John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein were at one point meant to be the co-directors of The Flash but left due to creative differences they explain…
About two cycles ago and several reshuffles and a merger or two ago, this writer has covered the development of The Flash movie ever since the working title for the Warner Bros. motion picture starring Ezra Miller was dubbed “Flashpoint” after the 2011 DC Comics crossover storyline by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert that is inspired by never stuck.
Back then, directors of the films Game Night and Vacation, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein signed on to do the Miller-headlined project back in January 2018. This was not long after Walter Hamada was brought on board to lead the now face-lifted DC Films (currently DC Studios). In an article with Variety, Goldstein and Daley share the reason why they joined the multitude and scriptwriters and filmmakers to exit the project.
It’s understandable from this interview that Daley and Goldstein were looking to direct a smaller and self-contained project than as Daley called, “this mounting sense of fatigue” usually found in doomsday-level stakes that are part of the tropes of superhero cinema. He said:
"“We pitched this idea of a ground-level superhero where it isn’t entirely end-of-the-world stakes. He’s just learning his powers and is also somewhat dysfunctional with his life. The more imperfect we can make a superhero, the better because that’s the inherent challenge: How do you give imperfection to someone that is, you know, physically perfect?”"
Goldstein discussed that he and Daley meet up with Miller over dinner before development or [re-development] began on the script. He said of the actor, “They were intense and bright” and went on to say, “Later, it became clear that they didn’t want to quite do the same thing as we did.”
Before Andy Muschietti, Christina Hodson, and Barbara Muschietti ultimately became the creative team to take on the project. Miller notably wrote a competing script with DC custodian Grant Morrison, which the studio passed on. The writing and filmmaking duo went on to do Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. Daley and Goldstein shared about moving on:
"“It was a number of creative differences that caused us at a certain point to decide that it was time to go. If we feel like the powers-that-be aren’t excited about making the same movie as we are, we’re not going to win that battle. And so it’s better to cut your losses and get out of there.”"
The Flash stars Ezra Miller, Ben Affleck, Michael Keaton, Ron Livingston, Kiersey Clemons, Maribel Verdú, Sasha Calle, Michael Shannon, Antje Traue, and Rudy Mancuso.
Andy Muschietti is directing from a screenplay by Christina Hodson based on a screen story by John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein, and Joby Harold. Barbara Muschietti and Michael Disco are producing. Marianne Jenkins serves as an executive producer.
The high-speed multiversal superhero film is being produced by The Disco Factory in association with Double Dream and DC Studios. Warner Bros. Pictures is distributing.
The Flash is set to exit the Speed Force and hit theaters on June 16, 2023.
What are your thoughts on what John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein stated about their experience working on The Flash before they, Ezra Miller, and the studio went their separate ways? Sound off in the comments!