Back in 2007, director Shawn Levy was attached to direct The Flash for Warner Bros. At the time, comic book movies were beginning their rise to prominence, and The Flash was a high profile project for the studio (it still is). At the time, Levy was coming off Night at the Museum, which had made over $500 million at the worldwide box office, so it wasn’t a surprise when he landed the gig. Since then, I’ve wondered what happened and why his version of The Flash never got made. So when I got to speak with Levy at this weekend’s press junket for Real Steel, one of the many things we talked about was what happened to The Flash. He told me:
“I oversaw a draft for about three-and-a-half months. And, at that time, I learned two things. One, if you’re going to take on a character like that… I was still the family comedy guy. And I just felt like, I gotta get a few more under my belt before I can claim the legitimacy of making a movie like that. And that’s what I’m doing, to be very honest. I’m not saying I have a master plan to go back to The Flash. In the end, The Flash went away because Justice League was gonna happen. And then it didn’t happen. To my great dismay, because I would have been first in line for that, too.”
Hit the jump for more.
While Levy is definitely not a fanboy favorite, I’ve seen Real Steel. It’s a big step forward for Levy and I’m extremely confident that after people get to see it, Levy is going to be looked at in a whole new light. He might even be the one you want to tackle an upcoming comic book movie.
And who knows…Warner Bros. has been struggling to get The Flash made for many years, perhaps Levy could end up back on that project. But if the box office for Real Steel is big, I’m sure Levy is going to be offered a lot of high profile choices.
Here’s what Levy said about what happened on The Flash and what he wants for his career. I’m always a fan of people that talk honestly and without pretense, and I give Levy a lot of credit for both.
Shawn Levy: I was attached to The Flash. You know…I’m going to give you the candid answer. After Night at the Museum, I got offered The Flash. I was like, “Well, first of all, what?! Why?” I know Night at the Museum was a big commercial movie and had a lot of visual effects, but… Look, I love The Flash. Mostly because it was this nickname I had in my youth. And I liked it because I liked the comics. But I was a sprinter. And I was really into running fast. It’s fucking geeky. Attached to The Flash, I oversaw a draft for about three-and-a-half months. And, at that time, I learned two things. One, if you’re going to take on a character like that… I was still the family comedy guy. And I just felt like, I gotta get a few more under my belt before I can claim the legitimacy of making a movie like that. And that’s what I’m doing, to be very honest. I’m not saying I have a master plan to go back to The Flash. In the end, The Flash went away because Justice League was gonna happen. And then it didn’t happen. To my great dismay, because I would have been first in line for that, too. Is it still….I don’t even know.
Collider: You know, I’ve said this on the site, I’ve said that after Real Steel comes out and fanboys see this, that you’re going to be seen in a whole new light with a lot of people. And you getting attached to a comic book movie is something fans/geeks are going to get excited about.
Levy: I’m aware of the kind of movies I’ve made, and I’m grateful for their success. But there will be a before and after Real Steel. I know it. This movie is so different from the prior ones. I finally got to show some shit that I hadn’t been given the opportunity. And the bottom line is when Jim Cameron saw twenty minutes of Real Steel, he offered me Fantastic Voyage. When the Frankenstein people atFox saw some of Real Steel, we started talking Frankenstein.
Collider: If Warner Bros came at you and said we still want to do The Flash is this something…because here’s the thing: you can only do one movie every other year.
The truth is, we never got the Flash script right. I still love that character. I’ve had no talks. But I’m waiting and seeing. In two weeks we’ll see what the fallout from Real Steel is. I do know that there may very well be a comic book hero in my future. I would like that very much. I also know that I never wanted a purely comedy career. The careers I admire most are eclectic. They’re genre diverse. Whether it’s Peter Weir, or Ron Howard, or Zemeckis. It’s always humanist, it tends to be commercial. But it’s not just the same thing. And that’s what I’m trying to build here. And that’s why I’m talking things like Fantastic Voyage, why I’m talking things like Frankenstein. Always character-based, like Real Steel is. You’ve seen this. Real Steel, you go in thinking it’s about robots wailing on each other. You come out, you know it’s something different or something more. Same with Fantastic Voyage and very much the same with Frankenstein.