RTF Original: ‘The Flash’s Long And Winding Road To The Big Screen’
My name is Nicholas Zednik and I am…amazed at the idea that a movie about a character who’s considered to be “the fastest man alive” seems to be VERY late getting to the big screen! This film has had almost everything go wrong for it from its constant change of directors, script rewrites and its lead actor constantly busy with other projects…or is he?
One can assume that the movie has been in constant turmoil because The Flash TV show which has already run for six seasons and has established all of the major Rogues Gallery villains such as Reverse Flash, Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Zoom, etc. I would really hate to be a writer in a board room trying to pitch a really cool Flash story but realizing it’s too similar to what their TV show has already done. It’s fascinating.
I’m here to tell you that not only do I think the TV show is no longer preventing the movie from being made, I guarantee you it isn’t the biggest thorn in its side anymore.
Let me first start off by saying that I don’t ever remember a time where we had a comic book TV character outgrow the big screen due to its massive success on the small screen. I think the time to make a Flash movie was actually YEARS ago.
It’s not that the idea of a Flash movie isn’t popular or even clamored for by fans because it still is, I just think that whether or not the character in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was perceived positively or not, if Warner Bros. truly wanted to make a Flash movie, I think they would have made one by now.
In my guess-timation, the biggest thorn in the movie’s delay hasn’t actually been the TV show, but rather Ezra Miller all along! I don’t mean him being in Fantastic Beasts either. I think when Justice League came out, Warner Bros. was excited because they seemed to have hit the money bags on Ezra’s Flash. He had just tested through the roof, and folks thought he would steal the movie.
But then Justice League went on to become the biggest financial misfire in DC movie history, leading to a changing of the guard that saw everything before JL get rethought. Where before Warner Bros rushed to get Batman and Superman movies made immediately, now it’s the complete opposite.
These days, WB seems to be focusing more on their lesser known properties and less on their top players they once thought they needed to rely on. Imagine in 2019, where WB knows now that the next time they decide they want to make a Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman or Flash movie, it is because they WANT to, not because they HAVE to. That’s a good sign in the long term.
But, in the short term, yes it is concerning because nobody truly knows when WB executives will pull the plug and green-light a Flash and Green Lantern movie, for example.
With the announcement that Warner Bros. was adapting the infamous and most notable Flash story, “Flashpoint,” at SDCC in 2017, at first I was excited because anyone who’s seen the Flashpoint Paradox animated feature or read the comic should be thrilled. But then it struck me: “Why is Warner Bros really doing this story as its first solo outing for the character? What really was there to reboot of the DCEU?” Answer was nothing really.
It surely was an interesting idea on the part of Warner Bros to show a dark, depressing and horrific world where your main character in all retrospect is the villain and not the hero. There also could have been no way we see a murderous Wonder Woman and vengeful Aquaman, considering those two characters are the most beloved and acclaimed properties WB and DC have at the moment. I also don’t think a Batman not named Bruce Wayne who is more murderous than the Batman in BvS would have translated well.
The story no doubt would been emotional, but I still think a Flash that is hopeful, cheerful and inspiring is the way to go.
Heart, humor and heroics are the three foundations you can make not just a Flash movie successful, but any DC property.
Now, fast forward to 2019 and since the announcement back in 2017, we’ve had everything from director changes, to script rewrites and now most notably the recent Ezra Miller/Grant Morrison script rewrite, which is so insane if you really think about it.
I, for one, was so conflicted when I heard Ezra Miller was teaming up with Grant Morrison to write a new draft of the movie. I mean as a comic book fan, it’s crazy! But, it appeared as though Ezra wanted the “Flashpoint” storyline whereas the current directors, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein want a more Spider-Man: Homecoming approach which does make sense since they wrote that movie and they know that audiences will react positively to that tone.
Ezra Miller said the following quote during one of his Fantastic Beasts 2 press tours at which he was asked what the status of the Flash movie is and he went on to say this at one point:
“I want this movie to be a gift to the fans.”
That quote puts the biggest smile on my face because that is EXACTLY what a Flash movie should be! But, then when I hear things like he is clashing with the directors and forcing either them to leave and Warner Bros to choose his script over theirs, it gradually upsets me because I for one have always been in the vein of “you’re the actor, they’re the director.” Know your role. You wouldn’t want an untrained, unexperienced Medical student who has no experience of performing a major operation as opposed to the experienced and well-known doctor would you?
I do think Ezra Miller is out as the titular character and if this was his last rodeo as Flash, then I for one am both disappointed yet also relieved. I will forever remember Ezra’s enthusiasm in Justice League, but maybe he does belong as a thing of the past and the directors and Warner Bros. can move forward with an actor they are on the same page with and a tone that they seem fit.
It will still be a very long time until we see any Flash movie on the big screen and you know what, I’m actually okay with it now. It’s not that I’ve outgrown the character, it’s just now I have Joker, Birds of Prey, WW84, The Batman, The Suicide Squad and Aquaman 2 as well as everything that is on the DC Universe streaming service to now hold me over.
Be patient. The Scarlet Speedster’s time will have his day in the sun.
In the meantime, you can catch season 7 of The Flash this Fall and for any Flash fans out there is a cool time to tune in as (spoilers) they seem to be touching on “Crisis on Infinite Earths” which they’ve been teasing since season one!
Feel free to follow my Batman-centric podcast: “The Vigilante 1939 Podcast” and find me on Twitter.