Without a doubt we live in the age of the fanboy. Not only are we treated to some quality comic book films and blockbusters, but we live in a time where the geeks of yesterday are now the men on top — J.J. Abrams, Ryan Coogler, and Zack Snyder are all prime evidence of this. Though Kevin Smith wouldn’t necessarily pop up on the list of directors most likely to take on a Marvel or DC flick, this next piece of news may indicate the filmmaker’s desire to spread his wings into the comic book world.
Recently at the TV Critics Winter Association, Mark Pedowitz, president of the CW network, confirmed that writer/director/fanboy Kevin Smith would be directing an episode of “The Flash” this season (via Coming Soon).
I can hear the cries of support and skepticism in the comments already. After all, Smith is a very divisive director with a very specific fan base. As such, there are definitely two sides to this piece of news, and in all honesty, I find myself a bit on each side.
First off, I’ll say that I’m a huge fan of the “Flash” TV show. It’s fun, fast-paced, and I’ve grown quite attached to the characters. I’m also a pretty big fan of Kevin Smith’s work. Sure, I grew up watching his movies, but in more recent years, I’ve grown to appreciate his perspective on movies, comics, and pop culture. More than anything nowadays, Smith seems to live more as a fanboy correspondent of all things geeky. What’s more, is that he’s a geek with some real experience.
I’ll start by coming to Smith’s defense by saying that he has experience dealing with comic book IP in printed form (he has both a “Daredevil” and “Batman” run in print, among others), and he’s not the kind of guy to take something like a directing gig on “The Flash” lightly. He’s the kind of man who has a definite reverence to the source material, and as such will work to bring his best foot forward.
If you doubt the man’s devotion, just take a look at the video below of him watching last season’s “Flash” finale and sobbing:
Now for the other side of the argument. While his devotion is all well and good, Kevin Smith would be the first one to tell you that his reputation in filmmaking lies mostly in the strength of his writing, not so much his directing. In fact, from the stories Smith has told, he seems to have been given a few opportunities to take a more hands-on role in some comic book adaptations, but bowed out because he didn’t feel he was up to the task. The doubt makes sense. Take a look at most of his films, and it’s clear that their cinematic nature isn’t their defining feature. While some can argue that his visual style has grown in recent years (“Red State” is likely the director’s most visually dynamic film), some may still wonder if it’s enough.
Sure, the director may lack the flare of, say, Zack Snyder, but it would be a bit unfair to compare Smith to one of hollywood’s biggest directors. Plus, one other thing we have to keep in mind, is that this is TV, and in TV, the director’s job is to carry out the vision of the showrunners. As such, Smith will undoubtedly have all the support he needs to pump out a great episode, no matter its technical difficulties.
And let’s just go ahead and say the episode turns out badly (not that it would). Even if it doesn’t work, no TV show has ever died because of a single bad episode, so the risk for the series isn’t huge.
Honestly, the most exciting thing for me is what happens after. As a longtime Smith fan, I’ve always been a bit disappointed at the filmmaker’s tendency to stay within his comfort zone. Perhaps this will usher in the era of a Kevin Smith willing to take more visual risks in his films.
What do you think about Kevin Smith taking on an episode of “The Flash”? Good news, bad news, or does it really even matter? Let us know in the comments down below.
“The Flash” returns to the CW on January 19, 2016, and Smith’s episode is set to air somewhere in May.
SOURCE: Coming Soon