It appears The Flash movie has found its new director. Again. While reports swirled in July that It and It: Chapter Two director Andy Muschietti was in talks with Warner Bros. to take the helm of the troubled superhero project, Muschietti himself played coy when asked about the prospect. Now, however, it sounds like whatever contract issues needed to be hammered out are done, as the filmmaker confirmed to Fandango that The Flash will be his next project.
However, those expecting to see Muschietti bring his horror sensibilities into The Flash may find themselves disappointed:
“An element of horror? I don’t think so. What captivated me about The Flash is the human drama in it. The human feelings and emotions that play in the drama [of it]. It’s going to be fun, too. I can’t promise that there will be any horror [elements in it], really, but it’s a beautiful human story.”
This is a long time coming, but excuse me if I don’t automatically assume that Muschietti’s version of The Flash will definitely see the light of day. The DC Comics adaptation began its current phase of development in October 2015, when Warner Bros. hired Dark Shadows writer and It executive producer Seth Grahame-Smith to make his directorial debut with the film. In April 2016, however—a month after Batman v Superman hit theaters and drew scathing reviews and divisive responses from audiences—Warner Bros. decided to take The Flash in a different direction and Grahame-Smith moved off the project.
By this point Ezra Miller had already been cast as The Flash and was shooting his role in Justice League, and Warner Bros. subsequently signed Rick Famuyiwa (Dope) to take the helm in June 2016. He lasted until November, at which point he departed the director’s chair over creative differences, despite having cast Kiersey Clemons as Iris West.
The Flash then went into a bit of stasis as Warner Bros. tried to figure out what to do about Justice League and its other upcoming projects, and Miller found himself busy with the Fantastic Beasts franchise. But the film gained new life in March 2018 when Game Night filmmakers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein signed on to rewrite and direct the film. All seemed well, and it felt like The Flash might finally go before cameras after Miller wrapped Fantastic Beasts 2, but trouble brewed once more in the summer of 2019.
Reports swirled that Daley and Goldstein wanted to take the film into a lighter, more comedic tone while Miller wanted to hew a bit darker. To showcase his vision for the film, Miller was allowed to co-write a new screenplay himself with the help of comics writer Grant Morrison, and while at the time it sounded like Miller might be on his way out of the role, by July 2019 Daley and Goldstein had left the project and Miller was still onboard.
Which brings us to Muschietti, the fourth director signed on to make The Flash, a movie that still doesn’t yet exist. One imagines his darker sensibilities fit more in line with Miller’s vision for the film, assuming that earlier report is true, and he’s certainly proven capable of crafting compelling and visually arresting movies. Production won’t begin until sometime in the back half of 2020 at the earliest as Miller is due to shoot Fantastic Beasts 3 in Spring 2020, so there’s still plenty of time for Muschietti to drill down and nail The Flash once and for all. Or, conversely, still plenty of time for him to become just the latest director to drop out.
As a fan of Muschietti’s work and someone who is eager to see Miller’s version of this character get his standalone film, I’m hoping this one works out.
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