NEVERTHRONERS! To your #got bunkers! This is going to be a rough one!
Things appear to be on the rocks over at Warner Brothers when it comes to the burgeoning DC Cinematic Universe.
In confirmed news from The Hollywood Reporter, Seth Grahame-Smith has departed the directorial duties on the upcoming Flash movie that will star Ezra Miller over “creative differences.” The film will retain his script, and he is still attached to other projects at Warner Brothers, but he is definitely out of the DC Cinematic Universe for now.
Meanwhile Birth.Movies.Death is reporting that things are not going well on the production of the upcoming Justice League film.
Sources at WB tell me that this is just one part of what’s going on behind the scenes at the DC movieverse. Zack Snyder and Geoff Johns were taken aback at critical and audience reaction to Batman v Superman, I’m told, and WB execs have found themselves at odds with Snyder over his vision for Justice League and the DC movieverse going forward. Of course Justice League was scheduled to start shooting mere days after BvS was released, which meant WB couldn’t take any definitive action – like removing Snyder or delaying the movie to make changes – without poisoning the box office for BvS. The result? Lots of fights between Snyder and the WB execs, and lots of pressure from Burbank on Snyder, who is shooting in London.
In short, Warner Brothers may be learning the hard way that it was a bad idea to rush this universe into existence. The same report indicates that James Wan may be looking into departing directorial duties on Aquaman.
While the only confirmed story is Grahame-Smith departing, it does sound like there are issues over at Warner Brothers trying to get this universe off the ground. If I was to be blunt – which I usually am – why is this surprising to anyone? Man of Steel was not good and was so devisive that portions of Batman v Superman had to be dedicated to addressing the issues from that film. You then had an overly bloated script with a weak premise and unsatisfying resolution and you expect it to hold up an entire film universe. Snyder has his blame to carry in all of this, but it ultimately lands on the WB for being so eager to play catch up with Marvel that it thought just throwing money at the issues would fix all of it.
The studio has left itself no time for course corrections along the way. You have to remember that two more films – Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman – are already in post production and Justice League is currently shooting. This was the height of hubris, and there is just really nothing they do at this point other than make the lives of those working on these films a living hell to try to fix it.
Expect more bad news to come out of this as time goes on, but I will be shocked if we don’t start seeing some release date shifts in the not too distant future.