square, including a dramatic high-octane pursuit that saw Batman on his Batcycle and three Gotham City police cars chasing an armoured Humvee. The scene was shot in George Square and its surrounding streets, with Batman and the trio tearing down Queen Street before switching onto St Vincent Place amid pyrotechnics that replicated gunfire. 

Riding on his motorbike, Batman was surrounded by American-style police car pirouettes in a slow-motion scene down Vincent’s Street in the city centre. American cars bearing Gotham licence plates, some armoured vehicles, and an American school bus were used in the filming, giving a slice of Hollywood magic to the scenes. 

John Street, Ingram Street and Cochrane Street were other locations used during the filming of The Flash 2023. A marketplace and a fountain had been specially built to film two scenes: the motor smashing through the market and the Humvee careering through the fountain.  

Glasgow: Producers’ Favourite Filming Choice

The Flash is just the latest movie to be filmed in Glasgow, which has become a favourite location for Hollywood movies and TV shows. The city in Scotland has served as the backdrop for huge blockbuster films showing this year. Besides, The Flash, other films, such as Indiana JonesOutlanderBorderlandTetrisMan & WitchBlind and The Elect, are scheduled to or have already hit the screens this year. 

The reason why Glasgow has been the go-to place for movie filming is believed to be purely economic. Besides its Gothic architecture and grid street system, filmmakers have found it cheaper to set up their film locations in Glasgow.

Filming in New York City, for example, entails that filmmakers obtain a permit from the authorities, which is different in Glasgow. They do not need a permit to shoot in the city, which is another obstacle removed from the way of the production team. It is easier and cheaper to get your cameras rolling in the streets of Glasgow.  

The Flash

How Did Filming Bring Massive Cash to Glasgow?

Sometimes making bigger money comes from making things easier. This is what the Glasgow Film Office (GFO) has been doing since opening in 1997. It has been acting as a one-stop shop for film producers and easing all procedures that might stand in the way.

The GFO takes care of almost everything from coordinating meetings with agencies to council departments and owners of locations. Production teams are perfectly covered in Glasgow, which has developed into a film-friendly city. The GFO is said to have brought in some £400 million until 2022. 

The GFO’s job is to make filming in Glasgow as uncomplicated as possible and free of charge. Filmmakers could seek advice and information from the GFO about filming in Glasgow and how to benefit from the support of the Glasgow City Council (GCC). The GFO is always here to help.

The Flash in London

Cut, and the cameras are now rolling in London, notably, St Paul’s Cathedral, which plays witness to some scenes of The Flash 2023. Areas surrounding the cathedral stood in for the fictional Central City, which is supposedly the hometown of Barry Allen in the movie.

The filmmakers chose St Paul’s Churchyard in London to tape some essential scenes of The Flash. Goodenough College in central London and Waltham Cross Town north of central London also served as prominent locations for The Flash.

Warner Bros. Studios in London, England

Besides the exterior scenes in the streets of Scotland and London, some in-door shooting occurred at Warner Bros. Studios in Hertfordshire, Southeast of England. The studio complex provided a good setting for some interior scenes of The Flash. Principal photography began at Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden in April 2021.

Filming in London

Because it is all about the money, filmmakers have turned to London to benefit from tax incentives.

London has seen a big boom, with more Hollywood productions coming to collect refunds of up to 25 per cent in return for additional revenues the film brings to the British capital. Filmmakers would save significant money that would have otherwise gone to production and post-production if they did the filming in London. 

Filming in four locations in London, the production team of The Flash spent about £600,000 ($750,000) that went to principal photography over four months, according to the movie’s budget breakdown, including all daily fees.

Film Tourism 

The filming industry indeed has an impact on tourist destinations. International tourists fondly visit places where films and TV series have been shot. This translates into positive returns for the economy during and after the filming. 

Film enthusiasts can visit movie sets, locations and studios and see places their heroes had been to in reality before on the big screen. Film production can significantly contribute to boosting the local economy by attracting a large number of visitors to filming locations. Thinking of how much tourists could spend on food, transportation and accommodation after a movie trailer is released – just for starters. 

Now in theatres, The Flash 2023 is hoped to draw big fans of Ezra Miller, Michael Keaton, Ben Affleck and Sasha Calle to get up close and personal with the filming locations in Glasgow and London – in other words, Gotham City and Central City.  Don’t forget to tell us which movie you want to watch next and if you plan to visit any of the shooting locations!


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