Seth Grahame-Smith, who will serve as showrunner on the live-action Green Lantern show ordered to series at HBO Max, was once tapped by Warner Bros. to direct long-stalled DCEU movie The Flash. Like the ring-wielding and super-speedster superheroes who are frequently paired together in the DC comic books, the histories of the Green Lantern and Flash projects intertwine: producer Greg Berlanti and executive producer Marc Guggenheim were attached to a version of the Flash movie in 2010. In June of that year, Warner Bros. hired Berlanti, Guggenheim, and Michael Green, screenwriters of the Green Lantern feature film starring Ryan Reynolds, to develop Green Lantern 2 and The Flash.
Neither project moved forward. Green Lantern lacked willpower, bombing at the box office in the summer of 2011, and the embryonic version of The Flash languished in development hell for years. It wasn’t until 2014, when Ezra Miller won the role of scarlet speedster Barry Allen, that Flash found new life with a 2018 release date.
That development came after The CW launched The Flash television show, starring Grant Gustin and produced by Berlanti, in October of that year. WB went on to name 10 DC movies that same month, including Zack Snyder’s Justice League Part Two (2019), Cyborg (2020), and a rebooted Green Lantern Corps (2020).
One year later, Grahame-Smith, the writer behind Dark Shadows and Abraham Lincon: Vampire Hunter, was hired to make his feature directorial debut with the Miller-starring Flash movie. Grahame-Smith boarded the project as writer-director at a time when it was working from a treatment penned by The LEGO Movie duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who opted to direct Disney’s Solo: A Star Wars Story instead.
At the time dated March 3, 2018, Flash suffered a setback when Grahame-Smith exited the project over “creative differences” in April 2016. That blow came just one month after Miller made his first appearance — in the form of a cameo — in Snyder’s Justice League precursor Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Months later, Warners found their replacement in Dope director Rick Famuyiwa. He, too, would go on to depart Flash over creative differences. Following another change of hands, this time to Game Night filmmakers Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, Flash found its footing with IT director Andy Muschietti in late 2019.
The Flashpoint-inspired film will now open November 4, 2022, with both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck’s Batman in tow.
Grahame-Smith’s DC pedigree includes a co-writer credit on The LEGO Batman Movie. On the 10-episode Green Lantern series spanning 10 hours, Grahame-Smith is the co-writer and executive producer. Berlanti Productions produces in association with Warner Bros. Television.
Described as a “bold adaptation of the iconic comic book franchise, a saga spanning decades and galaxies,” HBO Max’s streaming Green Lantern series features a multitude of Lanterns, including Guy Gardner, Jessica Cruz, Simon Baz, and Alan Scott.
Green Lantern does not have a release date. Other DC-inspired productions headed to HBO Max include James Gunn’s Peacemaker series, starring John Cena and spinning out of The Suicide Squad, and the Gotham City Police Department-focused series tying into the Matt Reeves-directed The Batman.