James Wan is currently enjoying the kind of thing that very few directors ever do in the business. He has mastered the horror genre, but has also been able to tackle massive blockbusters like Furious 7 and the upcoming Aquaman for Warner Bros. At this point, Wan basically gets to choose his projects, and as it turns out, he chose not to direct The Flash.
In a recent interview with Uproxx while promoting The Conjuring 2, the director revealed that Warner Bros. offered him a choice. When asked if there were other DC Comics movies on the table when he got the Aquaman job, he says that The Flash was also offered to him. Wan ultimately went with The King of Atlantis though, and here is why.
"...The thing that ultimately pushed me more towards Aquaman is I love the possibility of creating a whole new world. I've always wanted to do a world creation story and visually create this amazing, incredible, magical kingdom. And also, I love the fact that Aquaman is an underdog character. I love the fact that people like to make fun of him. [Laughs.] I feel the bar is a lot lower and I can have fun with him!"
Warner Bros. is very serious about their upcoming slate of DC Comics movies and the fact that they offered Wan the choice says a lot about the credibility he has earned as a filmmaker. Wan of course made The Conjuring for Warner Bros., which turned out to be a critical and financial success. He then left to do Furious 7 for Universal, which wound up grossing $1.5 billion worldwide. With that, Wan proved he could do the blockbuster thing and his good relationship with Warner Bros. probably helped to land him the opportunity to choose between two of the biggest superhero movies being made in the next handful of years.
The Flash is currently in a bit of an unsure spot after director Seth Grahame-Smith exited the project, not to mention the outcry from fans of the TV show who are upset that Ezra Miller is playing the character in the film and not Grant Gustin. Rick Famuyiwa has now taken on the role of direcor on the movie. Warner Bros. has been experiencing a lot of fallout since Batman V Superman was very poorly received and didn't meet the studio's lofty expectations at the box office. Once Smith left The Flash, there was speculation that Wan would exit Aquaman, but the director quickly took to social media to post a picture of himself in front of an Aquaman mural, and these new comments only further confirm that he isn't going anywhere.
Wan is currently in the planning phase for the Aquaman movie while Jason Momoa is off filming Justice League with Zack Snyder. In the meantime, he will be finishing up the press tour for The Conjuring 2 and then move right into doing press for Lights Out, which he was a producer on. The Flash is set for release on March 16, 2018 and Aquaman will hit theaters just a few months later on July 27.