Oscar producers hire ‘The Flash’ producer, ‘Dark Shadows’ writer for telecast

In 2009, the Internet went crazy over a rumor that Neil Patrick Harris would play The Flash in a big screen “Justice League” movie. That didn”t happen – Ezra Miller got the job and Harris settled with voicing the character in a direct-to-dvd animated film. But now it”s looking like “Gone Girl” costar could finally get a superheroic boost from the team behind CW”s “The Flash.” They”ll be feeding Harris his lines when he takes on hosting duties for the 87th Academy Awards.

Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced that writer, producer and director Greg Berlanti joins the team as head writer for his first Oscars telecast. The name should be familiar to anyone absorbed in comic book movie/TV sagas; Berlanti”s writing credits include the television series “The Flash,” “Arrow,” “Everwood” and “Dawson”s Creek,” and the feature films “Wrath of the Titans” and “Green Lantern.” In 2010, he directed the romantic dramedy “Life as We Know It” starring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel. 

Joining Berlanti on staff are “Green Lantern” and “Everwood” co-writer Michael Green, “The Flash” and “Arrow” writer Andrew Kreisberg, and Seth Grahame-Smith, writer of “Dark Shadows,” “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” and author of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” 

The Comic-Con-friendly writing line-up is a noticable left turn for Zadan and Meron, seasoned stage veterans who seem perfectly in tune with Harris” song-and-dance routine. Berlanti and his team are genre mavens, giving iconic heroes and/or dusty properties a 21st century jolt. Are Zadan and Meron hiring CW”s reigning champion to finally extend a hand to the millenial audience? Or are we about to see a a telecast that bows down at the superhero movie alter? Since the Warner Bros and Marvel Cinematic Universes won”t be winning Oscars anytime soon, maybe the trick is paying tribute to them with interstitial segments. 

Returning to direct the telecast is Hamish Hamilton, who made his Oscar debut with the 82nd Academy Awards telecast in 2010 and has since directed everything from 2014 Super Bowl halftime show to the opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics. Tony-winning production designer Derek McLane and Choreographer Rob Ashford return to work with Zadan and Meron after collaborating on previous telecasts and “The Sound of Music Live!.”

Additional production players include Tony-winning musical director Stephen Oremus (“Avenue Q,” “Wicked,” “The Book of Mormon”), Costume designer Julie Weiss, winner of the 2011 Costume Designers Guild Career Achievement in Film and Television Award, Talent producer Taryn Hurd, supervising producer Michael Seligman, co-producer Lee Lodge and lighting designer Robert Dickinson.

The 87th Oscars will be held on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015