Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment is currently experiencing a huge amount of trouble with their upcoming DCEU movie The Flash. Two directors (Seth Grahame-Smith and Rick Famuyiwa) have signed up and then left the production due to 'creative differences'. We detailed this strife in a previous article here, so feel free to have a read.
But who should the studio be looking at to come in and steady the ship? They certainly need to make a decision soon if they want to keep the production on schedule.
We feel the following five directors would all be top notch options.
5. Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith has had a bit of a rough ride with film critics and fans in the last few years. Once the kingpin of the geek-friendly indie movie, with early films like Clerks and Mallrats gaining massive cult followings, Smith hasn't had a hit movie since Clerks II in 2006. He tried to go the studio comedy route with Zack & Miri Make A Porno and Cop Out, both of which flopped, and so he returned to the indie world. His latest two films Tusk and Yoga Hosers have almost seemed like critic-baiting vanity projects. Smith himself admits he knows he won't receive good reviews or big box office for his films anymore.
However, Smith still has a sizeable fanbase for his movies, podcasts and writings. He also recently directed two episodes of The Flash television series on the CW Network (as well as one episode of Supergirl). He knows the character, and DC Comics in general, like the back of his hand. The man is a loud supporter of everything related to comic book movies. His episodes of the TV show have revealed that he has grown as a filmmaker over the years, and can frame some beautiful visuals and even direct a good action scene or two. The ever self-deprecating Smith had always said that he was a terrible action director and that his movies are best when it's just two people talking. Maybe now he is in a position to marry his gift with character and dialogue to a more dynamic directorial style?
4. Peter Berg
Hot off directing two Mark Wahlberg starring, real-life based dramas (Deepwater Horizon and the upcoming Patriot's Day), we reckon Peter Berg would be a great option for Warner Brothers to look at. The actor-turned-director has built up a very solid CV over the years, with Lone Survivor and Friday Night Lights being particular highlights. He has a talent for capturing raw emotion on screen and his intense, in-your-face action is wonderful. Just imagine him finding that deep well of emotion within the character of Barry Allen. Then imagine the kinetic, adrenaline-fuelled action sequences he would be sure to provide.
Admittedly, he has gone down the blockbuster route before, with decidedly mixed results. Battleship was pretty much a disaster, even if it did look amazing. And he did try his hand at a superhero movie as well, with 2007's Hancock, which had moments of brilliance scattered throughout a disappointing whole. Perhaps The Flash could be the blockbuster where he hits it out of the park?
3. Greg Yaitanes
This name might be unfamiliar with cinema fans. But we reckon Greg Yaitanes could have a huge future ahead of him as a feature film director, if given the right opportunity. He has been involved as a director and producer in some of the biggest television series' of the last few decades. He won an Emmy Award for his work on House M.D., directing 30 episodes of that show and producing even more over the course of it's run. He also directed several key episodes of Lost and Heroes, among others.
It's his work over the last number of years that we feel qualifies him for The Flash though. As executive producer of Banshee and director of 9 episodes, he was one of the main creative forces behind the pulpy, action-heavy show's success. He then went on to produce and direct all 8 episodes of 2016's Quarry, a 1970's-set crime drama. The Cinemax show was little-seen, but critically adored, and for good reason. Yaitanes directed it more like an 8 hour movie than a TV show. His filmmaking prowess is best shown in the many gorgeous shots he captures of the Memphis/New Orleans setting. Then there's his bravura action sequences. The hugely ambitious, masterfully executed Vietnam battle from the series finale was breathtaking. It could (and should) function as a clarion call to Hollywood.
2. Justin Lin
Surely it makes perfect sense for a director most well-known for a franchise entitled 'The Fast & The Furious' to be in the running for The Flash?
Justin Lin is a marvelous popcorn cinema director. He has proven that multiple times over with the likes of Fast Five and Furious 6, as well as this year's massively enjoyable Star Trek Beyond. He has shown that he has the ability to combine character interplay between large, diverse casts with mind-blowing action spectacle. To us, that makes him tailor-made for this job.
However, a quick look at his IMDB page does reveal that Lin has been announced as the director of four upcoming projects. Firstly, tere's the 'Untitled Jeremy Renner/Bourne Sequel' and the 'Untitled Shaolin Temple Remake'. We're not convinced either of these will ever actually get made. But then he's also attached to direct Space Jam 2 (!) and Hot Wheels. This is a film based on the popular Mattel toy racing cars. These movies, questionable though they may sound, are probably more likely to happen. But we'd much rather see him rescue The Flash from development hell first!
1. Tim Miller
Tim Miller is a visual effects artist and animator who only has one directorial credit to his name. That directorial credit, of course, is Deadpool, 2016's runaway sleeper hit. The R-rated, anarchic comic book action-comedy was an absolute phenomenon upon it's release back in February. It made $782 million worldwide, obliterating box-office records for an R-rated movie and was embraced by fandom and mainstream audiences alike. In short, Tim Miller's sole directorial effort was kind of a big deal.
Naturally, we all assumed 20th Century Fox would do everything in their power to nail him down for the sequel. But he recently parted ways with the production due to 'creative differences' with star Ryan Reynolds. DC and Warner Brothers should seize this opportunity like there's no tomorrow. They need to move heaven and earth to get Miller on board the production. As well as the obvious benefit of snaking on of Marvel's 'guys', there is also the knowledge that Miller shepherded Deadpool, a similarly troubled production, to the promised land after many years of false starts and studio apathy. He must be a man with passion, who can persevere and get the results he wants in the end. WB needs someone like this on The Flash, and Miller's schedule just cleared right up!