News 'Flash': Levy to helm

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Shawn Levy has stepped on board to direct Warner Bros. Pictures' "The Flash," the big-screen adaptation of the DC Comics speedster hero. Levy's decision to get involved in the project is his first move since the successful release of his "Night at the Museum," a $225 million boxoffice smash.

Charles Roven and Alex Gartner are producing "Flash." It is believed that Levy will act in a producing capacity as well.

Created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Harry Lampert, the original Flash first appeared in "Flash Comics" #1 in 1940. In comics lore, there have been four incarnations of the scarlet speedster, who has remained one of DC's most popular characters. He has ability to run and move extremely fast, use superhuman reflexes and violate certain laws of physics, like time travel.

David Goyer, who co-wrote "Batman Begins" for Warners, had been attached to write, direct and produce a screen adaptation. But Goyer quietly left the project several months ago, though it was not until Friday that he announced his departure on his MySpace page.

"I am sad to say that my version of 'The Flash' is dead at WB," Goyer wrote. "The God's honest truth is that WB and myself simply couldn't agree on what would make for a cool Flash film. I'm quite proud of the screenplay I turned in. I threw my heart into it, and I genuinely think it would've been the basis of a groundbreaking film. But as of now, the studio is heading off in a completely different direction."

Sources said that Levy, who before "Museum" had been known for such comedies as "Cheaper by the Dozen" and "The Pink Panther," has no intention of making "Flash" a comedy but is aiming for a lighter movie than previous Warners comic book adaptations, such as "Batman Begins" and "Superman Returns." Goyer's "Flash" also had been dark-themed.

Levy will oversee the writing of the new draft, and it is believed elements of Goyer's script will be used in the development process.

Levy is repped by Endeavor and Ziffren Brittenham.
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