As Ezra Miller’s arrests and other headline-grabbing antics continue to dominate media coverage, the future of Warner Bros.’ The Flash remains uncertain. Putting the movie on indefinite hold is an option, albeit it should be used as such only as a last resort.
As its highly anticipated DC superhero tentpole isn’t set to hit theaters until June 23, 2023, Warners and its new parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, had intended to stay out of the firing line. However, the stress level continues to rise.
Miller was arrested for felony burglary on Monday, and on Wednesday, Rolling Stone reported that Vermont child services is looking for a mother and three children who had been living on the actor’s farm.
The 29-year-old Miller, who has been accompanied by his mother in recent days, has given Warners reason to believe he will seek professional care upon his return to their Vermont farm. Miller, who uses they/them pronouns, may give an interview in the future to explain their bizarre behavior during the past few years if they receive the assistance they need. The actor would be able to perform some light promotion for The Flash, and the film would be able to hit theaters on time.
Warners may still distribute the film even if Miller doesn’t ask for assistance. However, Miller will not be a central figure in promotional efforts. Miller also wouldn’t be The Flash moving forward because the character would be recast.
Third scenario: Miller’s situation deteriorates and becomes increasingly dire. It would be impossible to reshoot the film with a different actor, thus Warners would have no choice except to cancel production. Miller appears in nearly every scene as a number of different roles. It’s never been done before for a $200 million movie to be scrapped.
These developments occur during a time of transition at Warners. Hollywood was taken aback earlier this month when Warner Bros. Discovery’s new CEO, David Zaslav, decided to shelve Batgirl, a $90 million movie produced for HBO Max. When Zaslav decided to take a tax write-down on the project and shift his focus away from developing streaming films for DC, unlike The Flash, there was no individual controversy involved.
In 2014, the same year a stand-alone The Flash film was announced, Miller was cast in the title role. Multiple filmmakers came and went during the lengthy production process before It director Andy Muschietti ultimately got the ball rolling. Both Michael Keaton, reprising his role as Batman after 30 years, and Ben Affleck, playing an alternate take on the character, star in the picture.
Miller made their first appearances in the role of The Flash in the 2016 films Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, before being given a more significant part in the 2017 film Justice League.
Warner Bros. sees The Flash as pivotal because it will determine the future of the DCEU. Despite Miller’s mounting legal difficulties, the picture has been performing well in early screenings.
Reports of their felony burglary charges against them for the alleged theft of alcoholic beverages from a Vermont residence surfaced earlier this week. A burglary was reported on May 1 in Stamford, Vermont, when occupants on County Road said “many bottles of alcohol were taken from within the residence while the homeowners were not present,” according to an online police report. Police found sufficient evidence to charge Miller following an investigation that included gathering statements and analyzing security footage.
According to the Hawaii Island Police Department, Miller was previously arrested in April on accusations of second-degree assault. Apparently, Miller “got furious after being asked to leave and apparently flung a chair, striking a 26-year-old female in the forehead,” as reported by the police.
That happened after an altercation in a karaoke club in Hilo, Hawaii in March led to accusations of disorderly conduct and harassment.
On at least one project, Miller is no longer considered an integral part of the team. On Tuesday, the press statement announcing the world premiere of the Salvador Dali biopic Daliland at the Toronto Film Festival omitted Miller’s name. The project also stars Ben Kingsley as an older version of the artist, thus the actor portrays a younger version of him in the film.
Warner Bros. Discovery CEO Zaslav said last week that the studio is committed to theatrical releases for a number of DC pictures, including The Flash, despite the arrest and news about Miller’s alleged actions.
Indeed, “We’ve seen them. Zaslav has remarked that the next DC shows, including The Flash, are “terrific” and that “we can make them much better.”
Miller’s agency, CAA, did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
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