EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Marc Guggenheim Talks Co-Writing The Flash Movie
In this exclusive interview, Marc Guggenheim, creative consultant for No Ordinary Family and co-writer of the Green Lantern feature film, talks about the approach he and collaborators Greg Berlanti and Michael Green are taking on the movie version of The Flash.
Interview conducted by and © Edward Gross
SCIFI MEDIA ZONE: For starters, what’s the appeal of the character of Barry Allen and the Flash for you?
MARC GUGGENHEIM: The Flash -- to me -- is about pure expression. Flash is untethered to the limitations of time and space. He can be everywhere at once and with that, I think, comes a certain freedom. Who hasn't wanted to be faster? To get some place quicker? And because Flash does so by means of running -- instead of, say, flying or teleporting -- there's an athleticism to the wish fulfillment that other super-heroes don't have. When Greg [Berlanti], Michael [Green] and I are talking about the character, we speak a lot in athletic terms. There's a component of this movie that's a lot like a sports movie, at least in terms of the language and physicality and mental toughness in what the Flash goes through.
SCIFI MEDIA ZONE: The general audience familiar with the Flash may look at him as the superhero who runs really fans and not see much beyond that. For those people, how would you define the complexities of this character?
MARC GUGGENHEIM: Well, it's all about who the character — in this case, Barry Allen — is before he gets his powers. We spent a lot of time talking about who Barry is and, specifically, why he's the kind of guy we want to see get these powers bestowed on him. What's missing in his life? What problems does he have? What personal foibles? And how are all those things impacted by the ability to run fast? I don't want to spoil the answers that we came up with, but this was very much our approach: You make running fast interesting by creating a character who is challenged and fulfilled by getting the ability to run fast.
SCIFI MEDIA ZONE: In my mind, Flash is in the same position Iron Man was as far as mainstream audiences: a known quantity by name, but pretty much an empty canvas beyond that. Any validity in that thought?
MARC GUGGENHEIM: I don't think any super-hero is an "empty canvass," per se, because even if the mainstream audience doesn't know about him or her, the comic book community does and you always want to honor what they know and love about the character. In the case of the older, Silver Age characters, the trick is to dramatize their backstories in a way that feels modern and fresh. But that's the fun as well. You always want to be informed by the source material and draw inspiration from it. For example, we always try to avoid creating a new character when it's possible to draw from the cast established by the comic.
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