Warner Bros.’ Flash movie project has been jolted by lighting.
Andy Muschietti, the filmmaker behind the hit Stephen King adaptation It and the upcoming It: Chapter Two, is in talks to direct the action-adventure project based on the DC Comics superhero. His partner and sister, Barbara Muschietti, will produce, joining Michael Disco on the project.
John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, who wrote drafts of the script and were slated to helm the project, have moved on. However, Ezra Miller, the actor who has long been attached to star as the fleet-footed hero, remains on board to star.
But in a further development, the studio won’t be moving forward with the script Miller co-wrote with comics author Grant Morrison. Instead, Warners will hire Christina Hodson, the scribe behind Bumblebee and the studio’s upcoming DC movie, the Margot Robbie-fronted Birds of Prey, to tackle the script. The goal is to be in prep by January.
Dealmaking has not yet begun, stress insiders. Official offers are expected to go out shortly.
Goldstein and Daley’s exit is described as voluntarily, according to multiple sources. The pair have been with the project since January 2018, writing the script and developing it to direct. At one point, the project seemed like it was heading toward a start date in late 2019. But months of tensions over creative differences bogged down the project, with the duo deciding it was time to move on and find new opportunities.
The tensions surfaced around what kind of take was the best fit for a Flash movie. Miller, who has played the character since 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, favored a darker approach, while Goldstein and Daley, the pair who wrote Spider-Man: Homecoming and were behind the comedy hit Game Night, wanted the opposite.
The two sides have been working on compromises since last year, but Miller then made the unusual move to take it upon himself to pen his own script, enlisting the aid of comics superstar Morrison. That script was submitted to the studio in March. By May, the studio rejected his approach, but concluded that Miller should still remain the Scarlet Speedster.
Muschietti hails from the horror world and made his feature debut with Mama, the 2013 thriller that starred Jessica Chastain. His adaptation of It, released in 2017, was a critical and commercial hit, making over $700 million worldwide. Warners is high on the sequel, with the title being the only movie the studio will be showcasing at the upcoming San Diego Comic-Con. With Muschietti being chosen for Flash, the studio is clearly pleased with the filmmaker, too.
If a deal is made, Muschietti will be the latest horror filmmaker to cross over to directing a DC movie after going through the trenches of sister division New Line. James Wan directed Aquaman, a billion dollar hit, while David Sandberg, who directed Annabelle: Creation and Lights Out, made the most recent DC hit, Shazam! Jaume Collet-Serra, who got his start with movies such as House of Wax and Orphan, is attached to helm Black Adam.
Muschietti is repped by WME. Hodson is with CAA, Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment and Ziffren Brittenham.