Flash Movie Nearing Greenlight

The Hollywood Reporter reports on a presentation by Warner Bros. chariman and CEO Barry Meyer to investors. The big news is a release date for the next Sherlock Holmes movie (December 2011), but he also talked about upcoming super-hero movies, saying that the Flash movie is “nearing” a greenlight.

WB has previously said that they intend to make DC’s super-heroes the new “tentpole” movies once the Harry Potter series is over (the last book has been split into two films, with part two coming out in July next year). Green Lantern will arrive in theaters June 17, 2011, and Batman and Superman films are in the works for 2012. Meyer also mentioned Wonder Woman and Aquaman movies in development…and, oddly enough, Mad Magazine characters. (I’m blanking. Maybe a live-action Spy vs. Spy? Could the premise actually sustain a full-length movie?)

The Flash has taken a long, slow road to the silver screen, starting with the David Goyer version announced in 2004. Since then, Warner Bros. has gone darker, lighter, then darker again, dropped Goyer’s script entirely, and run through several directors. The current version of the film is being written by Dan Mazeau from a story treatment by Geoff Johns.

28 thoughts on “Flash Movie Nearing Greenlight

  1. Blackman

    For the love of God please let it be a Wally film. A Barry film just will be a rehash of Superman (in terms of personality)

    Reply
  2. Craig

    As much as I love Wally, I think Barry’s origin (as originally told) is a lot less complicated and friendly to non-Flash fans, thus making him more ideal to be the Flash of the film.

    Reply
  3. Kelson Post author

    There’s an easy solution: take the Timmverse Justice League approach, and give the Flash Barry Allen’s origin and Wally West’s personality.

    Reply
    1. YraniGami

      …and then, for the sequel, we can have Wally with Barry’s personality! ..and then for the third movie (which is usually a big dissapointment), we can have Bart with NO personality! I nominate the kid who played young Anakin for the part!

      Reply
  4. YraniGami

    Unfortunately (for those of you who preffer Wally over Barry), it WILL BE an origin story and it WILL feature Barry. Search your feelings.. you know this to be true. Besides, I’m not too sure how excited I will allow myself to get over this report. I’ve just been hurt so so many times before…

    Reply
  5. nova30

    as long as Geoff Johns is involved i’m optimistic that it will be a good movie.he’s the best writer DC has right now

    Reply
    1. Mbish

      Yes, If anything having a comic book writer on the team will give the movie a better chance of having the proper continuity
      (within the barriers of the movie media of course. We can’t expect exact continuity as movies don’t work like comic books and also the comic history is confusing as all hell)

      I have high hopes for the movie anyway

      Reply
  6. Raul

    In Johns we trust! He’s too much of a Barry Allen fan to make it a Wally West film. This is the best news I’ve heard all year!

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  7. Kyer

    In Johns I trust: it will be (like everything else they’ve been making other than the kiddie books) a Rogue film that just happens to have Barry Allen in it for Captain Cold to fight. There will be plenty of mayhem that will (like many of the new ‘PG-13’ movies of late) “push the envelope” in what should really be R-rated material. Oh, and it will keep getting sidelined by Batman and Superman movies plus movie worker strikes until Warner Bros decides that super heroes are an ‘overworked’ movie category (Spiderman and the first Batman movies having taken place ages ago) and go with musicals about mobsters fighting space aliens bugs.

    Man, I’m feeling pessimistic today. *pops bubble gum*

    Reply
  8. EJ

    It truly is amazing to think that after all of these years Barry is not only back as The Flash but now he’s going to have his own movie crazy how things happen.

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  9. Some Guy

    I have to say again that Barry Allen is probably the least compelling Flash to make a movie out of.

    It ought to be either Jay or Wally.

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  10. Flynn Cook

    Truly, one of the things I love most about the Flash is the legacy aspect. I want Barry, then by the 3rd film, Barry’s dead and Wally steps up.

    Barry’s my favorite Flash, so I don’t want him to just be skipped for the films. That’d be cruel to skip one of the long-running versions of a character. If we never see Jay, that’s understandable. But Barry? To skip him is to ignore a HUGE (almost 30 year) part of the character’s history, and would be just dumb. Just because Barry’s been gone for over 20 years doesn’t mean he should be skipped in filmland. Fanboyism be damned. I like Barry best, but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna cry “skip Wally!”

    Reply
    1. kyer

      Not saying to skip Barry.
      Personally, I just wish this film had been done years ago (like when they first proposed it?) and then we could have had Wally–with Barry via flashbacks—along with Jay and maybe end with Iris showing up with Bart. Then it would have been (imo) a true FLASH movie.

      I’d also be fine with your proposal if it weren’t for the fact that a third movie might not get made if a) slight people don’t like Barry, (b) better possibility of bad economic environment…and in any case (C!) a third movie when the first is “nearly” greenlighted for sometime after the Superman and Batman movies to show sometime during the Holiday season of 2011? When could I expect a Wally Flash–in 2016? I’m not young and I’m nor in the best of health (just eyesight alone is not the best and steadily getting worse) and by then I’d be on an especially tight income. So, yeah, I want an ensemble movie not only because I love all of them Flash folk….I might not be able to watch a future Wally, Jay and Bart movie.

      And yes I get that DC and Geoff and at least half the fans can care less about any of that, but it’s nice to finally get my frustration with the movie off my chest.

      Reply
      1. Xian

        Absolutely.

        If they had hit their stride back then DC/WB would be the one defining the tenor of comic book films as Dark Knight & Watchman quality stuff with the humor, powers, wow-factor, and light of Flash instead of Iron Man 2- which was fun for a comic fan but still very genre specific… stuffing comic films back into that box.

        That might have reinvigorated the creativity behind the Flash franchise at the time and helped them reposition Wally however they desired for whatever story they wanted to tell. If in five years Johns went from a writer of second tier books to the Creative Director of all of the DCU, you’re saying you couldn’t have made Wally West a credible police scientist in 60+ issues worth of stories? There’s literally no story you cannot tell today that you couldn’t reach organically in that many issues. Back then Flash was critically acclaimed and climbing in stature naturally and on the backs of many of DC’s best writers but in one fell swoop and without an exit strategy Johns left the book to be ravaged by a literal doubling of total numbers creative teams in the next few years compared to the prior 20 and by editorial who just tried stunts rather than characterization.

        I get why in that climate Barry had to come back if only to recharge the creative teams with flag-planting notions- “You’re going to make history, get excited and do this right.” But what we got was characterization and stories that make no sense and are completely inorganic. Those kinds of stories aren’t going to be critically acclaimed or reposition Flash properly as a pillar. The awe over the current series is just because we’re back to the basic level of good we had before all the turmoil, but it isn’t nearly as deep or coherent as what we had back then.

        So our hopes lie once again entirely in the movie rather than the book. Hope they don’t stuff it up.

        Reply
        1. Nightwing89

          Chances are, they will screw it up.

          It’s the WB we’re talking about! The same WB who make half-cocked decisions like give the ok to make the Halle Berry Catwoman rubbish and make Keanu Reeves as John Constantine (anything to make another film with him dressed in black)

          Reply
  11. Xian

    I don’t mind if it’s a Barry film but I will be pretty upset if Johns uses it as a moment to flag-plant and codify his Rebirth version of Barry. Johns rose to fame in large part due to his reputation as a respecter of continuity and comic book history… understanding that fans care about that stuff and that the characters are larger than any one writer or interpretation. However, Flash Rebirth runs completely contrary to that. The Flash icon/franchise/Barry character for its entire history was one thing- a slightly nerdy man (passive compared to his slighty harpy girlfriend; into comics; always late; verbal “er” stutter, etc) defined by normalcy and self-initiated good to which an incredible event bestowing powers which he instinctively uses to imitate his comic hero… optimistic take on Kick-Ass’s origin with powers. The very pure essence of the Silver Age hero and ALL the scientific accident freaks but without the angst, dysfunction, and drama because the powers are foremost (yet the characterization is still natural and plausible).

    Rebirth is trying to fix what ain’t broke and disrespecting all of that history- which I wouldn’t necessarily mind if executed well and sensibly, but the tragic origin simply isn’t and wasting screen time trying to fix a broken origin that Johns couldn’t let go (even after Rebirth revisited it in SF&O) just to justify it and try to claim mindshare for it would be regrettable.

    It comes down to characterization and people who go through trauma like that don’t come out normal and if the intent is to inject dysfunction into Barry then that’s not who he is as a character either. Much like Returns tried to inject failure into Superman- making the wrong decision to leave, not telling Lois, impregnating her without knowing, being unable to get her back, but still trying even when she may have a family with another man, stalking, sulking, etc.- undoubtedly you can see the argument in the pitch: “we need to make Superman vulnerable in the only place he can be- his human heart… we need to pierce the Man of Steel… it’s going to change that static, boring love story that everyone expects” but guess what… it was crap because that’s not Superman!

    Similarly, you can try to argue that Barry’s origin was boring, simple, and needs “motivation”- maybe- but the wholesale killing of his parents isn’t the solution. That’s not Barry. The fact is that you can add richness, detail, and motivation to a “normal” person’s motivations for doing things and characterization without resorting to over-the-top comicbook cliches.

    That’s just the core characterization which is critical to any audience identifying with any character in any medium, nevermind the headaches of time travel and what the Speed Force turned into that would never play for a film audience except those able to fully comprehend “Primer” (time travel story)… and even then not told as consistently or as well as that.

    God oh God, please do not let Rebirth anywhere near this movie.

    Reply
  12. Flynn Cook

    Well, Xian, get used to it, because, as one blogger noted months ago (I don’t know the specific blog, but it was pointed out in this blog), Johns undoubtedly re-invented Barry for the purpose of making him a modern, screen-worthy character.

    Personally, I don’t see the problem. Had this reinvention come in the middle of the 70s, I would have a problem with it as well. But the fact is, Barry died in COIE, so ‘Rebirth’ is quite clearly his “Post-Crisis” origin. He was the only DC character that never got an updated history on New Earth. Yes, it was altered due to the mucking of Thawne, but still, it’s what sets the “New Earth” Barry apart from the “Earth One” Barry.

    Consequently, Rebirth’s changing of the rules of Barry’s death also fits nicely because of the Crisis. “Earth One” Barry DID die. But “New Earth” Barry just because one with the Speed Force and was presumed dead, which works because the Speed Force is an invention of the Post-Crisis universe, not Pre.

    But anyway, Barry’s niche for an update coincided nicely with the Crisis. It allowed Johns to get away with a (relatively) minor update to his past. Read the new book–Barry’s hardly changed. He’s just the same Barry with a side of brooding. You’re telling that in the wake of Iris’ death and the Trial story that Barry was still the square hero of the 1960s? Barry had already been changed from a two-dimensional 60s hero into a hero who had experienced life-crippling tragedy. If anything, it’s improved Barry’s character to have those things happen to him.

    It’s right there in the new book, in fact, even more emphasized by consequence–Barry’s the nice-guy-of-all-nice-guys, in a world that’s not so nice anymore. But, fitting in with Barry’s character, he’s not dark like Batman. He’s still the same old guy, pushing past the pain. He broods far LESS than Wally would… I fail to see the big “molestation” of Barry’s character.

    So, I fail to see the valid complaints about the continuity changes that ‘Rebirth’ created. Just seems like people are complaining about it just to do it. It makes sense to me.

    Reply
    1. Flynn Cook

      And also, I might add, Barry’s new past has nothing to do with him deciding to be a super hero. It’s quite clearly defined that he didn’t become the Flash to find his parents’ murderer. That argument makes NO sense. It’s the same–he got powers, and decided to be a good guy with them. The new history has nothing to do with how he decided to use his powers. True, it spurred him into becoming a police scientist, but so what? That’s HARDLY a change, especially considering the fact that they never told us why he wanted to be a police scientist back in the pre-Crisis days; it was just because he was a good guy. But then why not be a beat cop? It’s also the same that, apparently, his parents were a good influence on him (hence why he’s a good guy), it’s not like he was some kind of little punk and his parents’ murder ‘changed’ him into a good person. And he still reads Flash comics as a child, I might add.

      It’s like people’s arguments about the 1989 Batman film’s change of Joe Chill to the Joker as the murderer of his parents–people say “at the end, he shouldn’t be Batman anymore.” Um, no. He’s clearly NOT on a quest for vengeance, just a crimefighter, spurred on by what happened to him. So without the primary goal of revenge-and-that’s-it, there’s no reason for him to quit, because avenging his parents was NOT his goal, obviously.

      Again, I can’t argue about feelings over Rebirth’s pacing or whatnot, but complaints about the continuity change are really rediculous. It’s changed relatively LITTLE, while adding so much additional possibilities for richness.

      Reply
      1. Xian

        Wrong.

        Bottom line, you’re glossing over the death as if it had a trivial effect on Barry’s life which is exactly what Johns did on one hand while trying to use it as his core motivation on the other… which is completely senseless and fails to resonate on screen, in fiction, in comics, or otherwise.

        You can’t say- “Well having a totally screwed up childhood did nothing to him so he got the same job, same personality, same relationships, and same power.” credibly while simultaneously saying “Having a totally screwed up childhood is what drove him to his job even though it makes no sense, it what drives his personality, and what heightens the conflict with Zoom.”

        It’s absurd and poor writing. If you read my post carefully, I said I could be on board with changes, but not ones that attempt to use extremely heavy handed comic cliches and failing to actually bring out the nuance of those cliches. For example, Batman and Superman are both orphans on some level and you can treat it tritely, but any and every screen version fleshes that out because it resonates with the character, their motivations, and their history. Doing the same to Barry does none of that. If you want to flesh things out and explore what drives someone to the scientific side of law enforcement, traumatic parental death by a time traveler is hardly the tool and akin to a sledgehammer rather than deft surgical scapel.

        Reply
        1. Nightwing89

          I must agree. It’s no better than the 1990 TV movie (pilot) where there was a death to motivate John Wesley Shipp’s Barry into becoming the Flash. I feel that Geoff that taking a page from that.

          Reply
  13. Mike C.

    TANGENT ALERT. TANGENT ALERT.

    Crisis still confuses me…

    I actually chose not to buy REBIRTH. Wally is my Flash, and that’s it. Barry was the best, but DC really screwed up by bringing him back, IMO.

    Reply
  14. kyer

    I purchased Rebirth SOLELY because I knew beforehand (hooray for certain sites) that there were at least a few good scenes (artwork) with Wally, Jay, and Bart. Otherwise I wouldn’t have. Super!Barry interests me as much as Shazam…zilch.

    I’m an aging female fantasy/sf lover since early childhood. Seen more of that media screwed up by people who had no hand in the original works. My sibling and I used to turn on premier shows, fall in love….and then predict that the show would be canceled before series end because it was too brilliant in characterization and plots. Usually, we were right.

    When a story actually made it past the corporate bastards, they’d make a movie of it that had little to nothing to do with the elements that made the show or book great.

    God, I hope this one doesn’t sizzle out as well.

    Reply

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