Skip to main content

Blessing in Disguise: 'The Flash' Film Loses Rookie Director Over "Creative Differences"


By now you've probably heard that the director of the big screen adaptation of DC Comics' 'The Flash,' Seth Grahame-Smith, has parted ways with Warner Bros over the customary "creative differences" reason leaving the 2018 film without a director. 

Grahame-Smith was set to make his directorial debut with a major studio tentpole film after authoring books/screenplays like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. His only directing credits come from two episodes of an MTV teen comedy called The Hard Times of RJ Berger about an awkward teen who becomes instantly popular for having a large penis
With many more producer and writing credits, Grahame-Smith seemed like an odd choice to begin his feature film directing career with one of the most iconic superheroes and more importantly a vital edition of DC's slate of comic book films. Especially with the mixed reaction from critics and fans of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, it's even more critical that future films evolve to be more balanced and profitable. 

Not that close to $900 million in worldwide box office is a failure, 'BvS' was a polarizing film nonetheless, leaving audiences divided, some of them passionately in support or overly critical. The Flash already was a wild card when Ezra Miller was cast so early in the process. Miller by all accounts is a talented young actor on the rise from the indie film world starring in movies like The Perks of Being a Wallflower and City Island

The long-haired brunette looks nothing like the traditionally blonde Barry Allen of the comics or CW network series. That Barry Allen as played by Grant Gustin on the television series has become the face of the Scarlett Speedster to fans worldwide and the popular show is one of the best examples of comic book adaptations in any medium. Fans wouldn't mind having Gustin reprise the role in the film but the studio squashed that idea a while ago, as TV and film will remain separate entities. 

Miller has already appeared in 'BvS' in a cameo acknowledging his existence as the Flash in the DCEU and is currently filming Justice League Part One which is scheduled for release in 2017. So what does the departure of Grahame-Smith mean for The Flash?

Warner Bros now has an opportunity to correct its seemingly hasty decision to hire an unproven director like Grahame-Smith with any number of qualified candidates we hope will include people of color. James Wan (Fast 7) is working on Aquaman (more on that) and represents the right approach of attaining hot directing talent while also adding diversity. Patty Jenkins on Wonder Woman is the first woman director since Lexi Alexander (Punisher: War Zone) in 2008 to helm a comic book film. 

It would behoove the studio to look at Alexander as a possibility because besides having experience could add legitimacy to the call for equality among directors. Considering Alexander's blunt and candid discussions on social media, it could also help to keep the studio honest.

So the loss of a director this early in the process is not a death knell, it's actually a sobering opportunity to get it right. While there's no reason to panic some in the movie blogosphere have come bearing potentially bad news. Veteran film blogger and human rain cloud, Devin Faraci of Birth.Movies.Death is reporting that several unnamed sources at Warner Bros say that Zack Snyder and the executives have conflicting visions for the DCEU.
Zack Snyder and Geoff Johns were taken aback at critical and audience reaction to Batman v Superman, I'm told, and WB execs have found themselves at odds with Snyder over his vision for Justice League and the DC movieverse going forward. Of course Justice League was scheduled to start shooting mere days after BvS was released, which meant WB couldn't take any definitive action - like removing Snyder or delaying the movie to make changes - without poisoning the box office for BvS. The result? Lots of fights between Snyder and the WB execs, and lots of pressure from Burbank on Snyder, who is shooting in London. 
Could there be turmoil behind the scenes between the studio and its franchise director? Of course, but is that uncommon when there is so much money and credibility at stake? Is this any different than any other huge movie-making venture of other studios? No. Even the saintly executives at Marvel Studios have had their own amount of drama - dropping Edgar Wright from Ant-Man, the in-fighting between Kevin Feige and Ike Perlmutter - and the studios somehow survived. These issues don't bring out the media grim reapers like they do for DC films because as long as even Marvel's mediocre fare are blockbusters it's considered par for the course. 

Faraci also reports that Aquaman director James Wan is having cold feet about putting that project together. So much so that it could delay its planned July 27, 2018, release. Wan still has The Conjuring 2 coming out this summer along with producing Lights Out for Warner Bros. It's not clear what the basis for Wan's trepidation is but Faraci speculates that after the arduous shoot for Fast 7, Aquaman may be too much to tackle. 

Admittedly, WB hasn't done themselves any favors by sleeping at the wheel while Marvel was getting organized and designing a slew of comic book movies that have become a pop culture and box office phenomenon. Warner Bros has stubbornly put all their faith in the cash cow that is Batman films ignoring the vast catalog of DC Comics. When they tried starting a new franchise they interfered with Green Lantern to the point it was a jumbled mess and Catwoman was unrecognizable and equally unwatchable. Luckily for WB the television division, both in live-action and animation, has been the saving grace that feeds fans with hope for a better movieverse. 

As for Grahame-Smith, he and Warner Bros will remain coupled. 'The Flash' is using his script that was derived from a treatment from the LEGO Movie's Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. He is also a writer on the studio’s Lego Batman Movie and is working on Beetlejuice 2


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

REVIEW: 'Cyber Force' #1 by Matt Hawkins, Bryan Hill, and Atilio Rojo

Cyber Force is back! A reimagining from Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill introduce a new beginning for the classic series.


CYBER FORCE #1
Writer: Matt Hawkins, Bryan Hill Artist: Atilio Rojo
Letterer: Troy Peteri Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: March 28, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
You don't have to be familiar with the original series to enjoy this new iteration. In fact, 'Cyber Force' #1 is your prototypical origin story where the players are introduced including a devastatingly lethal villain.  It opens with said villain striking a huge terrorist strike brought vividly to life by Atilio Rojo. Humanity has become too dependent on technology and this act of terrorism is supposed to be the first wave of resistance, a preventive measure to keep humans from destroying themselves. In the aftermath of the attack of one of the world's biggest technology companies, one man survives, Morgan Stryker, maimed and severely wounded, unknowingly undergoes a transform…

REVIEW: 'Slots' #1 by Dan Panosian

Created, written, and drawn by Dan Panosian, 'Slots' #1 is his baby and he has a story to tell at his own damn pace. This beautifully illustrated story is centered squarely on former boxer Stanley Dance and his attempt to find redemption despite being someone without many redeeming qualities.


SLOTS #1 
Writer: Dan Panosian Artist: Dan Panosian Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: October 4, 2017 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
'Slots' is more of a character study than a rip-roaring crime caper but Panosian's protagonist is a charming cad, full of confidence, capable of swindling you out of a restaurant bill with a devilish grin on his face. He's headed back to Vegas to fulfill a favor he owes. He returns to his old haunts where everyone knows him and knows he must be playing some kind of angle. 'Slots' succeeds because Stanley is so magnetic even when he's a jerk he's interesting. So following him around town meeting up with old friends is…

Fred Van Lente & CAFU Decode ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1

Valiant announces ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1 – a hard-charging, standalone special coming this winter from New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, Incredible Hercules) and red-hot rising star CAFU (RAPTURE)! On February 7th, join in a riotous celebration for the ages as Armstrong, for the very first time, uncorks the ancient mysteries of his centuries past – and dares his closest comrades into the adventure of several lifetimes!

Deep beneath New York City’s seediest dive bar, Armstrong – the hard-hitting, harder-partying immortal veteran of history’s greatest escapades – is hosting an invitation-only affair for his most beloved friends and allies! Archer… Ivar, Timewalker… Faith… Quantum and Woody… And special guests from across the Valiant Universe… All have been offered a seat at the table for a personally guided tour of Armstrong’s most valuable and tightly guarded treasure… From the Great Flood to ancient Greece to the height of the C…

PREVIEW: 'The Shadow / Batman' HC by Steve Orlando and Giovanni Timpano

The World’s Greatest Mystery. The World’s Greatest Detective. They can barely stand each other, so how will they possibly deal with the World’s Greatest Evil? What legacy can two of the world’s most enduring icons of justice leave once they discover an ancient evil has been living inside the world they protect for centuries? Can Batman and the Shadow save the world without destroying it in the process?


Writer Steve Orlando (Batman/The Shadow, Justice League of America) and artist by Giovanni Timpano (The Shadow, Transformers) unite to tell an instantly classic tale of noir, mortality and generational heroes and villains.
The Shadow / Batman HC
writer: Steve Orlando artist: Giovanni Timpano cover: Alex Ross

In Stores 04/25/2018
FC  |  160 pages  |  $24.99  |   Teen +
COLLECTING ISSUES 1-6 + BONUS CONTENT













PREVIEW: 'John Wick' #2 by Greg Pak and Giovanni Valleta

John Wick's origin story continues! In the underworld of El Paso, Texas, a familiar face introduces an ex-con named John Wick to the local branch of the mysterious Continental Hotel, a neutral zone where professional killers spend their downtime. But can John adhere to the rules of the Continental? Or will his search for vengeance destroy his chances for a peaceful life? Also... does John Wick actually have...a cat?


John Wick #2

writer: Greg Pak
artist: Giovanni Valleta
cover: Giovanni Valleta (A)
            Jock (B)
            Photo cover (C)

In Stores 04/18/2018

FC  |  32 pages  |  $3.99  |   Teen +