The last few weeks have been tough on directors of upcoming superhero movies. Fox recently lost director Tim Miller for Deadpool 2 due to creative differences, and now Warner Bros. has met a similar speed bump in the next phase of its extended universe. Although things have been looking good with DC thanks to Wonder Woman, Justice League, and Ben Affleck’s upcoming solo film The Batman, the fastest hero alive is having a tough time getting his solo film off the starting block.
Dope director Rick Famuyiwa joined The Flash earlier this year after the project parted ways with previous director Seth Grahame-Smith. The announcement was met with general praise, and all signs pointed towards the production moving full steam ahead. Now it looks as though The Flash is back to square one.
THR reports that Famuyiwa has left the project over “creative differences” with Warner Bros. The loss at this stage in pre-production will reportedly delay the entire project for some time, as the search for his replacement begins. Famuyiwa gave the following statement to THR regarding the reasoning he left:
“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. I pitched a version of the film in line with my voice, humor, and heart. While it’s disappointing that we couldn’t 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.”
Losing Famuyiwa at this stage is obviously a big step back for the project, and could put other potential elements of the film into question as well. With the impending release date change and Famuyiwa’s involvement with the casting of Keirsey Clemons as Iris West, it will be interesting to see if she will be able to (or interested in) remaining a part of the project. Billy Crudup was also onboard as Henry Allen at this stage, but again, his involvement could change after this news.
Outside of the people that will be involved with the project moving forward, Famuyiwa says he pitched a film that speaks to “a fresh generational, topical, and multicultural point of view.” THR‘s report meanwhile said his version would have “more edge,” which has already led to some questioning what type of film Warner Bros. is hoping to make.
Potentially the most concerning part of this departure and delay could be related to the DCEU at large. The Flash was reportedly set to be the first post-Justice League film, and with that no longer being the case, it could completely change the direction of other upcoming DC films, or even Justice League itself. The biggest thing when building a cinematic universe or franchise is continuity and The Flash very well could have had events that would be referenced in Aquaman or The Batman, but that appears to no longer be an option.
Warner Bros. and DC Films will now be retooling the concept around The Flash to figure out their version and a director that fits that vision, in the meantime Aquaman and The Batman will be the next two DC films to start production. Hopefully this does not have a substantial impact on either of these films, but this news will certainly bring back skeptics of the DCEU and its direction.