The Fate of Warner Bros.’ The flash is on the line as actor Ezra Miller continues to make headlines for their controversial behavior and several arrests. An outright suspension of the film is not off the table, although it would be a last resort.
Warners – and its new parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery – had hoped to avoid the line of fire, as the big budget DC superhero tent pole won’t hit theaters until June 23, 2023. But the pressure builds by the day.
On Monday, the actor was charged with a felony burglary, and on Wednesday, rolling stone reported that the Vermont Children’s Department is trying to locate a mother and three children who allegedly lived on Miller’s farm in the state.
A source with knowledge of the situation says the studio appears to be preparing for three possible scenarios.
First, Warners has received indications that 29-year-old Miller, whose mother has accompanied the actor for the past few days, will seek professional help after he returns home to their Vermont ranch after his absence. If that help happens, Miller, who uses their/her pronouns, could at some point give an interview to explain their erratic behavior over the past few years. The actor would then be able to squeeze limited for The flashand the film was set to open in theaters as scheduled.
The second screenplay: Even if Miller doesn’t seek help, Warners can still release the film. But don’t expect Miller to play a prominent role in marketing and publicity. Miller would also not be The Flash in the future, as the role would be recast in future projects.
The third case: things go from bad to worse, and the situation with Miller worsens. This would cause Warners to kill the film outright, as it couldn’t be re-shot with another actor. Miller plays multiple characters and appears in almost every scene. Scraping a $200 million movie would be an unprecedented move.
All of this comes amid change at Warners. Earlier this month, David Zaslav, the new CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, Hollywood when putting away batgirl, a $90 million film made for HBO Max. unlike The flash, there was no individual controversy; instead, Zaslav chose to do a tax write-off on the project and turn away from making streaming movies for DC.
Miller was cast as The Flash in 2014, a solo the same year The flash movie announced. The development process has been long, with multiple directors coming and going over the years until It filmmaker Andy Muschietti has finally gotten the project off the ground. The film also stars Michael Keaton, as Batman for the first time in 30 years, and Ben Affleck as another version of Batman.
Miller started their time as The Flash with cameos in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and suicide squadboth released in 2016, before starring in Justice League a year later.
The flash is a key film for Warners as it is expected to chart a new course for the DC Extended Universe. The film has tested well, even as Miller’s legal troubles continue to mount.
Earlier this week, word broke that they have been charged with felony burglary for stealing bottles of alcohol from a Vermont home. According to an police report Posted online, the Vermont State Police Department was notified May 1 of a possible break-in when residents on County Road in Stamford, Vermont, reported that “several bottles of alcohol were taken from the home while the homeowners were not present.” After an investigation that involved taking statements and watching surveillance videos, police found a possible reason to charge Miller.
The latest indictment comes after Miller was arrested in Hawaii in April and was arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault, according to the Hawaii Police Department. The incident reportedly took place when Miller was attending a meeting at a private residence and “became furious after being asked to leave and reportedly threw a chair and hit a 26-year-old woman on the forehead,” police said.
That came on the heels of an arrest in March on charges of disorderly conduct and harassment after an incident at a karaoke bar in Hilo, Hawaii.
At least one project has already distanced itself from Miller. On Tuesday, the Salvador Dali Biopic Daliland Miller released his press release in an announcement about his debut at the Toronto Film Festival. The actor plays a young version of the artist in the project, in which Ben Kingsley plays an older version.
Despite the arrests and headlines about Miller’s alleged behavior, Warner Bros. Discovery chief Zaslav said last week that the studio is committed to theatrical releases for a number of DC movies, including The flash.
‘We’ve seen them. We think they’re great, and we think we can make them even better,” Zaslav said of DC’s upcoming slate, including The flash.
CAA, which represents Miller, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.