Flash may be the fastest man alive, but it looks like Seth Grahame-Smith can run even faster… Right out the door, as THR is reporting that the first time feature film director has left the upcoming Flash feature film. Grahame-Smith, the author and screenwriter for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudices and Zombies, has left the film over “creative differences”. Sound familiar?
And as we know, in Hollywood “creative differences” is pretty much just a euphemism for “I had a great big falling out with the studio but I’m not allowed to give out any embarrassing details”. Grahame-Smith had never directed anything more than two episodes of the MTV series The Hard Times of RJ Berger, and this would have been his massive jump to the big time, so there had to have been a very good reason why he would pass on this huge opportunity.
And according to Devin Faraci over at BMD, it may have something to with Batman and Superman. Or more accurately, Batman v Superman, which has been savaged by critics and while still making a crap load of money has not hit anywhere close to Warner Bros’ $1 billion+ target. Faraci’s multiple sources at the studio reportedly stated that director Zack Snyder – who has been the main driving force for the direction of WB’s DC Comics Extended Universe – and DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns were quite surprised at the divided reaction to BvS. Yes, surprised. Maybe they hadn’t watched their own movie?
Either way, Snyder and Johns have apparently found themselves at loggerheads with the now very cautious WB studio execs who no longer have complete faith in the universe’s creative direction. And according to Faraci, Grahame-Smith’s departure is only one of the symptoms of this disagreement, as the execs are now putting serious pressure on the filmmakers to make this whole cinematic universe.
Snyder’s Justice League was scheduled to kick off production just two weeks after BvS released, so there was no time to really make any changes there, but all the other films on the slate may not be so lucky. Just what kind of pressure/changes WB may be looking at is unclear, but it wouldn’t be too hard to imagine a young, still-untested director like Grahame-Smith rather opting to get out of dodge before things got too hectic.
Faraci went on to explain that his sources also hinted that Aquaman director James Wan may be mulling over jumping ship as well. The reason being that Wan had just gone through a really difficult shoot on Furious 7 – which still turned out to be a stupendous success – and keeps pulling rave reviews on his lower-budget horror projects like The Conjuring 2, so he definitely wouldn’t need the type of strife that was reportedly happening behind the scenes.
But after days of speculations on Wan’s future, the fan-favourite director himself took to Twitter to offer his subtle, but pretty self-explanatory response to the whole debacle.
— James Wan (@creepypuppet) May 2, 2016
Just resurfaced from been buried in a foxhole for the last two weeks, wrapping up all things #conjuring2. You guys are killing me.
— James Wan (@creepypuppet) May 2, 2016
I think it’s safe to say that when it comes to the high-seas adventures of Aquaman, Wan is going nowhere. But as for the rest of the DCEU slate though, things are still a bit murky. It’s hard to deny the less than totally enthusiastic fan response to Batman v Superman, and while I highly doubt we would see any type of action as drastic as having Snyder removed from Justice League – like I’ve seen some sites and online petitions calling for – his plans for the future of the franchise may just be getting slightly tweaked by corporate mandate. Of course the last time we had any serious studio involvement in a DC Comics feature film adaptation we ended up with Green Lantern, so this may not even be a good thing either.
The Flash, starring Ezra Miller in the title role, is still due to hit theaters on March 16, 2018. There’s been no word from Warner Bros yet about a replacement for Grahame-Smith.
Last Updated: May 3, 2016