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Current Status

Updated June 8, 2010: Greg Berlanti, Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim will write a treatment focusing on Barry Allen, based on Geoff Johns’ work on the character.


History

In December 2004, Warner Bros. officially announced that David S. Goyer (Blade, Batman Begins) would write and likely direct a Flash movie. By February 2007, Goyer had been replaced by Shawn Levy.

In October 2007 David Dobkin signed on as director. The film was being described as a spin-off of the upcoming Justice League movie. (Source: MTV blog, possible spoilers for the JLA movie.)

Reports in December 2007 indicate that Adam Brody will play Wally West in the Justice League film. This would position him to star in the Flash spinoff, as Dobkin has stated that Wally is the Flash in his movie. (His role has since been identified as Wally West, the Flash, and Barry Allen in different sources.)

Despite hiring Levy and then Dobkin, Warner Bros. did not intend to make the film a comedy. Levy said he was“aiming for a lighter movie than...Batman Begins and Superman Returns.” Dobkin has suggested the tagline, “You can’t outrun yourself.”

Following the success of The Dark Knight (summer 2008), Warner Bros. reexamined its DC movie strategy. Justice League was stalled, and WB planned to focus on individual characters first. They also intend to “go dark to the extent that the characters allow it.”

A few rumors popped up in early 2009. IESB reported that Dan Mazeau (Jonny Quest) was writing a new script for the film, and casting rumors placed Neil Patrick Harris and Scott Porter in the title role.

The first solid news in a year came in July 2009, when The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Warner Bros. had quietly hired Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison and Marv Wolfman as consultants for its DC movies. Geoff Johns has written a treatment for The Flash and will be a producer on the movie, and Dan Mazeau was confirmed to be writing a script from Johns’ treatment.

A year later, in June 2010, Warner Bros. hired Greg Berlanti, Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim to write a new treatment. They also confirmed that the movie will focus on Barry Allen, based on Geoff Johns’ work on the character.


Older Flash “Movies”

[DVD Box] Several episodes of the 1990 Flash TV series were repackaged as movies for the home video market, becoming The Flash, The Flash II: Revenge of the Trickster and The Flash III: Deadly Nightshade. (See the TV series page for more detail.)


Goyer’s Draft

The rest of this page deals with the film that Goyer would have made.

Which Flash?

Early reports suggested that it would focus on Jay Garrick, but others suggested it would be about Wally West. Blade: Trinity co-star Ryan Reynolds was rumored early on as a likely lead, and it has since been confirmed [archive.org] that Goyer would like to cast him in the title role. News in June 2005 has again indicated that the movie will focus on “aspiring athlete Jay Garrick,” [archive.org] but Goyer said in an interview that “both Barry Allen and Wally West [archive.org] will be in this movie.” By May 2006, the story was that it would involve Wally gaining his powers while touring Barry’s lab [archive.org].

Goyer himself has confirmed that the script featured Barry and Wally:

“I wanted to showcase the legacy aspect of the hero—as that was something that hadn’t been explored yet in film. Like Batman Begins, the script drew on some seminal comicbook runs (Mike Baron, Mark Waid, Geoff Johns).”

What kind of movie?

“It will be another origin story, yes. Well, yes and no,” Goyer ... said cryptically in an interview. “It’s going to be very different from any other superhero movie coming out or different from any you’ve ever seen.”
(Sci Fi Wire, June 7, 2005 [archive.org])
“We’re going to go into the ‘Speed Force’ and a lot of the cosmic aspects of the character from the more recent past,” Goyer says. “Trust me, we’re going to do a lot more than have the Flash run on water and create vortexes. I have a guy from M.I.T. helping me with all of this. We’re going to be playing with relativity, Doppler effects and all kinds of things like that. Audiences will be amazed.”
(New York Daily News, June 12, 2005 [archive.org])

Status

Goyer had finished the script by May 2006, and was revising it (Moviehole, May 4, 2006 [archive.org]).

In February 2007, Goyer announced that he was off the project:

I am sad to say that my version of The Flash is dead at WB. The God’s honest truth is that WB and myself simply couldn’t agree on what would make for a cool Flash film. I’m quite proud of the screenplay I turned it. I threw my heart into it and I genuinely think it would’ve been the basis of a ground-breaking film. But as of now, the studio is heading off in a completely different direction. I expect you’ll hear of some new developments on that front shortly.

No doubt he was referring to the Justice League news that began surfacing later that year.

Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.

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