The Flash movie has its director, and it’s ok be a little afraid of it
Warner Bros. and DC have chosen a director for The Flash movie, and it’s a bizarre choice. Very, very bizarre.
According to THR, the studio has hired Seth Grahame-Smith. You might recognize him from… well, nothing. This massive, big budget project will be his directorial debut.
You’d think for a big budget film in a still as yet unproven extended universe, the studio would go with someone that has a proven track record. Or at least any track record at all, but apparently not.
The Flash movie, not to be confused with The Flash TV show that returns for its second season tomorrow, is working from a treatment by The Lego Movie directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. The duo were mentioned as possible candidates to direct as well, but the studio seems to have wanted someone with a little less experience.
Grahame-Smith is best known as a screenwriter and author. His most well known work to date is the novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. In terms of films though, he wrote the screenplay for Dark Shadows and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (which was based on the book he also wrote).
Both films were mediocre in terms of box office results and critical reception.
So why choose an unknown to direct? The optimistic answer is that the studio saw something in Grahame- Smith, some untapped brilliance. The more cynical – and probably more likely – answer is that the studio wanted a manager more than a director, it wanted someone that could be controlled.
The film was originally announced in October 2014 as one of 10 films. Ezra Miller was cast as Barry Allen/The Flash, and the film has March 3, 2018 release date.
The character is a founding member of the Justice League, and is expected to appear in the 2017 Justice League film. Because of that, the character is expected to be introduced in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and possibly appear in Wonder Woman.
WB and DC are hoping to ape the success of Marvel by creating an extended, cinematic universe, although they are going with a dark, grittier tone than their rivals. Marvel, however, has proven that it has an eye for talent when hiring both stars and directors. It at least bases that on existing experience. The Russo Brothers may not have been a household name, but they weren’t first timers either.
The Flash is going to be a big movie. It’s a high profile superhero franchise in the making, connected to several other films – you can’t do that on the cheap. No matter how talented Grahame-Smith is, he doesn’t have any experience working on an effects laden film – not in any capacity other than screenwriter. His only directorial experience comes from episodes of the MTV show, The Hard Times of RJ Berger.
Even in the best case scenario, even if Grahame-Smith turns out to be an absolute genius, giving him the keys to a franchise like this is risky. Insanely risky. Hopefully, WB and DC know something we don’t. They better for the sake of the connected DC universe.