My name is Jay Garrick and your (cinematic) world is in danger.
Fans that were excited to watch The Scarlett Speedster in a solo film may have to wait a little bit longer after The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Director Rick Famuyiwa has left the project over “creative differences. Warner Bros. will have to movie quickly to replace Famuyiwa or else risk having to push the March 2018 release date back. A commitment for Ezra Miller in July could mean we don’t see The Flash For another two years.
Famuyiwa, who replaced the original director Seth Grahame-Smith in June, had overseen numerous aspects of pre-production including the casting of Kiersey Clemons as Iris West and Billy Crudup as Barry’s father Henry Allen. The fact that Warner Bros. will soon be hiring their 3rd director for the film indicates a growing problem in the DCEU. At what point does Warner Bros. hire a director and let them execute their vision for the film rather than getting into arguments over creative differences?
Problems during pre-production are nothing knew for Warner Bros. or the DCEU. After the theatrical cut of BatmanvSuperman was critically panned it came out that Zack Snyder had a different vision for the film which is how we ended up with the 3 hour Ultimate Cut. Say what you want about the Ultimate Cut, I still think it is a deeply flawed film that fixes some problems and creates new ones, but at the end of the day that is the film that Zack Snyder set out to make. If you as a studio don’t believe in the vision of your director then you shouldn’t have hired them in the first place. The fact that a big budget film got released at all with the script and editing problems is one thing but don’t insult your fanbase by releasing an extended version as a way to make up for the poor product that appeared in theatres. Just do it right the first time.
They obviously didn’t learn their lesson because just months later they released the critically panned Suicide Squad and the problems behind the scenes are legendary. The film was rushed from the start with the script being completed in just 6 weeks and after the poor reception to BvS the studio wanted to make a lighter film that clashed with director David Ayer’s vision. So they reportedly hired another company to make their own cut of the film to go along with Ayer’s cut.
The final cut was an attempt at making the two edits work cohesively and they do not. It’s embarrassing that we two films this year in the DCEU and both of them suffer from virtually no cohesive story, and problems with editing/pacing.
It’s no wonder that the movie was a convoluted mess that suffered immensely from a multitude of other issues. Jared Leto ended up with maybe 10 minutes of screen time after the trailers made it look like Joker would be an essential part of the plot. I came out of the theatre thinking he shouldn’t have even been in the film because he was irrelevant to the plot. It just ended up being a waste of a character (which Suicide Squad is guilty of on more than one occasion).
Add to all that the fact that next summer’s Wonder Woman film had to replace a director due to creative differences and their is evidence of a disturbing trend at Warner Bros. Creative differences happen in film and it’s not uncommon for directors or actors/actresses to leave projects for certain reasons. But when almost all of your films are struggling with the same issues it might be time to push pause and figure out why this keeps happening.
The DCEU was rushed from the beginning. People get upset when you compare it to the Marvel Cinematic Universe but they set the bar for what these movies should be. We should have gotten solo films for all of the major Justice League members before they came together. The Justice League film will be introducing us to Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg, all while trying to reintroduce Superman into the film, tell a good story, and give us a tease of what the solo films may look like. That’s far too much this early on the universe. Fans have shown an appetite for these characters and if you made an Aquaman movie people would line up to go see it just like they did for Iron Man and Captain America. People love these characters and want to see them on the big screen but they want still want the movies to be good. So far Warner Bros. has not delivered. Disney is getting set to release Doctor Strange this week (early reviews have been quite positive) while Warner Bros. are just sitting in the corner trying to figure out what they’re doing wrong.
At least we’ll always have The Flash on TV. What a great show.
Are you scared for the future of the DCEU? Are you nervous? Do you not care at all? Follow me on Twitter @_JaredClarkson