Greg Berlanti, perhaps best known for his producing and writing work with DC TV shows such as The Flash and Supergirl, is going to be busy for some time. He is reportedly set to direct a film adaptation of the young adult novel, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, which is set for an early 2017 start date. Not only that, but Berlanti recently confirmed his involvement in the adaptation of the DC Comics character Booster Gold. And both these projects will likely be happening simultaneous to his existing responsibilities to the DC TV shows.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, which was released in 2015 and written by Becky Albertalli, is a novel about a high school student, Simon, whose sexual orientation is found out by a classmate who proceeds to blackmail Simon with the information. Simon must therefore consider the best way to come out about his sexuality, before he is forced out. The project is at Fox 2000, with a script being penned by writing duo Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker (writers of shows such as The Neighbours and Grandfathered. The film will be Berlanti’s first directorial role in film since 2010’s Life As We Know It, and his third overall. Berlanti’s directorial debut in 2000 was The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy, which focused on similar LGBT themes that Homo Sapiens Agenda will.
Berlanti’s second project, Booster Gold, will likely be a much larger scale production than Homo Sapiens Agenda, with it being a superhero project. He has considerable experience with DC Comics, given his role within the context of the TV shows. Berlanti serves as a producer on Arrow, where he also pens the story for several important episodes, including the opening episode and season finale of every season thus far. He carried over the same duties to The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, which all exist within the same fictional universe as Arrow. All four shows are produced under his ‘Berlanti Productions’ banner. Additionally, Berlanti was one of several writers on the 2011 Green Lantern adaptation, which was critically panned. Somewhat surprisingly, Berlanti recently spoke out about his Booster Gold project and stated that “As of right now we have no connective tissue to those worlds. It’d be a separate thing.”. Berlanti is, of course, referring to the fictional universe that the latest DC films occupy, the DC Extended Universe, including films such as Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. The fact that the film was originally conceived as a TV show could explain why Berlanti is developing it outside the DCEU as of right now. This does not mean that DC won’t request the film become a part of their large universe further down the line, but it is interesting nevertheless to hear that it is being developed as a standalone story. Berlanti is co-writing with Zack Stentz (X-Men: First Class), who worked with him previously on The Flash where he penned the Kevin Smith-directed episode, The Runaway Dinosaur. There has been no official word on it yet, but it is likely Berlanti would also direct Booster Gold.
With directing a novel adaptation, writing a comic book adaptation and managing four intertwining superhero TV shows, it’s hard to criticise Berlanti for a lack of ambition. A release date hasn’t been set for either Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda or Booster Gold, but with Homo Sapiens Agenda aiming for an early 2017 start it’s likely we will see it later that year, if not early 2018. Booster Gold is likely further off considering the size of the project and DC’s currently packed slate, but fans shouldn’t hold their breath as its unlikely we’ll see it until 2018 or beyond.
The Flash, where Greg Berlanti and Zack Stentz previously collaborated before Booster Gold, returns for its third season in the US on 4th October, with Stentz set to return to write the fifth episode.