Author/screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith is reportedly in negotiations with Warner Bros. to write and direct their upcoming DC Cinematic Universe film, The Flash. Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie) were previously involved with the scripting of the film and had completed a treatment for it. It is expected, but not confirmed at this time, that Grahame-Smith will take that treatment and (pardon the pun) run with it for his screenplay. Grahame-Smith does already have some association with both Lord & Miller and superheroes, having done some work on Warner Bros.’ upcoming The Lego Batman Movie (2017) alongside the pair, as well as some uncredited work on Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four. Ezra Miller is still set to star as the titular Scarlet Speedster and The Flash is currently scheduled to hit theaters on March 23, 2018.
When Lord & Miller were initially announced as writers on the project, many had hoped that they would eventually sign on to direct it as well. Sadly that is not the case, as the duo opted to write and direct Disney & Lucasfilm’s currently untitled young Han Solo film for their Star Wars Anthology franchise. With that film expected to hit on May 28, 2018, there’s simply no time for them to do both. While Flash will be Grahame-Smith’s first time at bat as a feature film director, he does have quite a few film projects as a writer under his belt.
In additions to his novels (Pride & Prejudice & Zombies being the most popular), Grahame-Smith has penned the scripts for Timur Bekmambetov’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (based on his own novel) and Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows. He has also worked on Tim Burton’s still-coming Beetlejuice 2 and is planning on re-adapting Something Wicked This Way Comes as another directorial effort for himself. In addition, the film version of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, amusing coming with a script co-penned by acclaimed director David O. Russell, finally arrives in cinemas this coming February.
I’m honestly not feeling this hiring at the moment. While I’m not a massive fan of Zack Snyder, I do enjoy most of his films, so his continued use for WB’s DC Cinematic Universe doesn’t bother me. Nor did the hiring of Patty Jenkins for Wonder Woman and James Wan for Aquaman. Both are exciting choices and potentially have a lot to bring to their respective films. All fit WB’s insisted description of their superhero films as being a “filmmaker-driven” franchise. Seth Grahame-Smith’s addition to this line-up is a bit of a head-scratcher. While he does have a relationship with the studio and has worked on a lot of genre projects, it’s not a name that particularly carries any weight with fans. Not that these hirings need to or should, but it’s an offbeat choice that…unlike Taiki Waititi landing Thor: Ragnarok…doesn’t make too much sense.
Perhaps I’m being too hard on the man (and the studio), but all I have to go off of here is the man’s existing work. When that work is Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Dark Shadows, well, let’s just say both films leave a lot to be desired. Granted a lot of what doesn’t work in both features could be placed at the feet of their respective directors, but neither film felt like it had a strong script laying the groundwork. Grahame-Smith being hired to write and first-time direct The Flash isn’t a dealbreaker, but it certainly gives this writer pause.