Approximately a month after booting novice director Seth Grahame-Smith from superhero movie The Flash, Warner Brothers has found a new, but experienced filmmaker to lead its upcoming DC Comics film.
Rick Famuyiwa, who helmed last summer’s indie hit Dope, has been tabbed to direct the standalone film featuring DC Comics’ scarlet speedster. Hiring him follows a tendency by Warner Bros. to snap up indie filmmakers to work on their larger productions. For instance, Christopher Nolan went from Memento to Insomnia, then Batman Begins. Gareth Edwards was hired to direct Godzilla after his indie film Monsters.
While Famuyiwa hasn’t overseen a blockbuster-level production, he does have five prior films on his resume (most recently, HBO’s Confirmation) and is accustomed to working with young actors and larger ensemble casts. According to BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH’s Devin Faraci, the story will largely be a buddy superhero movie with Flash’s Justice League teammate Cyborg (Ray Fisher) playing a significant role.
Most importantly, Dope had an energy and comedic tone (despite relatively heavy themes) that DC Films needs after the grim, gloomy, angry Batman v Superman turned off fans. Famuyiwa will bring a lighter touch that should appeal to younger, broader audiences. (Also, it’s certainly encouraging that a Nigerian-American filmmaker is jumping into what’s been a very white male pool of superhero movie directors.)
Grahame-Smith wrote the script for The Flash and Warner Brothers initially decided to take a chance on letting him direct the film, despite having no prior experience in that role. With the concerning performance of Batman v Superman, however, Warner Bros. and DC Films apparently wanted to make sure they had a steadier hand in the director’s chair. Famuyiwa is still a bold choice, but one that should require less hand-holding during production.
Ezra Miller (Trainwreck) has already been cast as Barry Allen, the young scientist who gains the powers of super-speed through an accident combining a freak lightning bolt with dangerous chemicals.
If you saw Batman v Superman, you might remember his brief, baffling cameo appearance during the middle of that movie, intended to help set up DC’s upcoming Justice League film. (It’s OK if you forgot about that, however. It was difficult to tell what the hell was going on in that scene when The Flash appears from the future to warn Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne about… something, presumably Superman.)
The Flash is currently scheduled for a March 16, 2018 release.