Yet another director has abandoned #TheFlash due to creative differences with the studio. Rick Famuyiwa was approached to direct the film after script writer Seth Grahame-Smith left in June, but has now left the project himself just three months later. He issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter:
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 Bros., DC, Jon Berg, Geoff Johns and Ezra Miller all the best as they continue their journey into the speed force."
At this point, Famuyiwa's statement doesn't reveal too much about his decision. But given his directorial experience and DC's current direction, it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. Here's why.
More articles on The Flash:
- 'The Flash' Loses Director Seth Grahame-Smith Over Creative Differences
- This 'Dope' Director to Helm 'The Flash' for Warner Bros
- Why Ezra Miller's Flash Will Shut Down The Critics On One Huge Issue In The DC Cinematic Universe
DC's last two film releases were drastically different in terms of tone. While Batman v Superman took a more serious approach with its subject matter, Suicide Squad went with an incredibly light-hearted direction. However, Suicide Squad was not critically well received, meaning Warner Bros. could be hesitant to produce another DC comedy.
Famiyuwa stated that he "pitched a version of the film in line with my voice, humor and heart". It's possible that he wanted to pursue a similar comedic tone as his past films, and was met with opposition from the studio.
Possible Lack of Diversity
Famuyiwa was born to Nigerian immigrants and grew up in Inglewood, LA. His previous films, such as Dope and Brown Sugar, have featured predominantly African-American actors. He has always been outspoken on social media about race issues and diversity, posting this to his Instagram about the 2016 Oscars:
Citing that he would like to pursue projects that speak to a "multicultural point of view", it's possible that there may have been conflicts with Famuyiwa's potential vision for a diverse cast.
What Does This Mean For The Film's Release?
Grahame-Smith's departure was during the early stages of the film's pre-production, so Famuyiwa was able to transition into the role without affecting the release schedule. But now that more time has passed, it's possible that this new change may affect the expected release date of March 16, 2018.
Filming was set to begin early 2017. Ezra Miller, who will be playing the fastest man alive himself, apparently has other commitments from July next year. Will this cause a major shift in the entire DC film schedule? Will the next director start from scratch, or will they be rushed to jump in mid-way and work with what Famuyiwa left behind? More importantly: what the hell is Famuyiwa going to do with all this Flash stuff now?
Could this move become forever known as "pulling a Flash?"
[Sources: The Hollywood Reporter]