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Now that Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice has hit theaters, we have our sights set upon the upcoming solo adventures and introductions for new members of the Justice League into the DCEU. One such character is Ezra Miller's take on The Flash. However, Barry Allen’s silver screen solo adventure seems to have stumbled at the starting block with the recent departure of director Seth Grahame-Smith from the project. While this would often be cause for concern, this newfound development has me breathing a serious sigh of relief for the future of The Flash solo movie.
A few days ago, the news broke that Seth Grahame-Smith had left The Flash due to unspecified "creative differences" with Warner Bros. It’s unclear exactly why he left the project, but I personally am of the mindset that this could ultimately be a stroke of good fortune for The Flash. One look at Grahame-Smith’s resume will make one thing abundantly clear: he may have bitten off more than he could chew with The Flash. His only work as a director came in the form of two episodes of MTV's The Hard Times of RJ Berger, and his most notable writing credits are Pride, and Prejudice, and Zombies, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and Dark Shadows. I'm not here to knock his overall talents (really), but his hit-or-miss history as a writer, coupled with his utter inexperience as a director, made him a questionable choice to direct The Flash from the very beginning.
Rather than a setback, this development should feel more like an opportunity for DC to correct course with a reliable filmmaker. At this point, Warner Bros. and DC need to carefully choose which directors helm their most important projects. With Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, they seem to have learned the lesson that the wrong director for the wrong project can completely derail a film. Sure, the studio's keeping Zack Snyder in the DCEU, but he’s already showing signs of a loosened grip on the overall vision for the universe. Ben Affleck, James Wan (who is apparently not leaving Aquaman), and even Patty Jenkins are the sort of prestigious names needed at this stage of the game.
Bringing in filmmakers with relatively little experience on big-budget blockbusters has often yielded amazing results for studios. Just look at the work done by the Russos on the last two Captain America movies, or Colin Trevorrow’s work on Jurassic World. However, for every dynamic Russo duo, there’s a Josh Trank and his abhorrent work on Fantastic Four. Considering the shaky ground that the DCEU currently finds itself on, Warner Bros. needs to tread lightly and not swing for the fences with directors. Perhaps more importantly, we need to remember that WB still has time to fill Seth Grahame-Smith's spot before The Flash enters production; a director leaving a project is never great news, but we should count ourselves thankful that it happened sooner rather than later.
Am I saying that Seth Grahame-Smith was an inherently bad choice for The Flash from the get-go? Of course not. There exists a very real possibility that he could’ve knocked the film out of the park. That being said, the DCEU needs to place its bets on reliable directors until it finds solid footing. Then, and only then, can it start to take risks with the directors it employs. We will keep you up to date regarding this situation as more news becomes available to us, The Flash is currently slated to sprint its way to theaters on March 16, 2018.