It’s chaos inside Warner Bros. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to you. But, what should come as a shock is how bad it’s been. A crisis even. And that’s definitely the case with The Flash film.
Now, before I get into the weeds on this one, I need to give a huge shoutout to our good friends over at Geekosity.
Now, there are potential spoilers in his article, but it’s a very well-written and well-researched piece.
I recommend you give it a read.
What I’m going to do here in this article is outline the chaos it’s been for Warner Bros. to even get The Flash film to where it’s at now.
Let’s go back to the past: The Flash movie – The Beginning
OK, I think the best place to start is the beginning, because you can’t really understand this story without knowing how it all began.
Back in October 2014, Warner Bros. Pictures announced that they were making a Flash movie.
They said that this film was slated for release in 2018 and that Ezra Miller would be playing Barry Allen in the movie.
It’s 2021 now, and The Flash movie has only just gone into production.
Why is that?
Well, it’s actually a complex and fascinating story all about how a movie can be in ‘Development Hell’ for years on end.
And it’s all due to one thing: the huge ego of certain executives over at Warner Bros. Pictures.
It seems as though Hollywood loves the term ‘creative differences’ at the moment, and there were a lot of ‘creative differences’ with The Flash movie.
Way back in 2014 Phil Lord and Chris Miller wrote the first treatment of the movie’s script.
Now, I was told by one of my sources who got to read this initial script that it would have been one of the most bonkers and spectacular comic book movies ever made.
My source actually said, “the execs were terrified by this movie”.
The Flash Film Chaos: Crisis Inside Warner Bros.
They went on to add that the executives felt that Lord and Miller’s idea was “too out there”.
However, there were some people inside Warner Bros. Pictures at the time who felt that Lord and Miller were the only two who could make the film.
They actually offered them the directing gig, but they turned it down due to their busy schedule.
Lord and Miller then went off to direct Solo: A Star Wars Story and were subsequently fired from that movie by Kathleen Kennedy halfway through production due to, you guessed it, “creative differences”.
Back to The Flash film.
After Lord and Miller left The Flash, Warner Bros. hired Seth Grahame-Smith to direct the movie.
This was one of the strangest choices I’d ever heard for a comic book movie of this size and let’s face it, importance.
He was a writer and producer and this would have been his directorial debut.
Before this movie, he had written the likes of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and The Lego Batman Movie.
He eventually exited the project due to “creative differences”.
That phrase really pops up a lot in this story.
Too many “creative differences” in the kitchen
However, what he did was rewrite the film’s script and the studio kept it.
Then in 2016 Rick Famuyiwa came on-board as the film’s director.
This was when Kiersey Clemons, Ray Fisher and Billy Crudup were both announced as being part of the film’s cast.
Interestingly enough, it seems as though Clemons is the only one of those three still involved in the project.
Jump to October 2016 and it was then announced that Famuyiwa has also left.
What was the reason given?
Yep, “creative differences”.
I’m starting to think this Flash movie should be called: The Flash: Creative Differences.
The film was then in a state of limbo for quite some time.
Joby Harold was hired to do rewrites on the film, and some clever studio execs thought it would be a good idea to get Robert Zemeckis to direct the movie.
Other names in the mix were Marc Webb, Matthew Vaughn and Sam Raimi.
Now, I was told that all these directors were contacted and they also met with Warner Bros. executives looking to get the movie made.
According to my sources, the talks with Webb, Vaughn and Raimi were terrible and all three of them flatly refused to do the movie.
The Flash film now had an “incomprehensible” script
I’ve been told that the script was now a complete mess.
“Incomprehensible” was the word used.
However, I was also told that Zemeckis did come close at one point to agreeing to make the film, but he wanted to completely rewrite the script.
Then, in 2018 the filmmaking duo John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein were brought in to direct The Flash film, but they didn’t stick around for too long.
They also dropped out due to “creative differences”.
What I’ve been told is that all these directors found Warner Bros. Pictures’ executives to be a nightmare to work with.
“Impossible” was what I was told.
This film is the very definition of ‘Development Hell’.
It was made hellish by the executives who could just not agree with the creatives they had hired to make the movie in the first place.
By this point, Warner Bros. had already hired and then fired Seth Grahame-Smith, Rick Famuyiwa and John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein.
This is literally unheard of.
Not many films, even in Hollywood, go through so many directors and writers.
The phrase used by one of my sources was “this whole thing has been a shitshow”.
Very powerful words, but also by the sound of it, very apt.
Some of these Warner Bros. execs are still hanging around WarnerMedia today
I won’t go into naming the executives that proved to be very difficult in making this film.
What I will say is that some of them are still hanging around WarnerMedia today.
Eventually, they managed to work things out with Andy Muschietti who joined the project in July 2019.
He was joined by Christina Hodson (writer of Birds of Prey) and together they went and did a complete rewrite of the script.
Muschietti will now direct the movie, and his sister, Barabara is producing.
The film is expected to start filming on August 31, 2021 at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden.
However, they are now facing another issue with Michael Keaton who’s humming and hawing about whether he’ll actually do the movie or not.
The film is supposed to feature Keaton back as Batman, as well as Ben Affleck.
However, Keaton revealed that he’s worried about COVID-19 in the UK.
Yet, I was told by a source that he’s actually stalling and trying to get a bit more money out of WarnerMedia to do the movie.
Michael Keaton might be trying to get more money for The Flash movie
The film will star Ezra Miller as The Flash, Sasha Calle as Supergirl, Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Ron Livingston as Henry Allen (replacing Billy Crudup who dropped out of the project) and Maribel Verdú as Barry’s mother, Nora Allen.
The film will, according to multiple reports and my sources, have elements of the Flashpoint comic books series.
However, it will not be an adaptation of that comic.
That sounds like a mad combination, but let’s hope it works.
If this film ends up being even half-decent, then I would see it as a miracle.
It’s a miracle that this film is even being made given what a terrible state it’s been in since it was first announced way back in 2014.
It will be interesting to see the final product.
Right now, not a lot of fans have faith.
Let me know what you think of the whole ordeal in the comments.
You can also DM me with your questions via Twitter @EJLauder.
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