The Flash is having a bumpy run to the big screen. While the character previously made his big screen debut earlier this year in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and had a small cameo in Suicide Squad, his solo film has been running into difficulties.
Back in April, screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith, who was set to make his feature directing debut on the film, parted ways with the project. Then in June, Warner Bros. hired Dope director Rick Famuyiwa to helm the picture, which will star Ezra Miller as the titular hero. Famuyiwa oversaw the hiring of Kiersey Clemons to play love interest Iris West and Billy Crudup to co-star as Barry’s father.
However, now it looks like Famuyiwa is off the picture. According to THR, the director and the studio have parted ways over “creative differences.” While there isn’t much in the way of details in terms of what those differences included, THR reports, “Sources say that the Dope director’s vision of making a movie with more edge clashed with the studio’s take.”
So what can we take that to mean? It’s hard to say, but I think it’s fair to say at this point that it’s hard to sell a vision to the studio when the studio doesn’t have a clear idea of what its vision for its movies should be. Justice League is recalibarating to be more lighthearted after audiences rejected the deathly serious Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Suicide Squad was a total mishmash of views including one from the company that cut the trailer for the movie. While Geoff Johns has been brought into the fold to right the ship, it’s possible that what Famuyiwa was selling back in June is no longer what Warner Bros. wants to buy in October.
While I’m not particularly devastated that Famuyiwa is leaving—I don’t think his last two films, Dope and Confirmation, are particularly memorable—it doesn’t bode particularly well for upcoming DCEU movies. At the very least, The Flash is probably looking at a delay as the studio tries to find a new filmmaker. It will be interesting to see how Warner Bros. shuffles its release schedule. The film is currently set to open on March 16, 2018.