Does today’s news portend a crisis over at Warner Bros.? The Flash director Seth Grahame-Smith has left the production, citing that oldest of movie business chestnuts: creative differences.
It’s hard not to speculate what might be going on behind the scenes with the DC Extended Universe. The critical backlash against Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice — 27 percent on Rotten Tomatoes — has certainly been a big surprise for Warner Bros. They expected this movie to be a juggernaut and it’s currently trailing Iron Man 3 at the domestic box office. Seeing as how Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice features two of pop culture’s most enduring characters, that seems like a pretty big message that audiences are sending to the studio.
As far as The Flash is concerned, there’s still a lot of confusion and frustration that the film version is going to be completely separate from the immensely popular television series. There’s definitely a way that could work, but there’s no sign that Warner Bros./DC have any intention of utilizing the multiverse on the big screen.
Personally, I’m actually relieved that Seth Graeme-Smith is no longer attached. The Flash would have been his directorial debut, and while I can’t say whether or not he’d have done a good job, the Flash is a character that is going to require some serious visual talent to pull off in a blockbuster flick. Graeme-Smith may have the directing chops to succeed at such a task, but his writing credits (Dark Shadoiws, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) give me a reasonable amount of pause.
It’s doubtful that most of the immediate DCEU films will be affected by this decision, but it does make this DC fan a little worried. It’s clear that Warner Bros. is committed to this interpretation of the DC characters, so will audiences be as stoked for a Snyder-fied Flash or Aquaman? I’m hoping that the powers that be figure out that fun is an important part of why we love these characters, and I’m still excited for the bonkers Suicide Squad we’ll be getting in a few months. Let’s hope that’s a sign of good things ahead.