Just eight months after Seth-Grahame Smith departed Warner Bros. stand-alone Flash film, director Rick Famuyiwa is following suit.
Famuyiwa, best known for directing 2015’s Sundance hit, Dope, confirmed to Variety today that he had left the project. Famuyiwa cited differences in creative vision for the film between himself and the studio. The director said that when he came aboard the project earlier this year, he was excited to work with star Ezra Miller on a movie about one of his favorite superheroes and was upset that it didn’t work out the way he had hoped.
“I pitched a version of the film in line with my voice, humor, and heart,” Famuyiwa said. “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.”
When Smith left at the end of April, the writer cited similar reasons. The author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was slated to make his directorial debut with The Flash, but ended up exiting the project before pre-production got underway.
The fact that Famuyiwa is leaving this far into the game comes as a shock to those involved, according to Variety. The Flash is already in pre-production and it’s unknown if Famuyiwa’s sudden departure will push back the March 16, 2018 release date. The Flash is the second stand-alone superhero movie in the DC Cinematic Universe following the release of this year’s critically panned Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The Flash isn’t the only movie that’s faced challenging times with directors. Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman lost Michelle MacLaren before it began shooting back in 2015. MacLaren cited creative differences, much like Smith and Famuyiwa, and current director Patty Jenkins was brought on to replace her.
It’s not exclusive to Warner Bros. either. Marvel and Disney have seen their own share of problems with directors over the past few years. Ava DuVernay passed on Black Panther for the same reasons as MacLaren, Famuyiwa and Smith, as did Edgar Wright with Ant-Man. Just recently, Tim Miller abandoned Fox’s Deadpool sequel, also using creative differences as the main reason.