DC’s standalone The Flash movie has had its share of production troubles. And the film hasn’t even got behind the cameras yet. But finally, there might be some good news. Back in July reports swirled that IT director Andy Muschietti was in talks to direct the film. At the time, he was coy when asked about the subject, possibly because the contract wasn’t finalised.
But now, whatever contractual issues there were have seemingly been worked out. Muschietti has confirmed to Fandango that he is indeed directing The Flash.
Muschietti’s hiring ends a long, headline-grabbing process for the movie. Back in 2015, Warner Bros. hired Dark Shadows writer Seth Grahame-Smith to make his directorial debut with the film. However in April 2016, a month after Batman v Superman was poorly received because of its dark tone, the studio fired Grahame-Smith and decided to go in a different direction.
Ezra Miller had already been cast at this point and was shooting Justice League. Rick Famuyiwa (Dope) signed on to direct in June 2016, lasting until November when he left over creative differences. The film then seemed to sit idle for a while as Miller was busy with the Fantastic Beasts franchise and Warner Bros. tried to pick up the pieces of their failed DCEU experiment.
Then, in March 2018, Game Night filmmakers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein signed on to rewrite and direct the film. Great, right? The guys behind arguably the funniest comedy of 2018? But then earlier this summer reports swirled that while Daley and Golstein wanted to make the film lighter, Miller himself wanted in darker.
In response to this, Warner Bros. surprisingly let Miller co-write his own Flash screenplay with comics writer Grant Morrison. While it seemed for a while like Miller was the one who would eventually step away, Daley and Goldstein left the project in July with Miller still on board.
And thus, Muschietti is the fourth director hired, and no one knows which script he’s working with, or whether he’s writing the film himself.
And if his hiring doesn’t make much sense – considering WB initially wanted to move away from the darker tone, hiring the guy who helmed IT seems a strange move, no? – then Muschietti’s comments to Fandango when asked about a horror-esque tone may surprise you:
“An element of horror? I don’t think so. What captivated me about The Flash is the human drama in it. The human feelings and emotions that play in the drama. It’s going to be fun, too. I can’t promise that there will be any horror, really, but it’s a beautiful human story”.
So no, don’t expect The Flash to be battling a Pennywise-esque villain. Still, one would think his vision is more in line with Miller’s considering two directors have come and gone who were pushing for a lighter tone, and he’s still here.
Production won’t begin until the back half of 2020, at the earliest, since Miller is due to shoot a third Fantastic Beasts instalment in Spring 2020. That’s of course assuming Muschietti is not the latest director to be fired from the potentially cursed project.