The Flash hasn’t had a very good run. Warner Bros has lost two directors on the film already, and have had their release date delayed by nearly two years from 2018 to 2020. That isn’t good, but the shortlist for this troubled production has emerged and maybe, this time, it’ll work out okay. The three names on the list, according to The Hollywood Reporter, are Sam Rami, Matthew Vaughn, and Robert Zenckis.
Raimi seems like a fairly obvious choice. His Spider-Man movies were arguably part of the “Blade X-Men Spider-Man” one-two-three punch that kicked off the modern superhero boom. The reason those movies worked is that they remained true to their source material and knew how to have a good time. Raimi has an eye for monsters as well, and a lot of the meta-humans that Flash tends to fight would look amazing under Raimi’s direction. Can you imagine what Raimi’s version of King Shark would look like? Sounds good to us, but Raimi also knows what it’s like to get burned by a studio. DC/WB is becoming notorious for micromanaging their projects and Raimi might not want another Spider-Man 3 scenario happening again.
This isn’t the first time Vaughn’s name has come up in reference to DC movies. He was rumored on the shortlist for Man of Steel 2 though that ended up not being true. Vaughn is the reason the X-Men are back in popular culture with his fantastically underrated X-Men: First Class. That was a rushed production that was mostly made with the intent of keeping the rights to the mutants over at 20th Century Fox, and Vaughn made a genuinely good movie out of rather terrible circumstances. Kingsman: The Secret Service did very well and has a sequel coming out in September so we know Vaughn knows how to make a production with a reasonable budget. That being said Vaughn seems to have very unique visions for the movies he’s going into and perhaps he won’t be too keen on taking on a studio that won’t give him the type of freedom he has enjoyed over at Fox.
Zemeckis is the rumored frontrunner and an academy award winning director. He is the type of director that could bring a level of prestige to the DCEU that it hasn’t seen before. Zemeckis has proven that he knows how to handle genre movies that focus on creating worlds and fantastic characters. He has also proven to have the type of humor that would be good for a character hat is often seen as rather funny and light compared to the rest of the DCEU. However, Zemeckis is working on another project with Steve Carell and considering the delays that could be a deal breaker. However, according to the THR, DC/WB might be willing to wait for Zemeckis to finish his own project before bringing him on to do The Flash.
There is no doubt that these are three big names that all come with their pros and cons. There is still plenty of time to before the movie comes out, provided they do decide on a 2020 release date, to get the right director and re-write the script.