With The Flash losing its director for a second time recently, many are deeply concerned about the movie's fate. And if a report had surfaced on the web suggesting that there is panic over there at Warner Bros., one would have easily considered it to be true. But, according to Neil Turitz, the studio is not at all concerned about Rick Famuyiwa's departure from the first standalone movie for The Fastest Man Alive.
In his recent Tracking Board column, the veteran Hollywood reporter and filmmaker claims that he has a contact who is familiar with the inner workings of the DC Extended Universe. Following Famuyiwa's exit from The Flash, Turitz approached him to get an idea about how the studio is reacting to the situation. And here's what the insider told him:
Sorry. We were too busy laughing about all the money we made on Suicide Squad to worry too much about this latest turn of events with a movie that isn't as high on our list of important projects. I mean, it's not like it's Aquaman.
How can Aquaman be higher than The Flash on the studio's priority list? Turitz had the same question initially, but he could easily comprehend the matter once it was explained to him. First of all, the departure of a director, or some other member, from the creative team is not something that has only happened in case of the DCEU movies. Edgar Wright parted ways with Marvel Studios over Ant-Man after working for years on the project. The sequel to this year's R-rated blockbuster, Deadpool, has also lost its original director, Tim Miller.
Secondly, neither Rick Famuyiwa nor Seth Grahame-Smith (the first director to leave The Flash) is a heavyweight director like Aquaman director James Wan, who the studio "needs for industry gravitas". Wan's movies have grossed over $2.5 billion worldwide to date, and his departure would surely cause a lot of panic. But he has already assured everyone that he isn’t going anywhere. He’s expected to move into pre-production of the King of the Seven Seas' first standalone movie later this month.
According to Turitz, Warner Bros. is considering Aquaman as "a groundbreaker", while The Flash doesn't carry the same weight for them because it’s doing great on television. They’ve also thought about rotating The Flash "out of its March 2018 release slot and mov(ing) Aquaman up from that July to take its place".
However, the Scarlet Speedster's standalone movie might not be moved back too far. Ezra Miller, who plays the titular superhero, recently shared with Screen Rant that it will begin filming soon:
We don't know right now [who the director will be], but I think we'll start this year, I think it's coming up pretty quick.
In his column, Neil Turitz states that people at Warner Bros. are "actually feeling good" about things "for the first time in a while", as Justice League "looks dynamite…(and is) totally different" from anything Zack Snyder has ever done. They are also "really excited" about Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman, which "looks amazing".
This pretty much falls in line with what Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara recently said to the New York Times. While talking about how confident he is about the DCEU under the leadership of Geoff Johns and Jon Berg, he said:
The thing that really makes me confident is that I've seen Wonder Woman, and it's great.