The Flash’s Future is in Whose Hands?: Director Shortlist

BRIEFING IN A FLASH: Back in 2016, Rick Famuyiwa (Dope) abruptly abandoned the director’s seat for DC’s The Flash, leaving the film rudderless–once again. Before he took the job, an unassuming Seth Grahame-Smith was on the project. Both men dropped out due to “creative differences”. Famuyiwa had done revisions on Grahame-Smith’s script who had taken over for the duo of Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The Lego Movie). Joby Harold (Edge of Tomorrow) is currently working on a new script, having gone back to the drawing board.

At this point too many cooks have tested out this kitchen, but a proper meal hasn’t even been made. It’s more like they’ve set the place on fire and are tearing the wallpaper down. Excuse the extended chef metaphor but one more cook is on the way and hopefully they can set things right.

Several sources are reporting that Warner Bros. has a shortlist of directors they have been eyeing. Den of Geek claims that Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future), and Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman,  X-Men), are WB’s most favored choices. The Hollywood Reporter also writes that Sam Raimi made the shortlist as well.

MATTHEW VAUGHN: Vaughn is absolutely at the top of my list and he gon stay there. Of course, he is also on my list for Man of Steel 2 directors but that movie is going to take another decade to get on WB’s radar.  (I wish they would do right by Superman, Henry Cavill deserves better).

Vaughn recently breathed new life into the X-Men franchise with X-Men: First Class in 2011, giving us James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as Professor X and Magneto, respectively. With Kickass,  Kingsman: The Secret Service and The Golden Circle under his belt he is no stranger to comic book and graphic novel adaptations. His movies have humor, sleek visual style and excellent fight choreography. I think this could mesh well with the vision of the Flash that Zack Snyder has for Justice League.

ROBERT ZEMECKIS: Being that Zemeckis famously helped to birth a successful franchise about time travel it’s only logical that he would be considered for The Flash.  Zemeckis has a varied genre of films on his extensive resume, ranging from comedies to dramas to special effects driven vehicles. Not only could he inject some much needed fun and youthful energy into the project but it could benefit from his ability to craft great, often heartfelt stories around amazing effects.

SAM RAIMI: Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Trilogy is a staple of the early 2000’s. Before Christopher Nolan’s critically acclaimed Dark Knight Trilogy, before Marvel Studios was pumping out three superhero movies a year, we had Spider-Man as a flagship to lead us into a less campy era of comic book movies. Raimi has also done a number of horror projects like Evil Dead and other crime thrillers and gritty stylistic films. I actually think he would be better suited to direct Suicide Squad 2 which, after the poor critical reception of a first outing with wasted potential, will be in need of refined direction.

Ironically, Aquaman, directed by horror movie aficionado James Wan (The Conjuring) has sped right past The Flash. It started production earlier this month. The Flash, which was originally due out in 2018 ahead of Aquaman, already has most of its principal cast. For now it seems Kiersey Clemons (Dope) and Billy Crudup (Alien: Covenant) are still attached.

Musician and activist Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) will star as Barry Allen, the forensic scientist turned speedster. Miller is set to be in the Fantastic Beasts sequel so his schedule is hemmed up for now.

In any case, whoever lands the project has their work cut out for them. The Flash already has a TV show (unconnected to the movies) that is three seasons deep on the CW. Fans can be stubborn and while Miller will make his debut in Justice League, this project will be doing most of the heavy lifting in convincing fans of an origin story they’ve already seen on the small screen months before.

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