Warner Bros. has been trying to bring The Flash to the big screen for quite a few years. After countless delays and personnel changes, the movie seemed to finally be on track with trusted hit-maker Andy Muschietti at the helm. The studio even managed to convince Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton to suit up as their respective Dark Knights. Unfortunately, the project now appears to be in more trouble thanks to lead star Ezra Miller’s off-screen issues.
Although The Flash is only set to hit theaters in June 2023, it has officially become Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s first movie crisis. The escalating coverage of incidents involving Ezra Miller is something the studio can no longer ignore. They were arrested twice in Hawaii for disorderly conduct and second-degree assault, accused of “physically and emotionally abusing” an 18-year-old named Gibson, and made themselves unavailable so court officials couldn’t serve them with a restraining order.
Finally, a second restraining order was taken against Ezra Miller to protect another teenager after they allegedly got agitated about the origins of the game Parcheesi. Given the shocking amount of bad press, the studio that has already invested $200 million on the superhero movie is wondering what to do next. “There is no winning in this for Warner Bros,” a source at the studio told Deadline. “The hope is that the scandal will remain at a low level before the movie is released, and hope for the best to turn out.”
While the movie, which wrapped production in October 2021, awaits its big-screen debut, Warner Bros isn’t just keeping their fingers crossed and hoping the crisis goes away. CEO and President of the newly merged Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav has tried to get help for Ezra Miller. But they have not been receptive to these attempts. Earlier this week Miller deleted their Instagram account, after uploading strange images including one that read, “You cannot touch me, I am in another universe,” Vanity Fair reports.
As the troubling headlines continue to accumulate, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that Warner Bros cannot send Ezra Miller on a press tour to promote The Flash. As such, Zaslav has several choices and will be making one very soon, according to Deadline. The studio can cut down on the promotional plans for the 2023 film. Or it can be relegated to a streaming release on HBO Max. Alternatively, Warner Bros can still lean toward making the movie a hit and drop Miller as Scarlett Speedster in any future projects.
The studio was forced to make a similar call when it dropped Johnny Depp from the Grindelwald character in the Fantastic Beasts franchise and replaced him with Mads Mikkelsen. While no definitive action has been put in place yet, the Ezra Miller controversy has already caused the corporate synergy to hit a few speed bumps. DC Comics is set to release The Fastest Man Alive series in September, meant as a run-up to the movie’s release. The cover, illustrated by the Muschetti, features the actor’s likeness getting into The Flash costume, IGN reports. In hindsight, the move may not have been such a good idea.