Spider-Man: Homecoming writers and Game Night directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein might seem like unconventional choices to helm the Flashpoint movie, but it was their very history with Warner Bros. and the superhero genre that landed them the job.
Ezra Miller’s solo stint as The Flash in the DC cinematic universe has been through a rocky history. It took awhile for it to be announced the movie would adapt the famous Flashpoint storyline from the comics. It was even longer for the movie to find a director. Screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith (The LEGO Batman Movie, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) was first attached to the project to direct. He was later replaced with Dope filmmaker Rick Famuyiwa, before the latter stepped down too. Now though, the decision has been made to go with the duo of Daley and Goldstein instead.
In an interview with Collider, the pair revealed that they were approached by Warner Bros. Pictures to direct a DC superhero movie after completing work on Game Night. As Daley explained:
“They gave us a list of DC properties and said, ‘Is there anything you’d be interested in?’, in no way promising us anything at all.”
Despite Flashpoint‘s behind the scenes struggles to get off the ground, this a big vote of confidence by WB. Daley and Goldstein are fairly new to the directing chair(s). Game Night, which boasts an all-star cast that includes Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, is only their second feature length project after 2015’s Vacation reboot, but early word of mouth around the film is solid. Nevertheless, WB must be very confident in it to hand the reins of such a big tentpole movie to its directors. According to Goldstein:
“They were interested in us because of Game Night and Spider-Man. Because of that combination they did kind of say, ‘We’d like you to consider one of our movies.’ So we read a number of the scripts, and [Flashpoint] was one—we’re huge fans of the character, I collected the comic books as a kid. It was an exciting possibility.”
It is interesting, though, that the combination of Game Night and Spider-Man Homecoming is what drew WB to Daley and Goldstein to begin with. It hints at the tone that Flashpoint is evidently going to stride for, and that’s a bit surprising. Game Night will have action elements but it’s undeniably a comedy. Likewise, Homecoming plays out a lot like a teenage coming-of-age comedy with superhero elements. So it would appear that the the DC cinematic universe is going to continue to embrace a lighter and more comedic side, fitting in with was seen in Wonder Woman and Justice League.
While this may be the right direction to take with the franchise overall, it’s a bit shocking given the subject matter of Flashpoint. The original comic book series is considered one of the darker stories to feature the usually lighthearted Flash. It sees Barry Allen go back in time to save his mother and inadvertently create a nightmarish alternate world in the process. Even with Ezra Miller’s unabashedly goofy take on the character at the forefront, it would seem hard to make that story funny. Highlights of Flashpoint in the comics include a gun-wielding and mass-murdering Batman, as well as an evil, war-obsessed Wonder Woman and a Superman enslaved by the U.S. government.
With all that said, it’s not impossible to make Flashpoint funny (or even fun) – but it’ll certainly be a challenge.
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