The Flash Will Be a New Challenge for Phil Lord and Chris Miller

By  · Published on April 10th, 2015

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

You may have heard the rumor a few days ago that Warner Bros. wanted Phil Lord and Chris Miller for their DC Universe superhero movie The Flash. Of course they wanted the duo, who have had amazing success with pop culture properties from Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs to 21 Jump Street to The LEGO Movie. Doesn’t every franchise producer want these guys? But this particular studio is already familiar and happy with Lord and Miller through the LEGO Movie movies, and vice versa. They even employed a minifig of The Flash in The LEGO Movie. Obviously they’re perfect for this installment of the Justice League mega-franchise, right?

Well, it is a different sort of project for the duo and therefore a new challenge. When this was just a rumor, as opposed to now confirmed by Deadline that Lord and Miller are working on a treatment for the comic book adaptation, I was hesitant to believe it. So far the guys have worked with well-established properties, whether they be a classic children’s book or beloved TV series or iconic toy brand, but in each instance they’ve been able to put their full creativity into the endeavor and make it their own. Even with Cloudy they strayed pretty far from the source material. But The Flash is part of a machine that’s already running.

When it arrives as scheduled on March 23, 2018, The Flash will be the sixth installment in the DC Cinematic Universe series, following Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman and Justice League Part One. And there’s already an actor in place to play the character, Ezra Miller. How much control and creative freedom will Lord and Miller have? And with word in the past that Warner Bros. and DC are looking for a darker franchise than the Marvel movies, how much of their style of comedy and fun is even of interest for the producers?

It’s not a bad thing they’re on board the DCCU for the project – in fact, I think the challenge could result in another unexpected fresh direction for the duo. Especially if they end up directing The Flash, as well. This could be dark and still be a bit of a tonal shift from the other Justice League movies, and maybe something wildly original is what the studios want given that fans already have a TV incarnation of the character that they enjoy. One thing’s for sure, the DC movies just got a little more interesting.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.