In San Diego, Comic-Con has concluded but the ramifications from the weekend are still being felt. Here are a few highlights.
The Flash: Flashpoint
During the Warner Bros. panel on Saturday, upcoming DC movies were listed, including The Flash: Flashpoint. Just that one word -- Flashpoint -- got fans excited, because the word has tremendous meaning in the DC comic book universe.
As Time explained: "Flashpoint isn't just a storyline about the Flash. It was an event that changed the entire DC universe across comic books. In the story, Barry Allen (a.k.a. The Flash) wakes up in an unrecognizable world. He doesn't have the power of super speed anymore, and the Justice League doesn't exist. Nobody seems to notice that the world has completely changed, except for Barry." The storyline was employed recently as the basis for the second and third seasons of TV's The Flash (above).
What does that mean for upcoming DC movies? "The new direction discards previous concepts considered for the Justice League spinoff," The Wrap reports, adding: "The extent to which the film will hold to the comics storyline is not known at this time."
Right now, Justice League and Aquaman are slotted for release ahead of The Flash and Shazam is now tipped to start production under the direction of David F. Sandberg (Annabelle: Creation) early next year. Since The Flash still, apparently, needs a new writer and director, it's not likely to start production any earlier than the middle of 2018.
We heard in March that Joss Whedon (Avengers: Age of Ultron, above) will be writing and directing a Batgirl movie for Warner Bros., then learned in May that he would be stepping in to complete Justice League in behalf of director Zack Snyder after he and his wife, producer Deborah Snyder, found it necessary to take an extended break to care for family matters.
It seemed obvious that Whedon wouldn't be able to return his attention to Batgirl until after the release of Justice League on November 17 and now that's been confirmed by Geoff Johns, co-head of DC Films. Johns told IGN (per Flickering Myth): "It’s going to be super exciting. He’s going to start that next year. And that’s just the start, we want to explore the Batman universe in a very big new way."
Matt Reeves will be writing a new script for The Batman and clearly that's got to come first, but the idea that Joss Whedon will be involved in expanding "the Batman universe" is surely exciting for DC fans. All we need now is patience.
Speaking of patience, Todd McFarlane, who created the Spawn comic book series in 1992, was not very pleased with the big-screen version that was made back in 1997 (above) and has been talking about making his own version for the past 18 months or so. Now it's finally, officially, on its way.
McFarlane will both write and direct the new movie, which is not yet titled, per The Wrap. Jason Blum's Blumhouse Productions, which has become known for successful genre movies such as Get Out, Split and The Purge series, will produce.
The original comic books established the central character as a U.S. Marine who is killed and then makes a deal with a demon lord to be transformed into an anti hero known as Spawn. It should be interesting to see if McFarlane sticks with an origin story, chooses to tell another one of the many stories that have been published in the comic books over the years, or comes up with another original story.
The Lego Ninjago Movie
A new trailer debuted over the weekend, displaying a similar look, feel and sense of humor as its predecessors The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie. This one follows a group of six young ninjas. By day, they attend high school; by night, they fight monsters and villains. The voice cast is led by Dave Franco, Michael Pena, Kumail Nanjiani, Justin Theroux, Zach Woods, Olivia Munn and Jackie Chan. It opens in theaters on September 22.