‘The Flash’: Rick Famuyiwa Is A ‘Rad Choice’ To Direct, Says Phil Lord
Warner Bros. seems to be doing some PR damage control with Justice League, following the reception Batman v Superman received. But one of the other DCEU movies they’ve got lined up, The Flash, has been getting some pretty positive PR lately in comparison.
The Flash started out in the hands of writer-director Seth Grahame-Smith, who ended up walking away from the project, reportedly due to creative differences with the studio. Then, it was reported that filmmaker Rick Famuyiwa (Dope, Confirmation) had been brought onboard to take Grahame-Smith’s place.
Filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller recently spoke with IGN, and talked about Rick being brought into the DCEU. Lord and Miller think Famuyiwa directing The Flash was a great choice, while also revealing that the three already had a working relationship together prior to this.
“We work with Rick and have been developing a pilot with him for a little while and are really big fans of his and Dope,” Phil Lord says. “I think he’s a rad choice.” Lord’s partner Chris Miller chimed in with, “He’s going to do a great job on it.”
Rick Famuyiwa’s Dope was one of the most well-received films of 2015 and gained great buzz when it premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. The indie-comedy was able to showcase Famuyiwa’s ability to balance drama and comedy, with a youthful cast and story. The movie definitely resonated with young audiences when it arrived in theaters. These are elements that WB sees as pretty important as far as The Flash is concerned.
— Mark Hughes (@markhughesfilms) June 23, 2016
So far, The DCEU has been pretty dark and grim. Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice took themselves very seriously and aimed to kind of deconstruct these iconic DC characters. Justice League has been reported to have a much lighter tone and The Flash is apparently a big part of that. The character is certainly one of the more light-hearted heroes in the DC universe and Warner Bros. had always planned on allowing Barry Allen to brighten things up when he made his cinematic debut.
“They had that planned for him in the first place,” Chris Miller told IGN. “That’s why they were talking to us in the first place because that’s how they wanted to go with that character, and I think that’s why they came to us.”
Phil Lord and Chris Miller have been dealing with comedy throughout their entire careers in Hollywood. MTV’s Clone High, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21/22 Jump Street and The Lego Movie were all heavily layered with comedy. So Phil and Chris are actually perfect choices to tackle a project such as The Flash, and it’s also no surprise that they are involved with Sony’s animated Spider-Man film.
But, the two are quick to give actor Ezra Miller credit for bringing humor to the character.
“That’s all Ezra,” Lord added.
Ezra Miller, prior to all of this, was most well-known for his performances in We Need to Talk About Kevin and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Though those films lean more towards dramatic than they do comedic. But Lord and Miller point out the kind of energy Ezra is bringing to the role and how his personality will play off of other characters in Justice League, like Batman or Wonder Woman.
“He brings in new energy. Batman has to be kind of bummed out because his parents died and Superman is already established as a serious person and Wonder Woman’s angry about stuff. Stuff’s happening. But then you’ve got a guy who’s like, ‘Eh, whatever, I run fast!'”
The Flash races into theaters March 16, 2018. Justice League, which is currently filming, will be released on November 17, 2017.
[Photo by Alex B. Huckle/Getty Images]