Rick Famuyiwa/Flash
Rick Famuyiwa/Flash

In an unexpected move, Rick Famuyiwa has vacated the director’s chair for Warner Bros. “The Flash” superhero movie. Famuyiwa becomes the latest director to ditch the project; before he signed up for the job in June, Seth Grahame-Smith was attached to direct it, but would walk away from it due to what were report to be “creative differences” with the studio, and we assume DC Comics.

In a statement to Variety, Famuyiwa said the following: “When I was approached by Warner Bros and DC about the possibility of directing The Flash, I was excited about the opportunity to enter this amazing world of characters that I loved growing up, and still do to this day. I was also excited to work with Ezra Miller, who is a phenomenal young actor… I pitched a version of the film in line with my voice, humor, and heart. While it’s disappointing that we couldn’t come together creatively on the project, I remain grateful for the opportunity. I will continue to look for opportunities to tell stories that speak to a fresh generational, topical, and multicultural point of view. I wish Warner Brothers, DC, Jon Berg, Geoff Johns, and Ezra Miller all the best as they continue their journey into the speed force.”

It’s an unexpected move because it seemed like all was set to go, with a number of key casting announcements made over the summer, and a March 16, 2018 release date set.

Ezra Miller will star as the title character, and Famuyiwa’s “Dope” co-star Kiersey Clemons is the female lead as Iris West; a character that is currently being played by Candice Patton in the CW series based on the superhero.

Also announced, Cyborg, as played by Ray Fisher, is set to appear in “The Flash” as well.

Famuyiwa was to direct “The Flash” from a script penned by Seth Grahame-Smith, based on a treatment by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. Now that he’s out as well, the hunt begins for a new director, meaning it’s possible the film’s release date might be pushed back.

But 2 directors exiting the project over a period of about 8 months doesn’t inspire confidence in the project, from a fan’s POV. Also, even before Grahame-Smith became attached to direct, it’s a project that’s been in the works for sometime, having swapped directors at least twice over the years.

Too bad for Famuyiwa, especially at a time when discussions are plenty about filmmakers of color and women helming superhero franchises. I think many of us were looking forward to seeing what he’d do with the material.