ATTN: Warner Bros.: One fan's suggestions for The Flash film
I think Warner Brothers does itself a disservice by not making it a priority to put this great character on the Big Screen. The Fastest Man Alive should not be the SLOWEST developing property. Here are my personal views on The Flash and how he should be approached in film.
The Flash is one of my favorite characters. He has been my favorite since my earliest memories as a child watching the old CBS “The Flash” show in the early 90s. I absolutely love the volumes of Flash comics penned by Geoff Johns. I think Warner Brothers does itself a disservice by not making it a priority to put this great character on the Big Screen. The Fastest Man Alive should not be the Slowest Developing Property.
Below are my personal views on The Flash and how he should be approached in film. I’m going to try and avoid getting into story details. I want this article to focus more on tone, characters, setting, environment, etc. It is pure fantasy to believe anyone at Warner Bros. is going to read this but I’m writing this article as if Warner Bros. had asked me how to approach The Flash in film.
• The film does NOT need to be “dark” and “gritty”. It should be similar in tone to “The Rocketeer” and the Indiana Jones movies. It should be thrilling and exciting with elements of realism to keep the audience connected. It should have that Spielberg-esque American serial feel to it.
• Do NOT use the “New 52” universe as source material. Please focus on using the earlier story arcs within Geoff Johns’ writing (“Blood Will Run”/Vol. 1 to REBIRTH) as it more properly reflects the tone mentioned above.
• Remember that Keystone City & Central City are in the mid-west, not Chicago or New York. There should be farms on the out-skirts, small towns within Keystone City (almost a Smallville look) with Central City being a glorious (possibly futuristic) looking metropolis.
• Think of The Flash as the Sheriff of these cities. The citizens may not know his identity but they have come to accept him. They have come to love and respect him. And The Flash reciprocates that love and respect. He’s one of the few comic book characters that could walk up to a citizen and chat with them and it would be normal for the character.
• Now that you have that image of The Flash as a Sheriff, think of The Rogues as outlaws in a western (you can’t have that image of them in the “New 52” but with elemental weaponry this analogy works). The Rogues have a loose moral code and their chief rule is their loyalty to one another. They want to have their fun, pillage the “town”, and enjoy their spoils. Their criminal motivations do not necessarily have to be complex. Thinking of The Rogues as a band of outlaws also allows the film maker to use more of these characters in a single film because individual villains are seen as one entity (The Rogues) instead of separate.
• The action and adventure (which is fast paced and thrilling) should be balanced with quick-witted humor and moments of levity. Say what you will about Michael Bay’s Transformers films but there was a great balance of humor and thrilling action. Sure some of the humor was low brow and “stupid” but most of the humor kept the film flowing at a steady pace.
• Its okay to include elements of CSI within the film (Barry Allen is a police scientist after all) but these moments should not consume the scenes with Barry Allen out of costume. They should be applied sparingly.
• The Flash should use ALL of his powers (possibly discover new ones in later films). What I mean by this is that the audience doesn’t want to just see a guy running fast. Be creative with his abilities
• This doesn’t have to be an origin story. Batman ’89, X-Men, Blade, Incredible Hulk, and many other successful comic book movies were not origin stories. I think the “Let’s do an origin story” due to the popularity of Batman Begins (Wolverine, X-Men First Class, Ghost Rider, Green Lantern, etc.) has become an unnecessary film cliché and it has not always led to success (I’m looking at Wolverine, Ghost Rider, and Green Lantern).
• The most obvious suggestion: USE BARRY ALLEN AS THE FLASH. I know that I mentioned using Geoff John’s earlier graphic novels as inspiration and also that Wally West is the central protagonist of them but I believe that Barry Allen’s cinematic story can be adapted from elements, visuals, and story arcs that take place within those set of graphic novels.
• Which directors could best pull this off? J.J Abrams (my personal number one choice), Brad Bird, Michael Bay (can we at least agree that Dark of the Moon was better than Green Lantern? Hence my inclusion of him on this list.) , Michel Gondry, David Goyer (he needs to be involved somehow whether as director, producer, writer, etc.), Sam Raimi (his take on Spider-Man is the perfect balance I mentioned earlier and it’d be interesting to see him do a DC character), and Justin Lin.
• Lastly, FAN CAST: Ryan Gosling for Barry Allen/The Flash is my number one choice but I think there are several others who could do a nice job (Chris Pine or Taylor Kitsch would be nice). I’d love to see Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard, or Erica Durance as Iris West. Stephen Lang would make an excellent Jay Garrick. Dominic West would be an awesome Captain Cold, imo (I can also picture an older Cpt. Cold with Robert Knepper). I would die and go to heaven if Michael Fassbender played Hunter Zoloman/Zoom.
As usual sound off in the comments below. My comic book twitter handle is @OS_FlashREBORN
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