It’s Halloween, but this comic book movie news isn’t a trick or a treat.
Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment’s The Flash has just lost its second director, as Rick Famuyiwa (Dope) has left the project over “creative differences,” he announced Monday.
While specifics remain a mystery, these likely weren’t the sort of “creative differences” that drove Tim Miller away from Deadpool 2 earlier this month. Ezra Miller who’s set to play Barry Allen, aka the Flash doesn’t have the same creative influence as Ryan Reynolds, so this wasn’t a pissing match between the film’s director and star.
We’ll let Famuyiwa explain the decision in his own words:
When I was approached by Warner Bros and DC about the possibility of directing The Flash, I was excited about the opportunity to enter this amazing world of characters that I loved growing up, and still do to this day. I was also excited to work with Ezra Miller, who is a phenomenal young actor, reads Famuyiwa’s carefully-worded statement. I pitched a version of the film in line with my voice, humor, and heart. While its disappointing that we couldnt come together creatively on the project, I remain grateful for the opportunity. I will continue to look for opportunities to tell stories that speak to a fresh generational, topical, and multicultural point of view. I wish Warner Brothers, DC, Jon Berg, Geoff Johns, and Ezra Miller all the best as they continue their journey into the speed force.
Read between the lines. Famuyiwa wanted to make an edgier movie than Warner Bros. and DC were prepared for. But if that’s the case, why did they hire him in the first place? He told them what his vision was and they went along with it, so why the sudden change of heart?
The Flash already lost one director in Seth Grahame-Smith, whose script is supposed to serve as the basis of the film. If Famuyiwa was using Grahame-Smith’s old script (with some revisions, to be sure), then why was it deemed too edgy now, at such a late juncture?
Famuyiwa’s exit couldn’t have come at a worse time, as The Flash was well into pre-production and was already assembling its supporting cast, which includes Kiersey Clemons as Iris West and Billy Crudup as Barry Allen’s father. Production had been slated to start early next year in advance of a March 16, 2018 release date.
To be fair, the film’s schedule could stay on track, but Warner Bros. will have to hire a new director super fast (get it?), or else the studio will be cutting it too close and may be forced to delay the movie.
Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment ran into the same problem on Wonder Woman, with Michelle MacLaren exiting over “creative differences,” which has become a joke of a phrase amongst fans and reporters. MacLaren was eventually replaced by Patty Jenkins, though it’s unclear how much creative authorship she’ll ultimately be responsible for.
Ultimately, it’s ironic how WB and DC have repeatedly touted themselves as filmmaker-driven studios, because what they’ve really been doing lately is driving filmmakers away. We’d love to be blown away by the DCEU, but these expendable director swaps are anything but encouraging.
It’s all on you now, Justice League. Don’t blow it.