Earlier this week, I posted a segment from an interview with writer Marc Guggenheim who, along with scripting creator-owned comics "Halcyon" and "Resurrection," also served as co-writer on the upcoming live-action "Green Lantern" movie. Along with discussing Hal Jordan's big-screen debut (and a few DC characters who won't be joining him), we also had a brief chat about another DC character he's helping to bring to theaters: Barry Allen, the scarlet speedster better known as The Flash.
Currently putting the finishing touches on a "Flash" script with co-writers Michael Green and Greg Berlanti, Guggenheim compared their take on the classic DC character to dark, procedural dramas like "Seven" or "Silence of the Lambs," but with superhero elements.
Along with expertly dodging my questions about the presence of Flash's well-known rogues gallery, the writer offered up some interesting thoughts on why Barry Allen was the Flash to focus on in the film (as opposed to Jay Garrick, Wally West, etc).
MTV NEWS: I'm a big fan of the Wally West iteration of The Flash, so I have to ask: What goes into the decision when you're choosing which version of a popular character to focus on? We have the Hal Jordan version of Green Lantern and now the Barry Allen version of The Flash, so how did you decide that Barry Allen is the one to go with for the "Flash" movie?
MARC GUGGENHEIM: It's very similar for the whole reason we went with Hal for the Green Lantern. That’s the Silver Age character. That’s the character people grew up on. That’s the name first associated with that character. So part of it is honoring the legacy aspect, and the other aspect is just practical — you can go forward, but you can’t really go backward. You can’t start with Kyle Rayner, and then do a movie with Hal Jordan.
Just from a practical standpoint, I feel it's better to go in a linear, generational fashion than it is to double back — which is not to say that Kyle and Wally aren’t phenomenal versions of the character. They are, and they are near and dear to my heart. We just have to get up to them.
MTV: You've said before that there's going to be a mix of procedural crime story and superhero stuff in the "Flash" movie. How are you finding a balance between the criminal investigation part of Barry’s history and the superhero thing?
GUGGENHEIM: Not to keep drawing comparisons from "Green Lantern," but it's hard not to... With "Green Lantern," what we were doing was combining a space opera with a superhero movie. Here, we’re combining a crime thriller with a superhero movie. There's also an element of a sports movie, because the character is so physical and I feel like there is an athleticism to his power that other superheroes don’t have. I think that's pretty cool.
When Barry Allen was the character, he was a science policeman. We’re obviously updating that and now he’s in forensics and CSI. The tone is sort of darker, and more like "Seven" and "Silence of the Lambs" in that mysterious and noir-ish way, which is also working in conjunction with the superhero elements. It's a lot of fun. I think the character is made for a story and a screenplay that gives you more than the sum of its parts.
MTV: I’m sure you can’t give away who the villain is or key things here, but can you tell us who it won’t be? Is Gorilla Grodd out of the mix? Is there anything you can tell us about Flash's rogues gallery and how it's represented in the script?
GUGGENHEIM: [Laughs] Flash has a spectacular rogues gallery. You know it’s funny, because we’ve been trying to come up with a good joke about the cast. Let's see... You won’t see Chunk in it. We’re saving Chunk for the sequel. [Laughs]
MTV: But you can't give me anything on the rogues, huh? What about Rainbow Raider? Fans are dying to see Roy G. Bivolo make his big-screen debut...
GUGGENHEIM: [Laughs] You know, Warner Bros. has one of my kids hostage and they’ll kill her if…
MTV: Okay, okay... I don't want to endanger anyone. Thanks for the update, Marc!
What do you think about their take on the "Flash" movie? Does it bode well for the scarlet speedster? Let us know in the comment section or on Twitter! You can also follow me, Splash Page editor Rick Marshall, on Twitter!