EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Marc Guggenheim Talks Co-Writing The Flash Movie

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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LEEE777 - 9/28/2010, 10:51 AM
I hope WB/DC actually make this now...

With all the talk an all, they better run if they don't! ; P

Awesome stuff @ ED!

Marvel Studios: PUNISHER - THE MOVIE!

Shaman - 9/28/2010, 11:01 AM
Matt Fox for Barry Allen/The Flash!!!

JoshWilding - 9/28/2010, 11:02 AM
Amazing work Ed - sounds like he knows what he's doing! :) The guy is a great writer and his recent work on Amazing Spider-Man was excellent!
Shaman - 9/28/2010, 11:08 AM
Gusto- I'll leave that to Schumaker, should they hire him for the suit design LMAO ;P
LEEE777 - 9/28/2010, 11:14 AM
I agree with @ SHAMAN!

MATTHEW FOX a must!!!
StrangerX - 9/28/2010, 11:14 AM
See now this is a movie that will do well with 3D.
SkylerMystwood - 9/28/2010, 11:19 AM
Yay! At least DC is staying true to the source material for Green Lantern and Flash. I just wish they would do the same thing for Wonder Woman.
Shaman - 9/28/2010, 11:26 AM
Since we're looking at LOST actors and given that the Green Arrow short was pretty spectacular...

Josh Holloway for Oliver Queen/Green Arrow!!!

Shaman - 9/28/2010, 11:30 AM
NO! I'm NOT darwing Hurley in a batsuit!!! :P

Grif- Well... they... could... maybe... redesign Flash's insignia... *hint, hint, wink, wink, first sketch above* ;P
Superman8 - 9/28/2010, 11:54 AM
flash can't carry a movie. sorry folks.
DurtyTalynt - 9/28/2010, 11:59 AM
Ryan Reynolds should of been Flash instead of Lantern. Oh well.
AngelAragiel - 9/28/2010, 12:07 PM
@Anil Rickly I hope you are right. A movie with Flash will be epic IMO. And of course he can carry a movie.
Bradley Cooper for Barry Allen.
thegreek - 9/28/2010, 12:15 PM
Com'on bring on the FLASH

I like the thought of Bradley Cooper for Flash and also my pick too

Colin Ferguson

Colin ferguson
Shaman - 9/28/2010, 12:19 PM
Gusto- Hmmm... True! Less wind resistance, great thinking ;P

Superman8- Well i don't know where you were in 1990 but Flash carried an entire tv series and did it WELL! Why they cancelled it we'll never know but truth is, people LOVED that show! The people that watched it at least. A single feature film is not much of a stretch either. What makes Superman more worthy? The amount of powers he has over Flash? As if all Flash did was run really fast. The fact that he's an alien? A human being with powers is an incredibly popular concept outside of the comic book community as proved by many tv shows and films such as My Secret Identity, Heroes, Mutant X, Powder, Phenomenon, Carrie, X-Men, etc. And if we look at the other half of the character, he's a [frick]ing CSI!!! As if THAT show wasn't popular enough. Seriously dude, you gotta share what you're smoking with us!
Shaman - 9/28/2010, 12:48 PM
Stubby- At least he's got nice glutes! I mean, we're not talking about Hurley here LMAO ;P
Checkmate - 9/28/2010, 12:54 PM
Ryan McPartlin for Barry Allen!
Superman8 - 9/28/2010, 12:58 PM
@ gusto

its the good stuff.

but really, you really think a movie about a guy who runs fast will be good? c'mon man.
BarryKent - 9/28/2010, 1:04 PM
Ryan Mcpartlin for Barry Allen! or Jensen Ackles! Hey check out my fancast for The Man Of Steel! http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/AWESOME/news/?a=23188
Superman8 - 9/28/2010, 1:04 PM
i mean i know the character is more than that. ive read the comics, ive seen the show. i dont mean to come off as if im ignorant to the character.

im just saying in terms of audience. i really dont think people know anytging about flash other than he wears a red suit and runs really fast. i think by the time all these other CBMs come out and people see thor, and GL and cap, and Avengers, peoples expectations of heroes are goonna be sky high. theyre gonna say, "flash? whats he do? he runs fast? no magic ring? no magic hammer? ill pass."

i like the flash. i like all the flashes. i just dont think people will wanna see a movie about a guy who runs fast after seeing all the others.
fanboiii - 9/28/2010, 1:31 PM
"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. "

Brilliant. Focusing on the individuality of the character could be DC's strength. I hope the film lives up to his vision.
marvel72 - 9/28/2010, 1:38 PM
i can see this going down the road of deadpool,there is a script floating around but nothing seems to be happening.
Checkmate - 9/28/2010, 2:17 PM
Superman8@ That's why they need to make an astounding trailer to pull in a crowd!
Geeksiah - 9/28/2010, 2:49 PM
I want to kick this guy in the ass!

This is why DC is going to keep getting owned by Marvel!
Phinehas - 9/28/2010, 3:11 PM
Kinda troublesome how Guggenheim is trying to sort through Barry's personal dirty laundry instead of mentioning his good characteristics, such as his unwavering sense of ethics and morality.

Its only proper that Barry Allen gets priority treatment. Its like putting Dick Grayson in the Bat costume before Bruce Wayne. Imagine if 20 years had gone by with Grayson and they began shouting down the Wayne supporters. Its just wrong.

I always thought that Marvel's costume could afford some minor adjustments. If it were me, I'd make his costume a little more like the ancient Middle East crossed with a priestly appearance.
I'm not as concerned with upsetting too many fans because he just hasn't been as iconic as members of the JLA had been throughout a few generations.

HELL NO to the change of Flash's insignia!!! ;P

"Why they cancelled it we'll never know but truth is, people LOVED that show!"

That is when Gulf War I started and the constant news coverage swallowed it up. End of story. There's your reason.

"The problem with a Flash movie would be the villian."
I'd use all the Rogues as one antagonist for the first film.
Timerider84 - 9/28/2010, 3:33 PM
They should just pick somebody they like, make the suit for him, script the scene and shoot it. It can be an after the credits scene in Green Lantern, much like Iron Man was with Sam Jackson. They really need to start joining these films together, much like how they are doing The Avengers. It's really not that hard DC/WB.
One2three - 9/28/2010, 6:01 PM
Mathew Fox is a gereatric corpse, do they make high speed walkers! I propose RYAN PHILLIPPE as The Flash!
Durango95 - 9/28/2010, 6:14 PM
ryan gosling!
chickenmonkey707 - 9/28/2010, 6:22 PM
If done right, the Flash CAN carry his own movie! I can see where people are coming from saying otherwise, but I really believe it could be pulled off. Sure, GL has his magic ring, Thor has his magic hammer, but the Flash has super speed. He has a whole other set of obstacles to overcome, and no magic power or weapon to help him. Super speed is a tricky thing to tackle in live action, but it has been done before, and I think a Flash movie could be great. And if by the time it comes out people only want to see guys with magic weapons hitting things then the human race is getting dumber.
groundrunner15 - 9/28/2010, 7:14 PM
I have a lot of faith in Guggenheim. He can write The Flash, he's done it before (granted it was in the unfortunate Fastest Man Alive run) but when DC brought him in, he did a very good job, I thought. I would've liked to see where he went with it.
I'm ecstatic to see that they seem to be making actual progress on The Flash movie, took 'em long enough.
Superman8 - 9/28/2010, 8:01 PM
@ chickenmonkey

"but the Flash has super speed. He has a whole other set of obstacles to overcome,"

like what? pot holes? stop signs? running fast isn't really action. its running. ever watch a track meet? no. because its not exciting to see someone run.
SymbioteJoker - 9/28/2010, 8:43 PM
The Flash's powers are awesome if done in the right way. Flash has been creative before. I liked the JLU portayal (yes i know it was wally but still) but yeah i could see a problem with choosing a villain. Mirror Master? ah who knows, they could surprise us
Tomdubbayou - 9/28/2010, 11:09 PM
Matt fox is absolutely the perfect call. He could make it such a darker and more relatable movie...
Angelus - 9/29/2010, 2:03 AM

groundrunner15 - 9/29/2010, 3:40 AM
@superman8 Just curious, what was the last Flash comic you actually read?
Shaman - 9/29/2010, 4:53 AM
Phinehas- HAHAHA!!!! Yeah i KNEW "someone" would object LMAO ;P

Oh and thanks for letting me know why the show was cancelled. I had litterally no idea since i was nine at the time and i don't follow the news and... "history" LOL ;)
jessecuster75 - 9/29/2010, 6:36 AM
plus if they start with barry by the 3rd movie they can kill him off to have wally pick up the mantle
vindicator919 - 9/29/2010, 11:00 AM
thegreek - 9/29/2010, 6:07 PM
I don't care who the villian will be Flash is the MAN and the movie will be sick or did everyone forget the trailer ... which got people going crazy ...

thegreek - 9/29/2010, 6:08 PM
It's only a trailer of a movie that never came around ... and yet people were like HELL YEAH
Phinehas - 9/29/2010, 8:08 PM

I don't mind being the sole objector of this thread. Save Superman8 and his obvious lack of imagination, of course.
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