Why Ezra Miller won’t be replaced in DC’s “The Flash”

Warner Bros. has high hopes forSparkle. “

The upcoming comic book adventure, which completed production in 2021 and is set to debut in theaters in 2023, has been very well received in early test screenings, according to sources close to the film. Given DC . Movies“The inconsistent track record of achieving commercial successes, and the initial reception for ‘The Flash’ could be a fantastic movie that pleases audiences not only as a convenience, but a necessity for box office success.

And at a time when adaptations of superheroes were largely inhabited by live actors, Ezra Millerwho stars in “The Flash” as a non-binary and non-binary, feels like a refreshingly progressive option to headline a blockbuster summertime blockbuster for all viewers.

There’s only one problem: Miller doesn’t seem to shy away from trouble. In recent months, the actor has been Arrested or detained multiple times For harassment, disorderly conduct and traffic violation. At about the same time, two Hawaiians Submit a temporary restraining order against Miller after they broke into the couple’s bedroom and attempted to steal their passports and wallets. Although the order is limitation It was later dropped, their continued behavior led to serious unease about the people who were at risk, as well as Miller’s health and well-being. These incidents occurred nearly two years after footage of Miller surfaced Apparently he strangles a woman outside a bar in Iceland. It’s hardly the kind of attention the studio would want for a support column star with a $200 million budget.

These surprising events led to speculation about Warner Bros. Plans for the groundbreaking movie, which is the first solo movie for Barry Allen, aka Scarlet Speedster, aka Flash. Will the studio replace Miller with another actor? Would you give the movie away to HBO Max in an effort to reduce the potential negative hype that might accompany a theatrical release? Or will Warner Bros. keep. The movie is in theaters on June 23, 2023 as planned?

Barring unexpected developments, sources say, Warners is moving forward intent on giving the superhero movie the full blockbuster treatment. “The Flash” would cost a lot of money to scrap the project entirely, and would likely not generate the revenue needed to turn a profit without playing in theaters. For the third option to happen without triggering a major backlash, Miller would need to be on his best behavior. And that’s a big question, because so far Miller has faced controversy after controversy, leaving collaborators concerned about the actor’s well-being.

To make matters worse, news broke on Wednesday about veteran film directors Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdi. Replace Toby Emrich As Heads of Warner Bros. Group. Motion Picture Group. Although the quality of the comic book movie franchise has improved under DC President Walter Hamadeh, any leadership changes at one studio put the former regime’s film slate into oblivion. And with David Zaslov, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, with a tight grip on the company’s cost controls, the marketing spend for a title as big as “The Flash” remains a question.

“There are a myriad of directions Warner Bros. could go in,” says Jeff Bock, box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations. “Choosing the right person is critical to the capital’s future.”

Given the controversy surrounding Miller and not the movie itself, some DC fans have questioned whether Grant Gustin, who plays the main character in the CW’s ongoing and unrelated series “The Flash,” will be recast in the big screen version. It is a rare practice, and one that has been used sparingly in the past with Christopher Plummer (Replace Kevin Spacey) in “All the Money in the World” 2017, and Mads Mikkelsen (Take charge of Johnny Depp as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the 2022 movie Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore). However, in the case of “All the Money in the World”, Spacey only had a supporting part, and in “Fantastic Beasts 3” Depp shot only one sequence, so Mikkelsen did not need to repeat so many shots.

With The Flash, insiders say it wouldn’t be possible to replace Miller without reshooting the entire movie. They’re in just about every scene, and there isn’t enough digital technology to create that magic without going back to square one. And remodeling the entire movie isn’t a realistic proposition for any movie — let alone one that wrapped production months ago and already cost hundreds of millions.

In the past, actors who found themselves in hot water but were not scratched from the contact paper were already scratched It is effectively hidden On press tours in the hope that the audience will not notice their absence. Recently, Ansel Elgort, who played Tony in the remake of Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story”, took this path in the wake of allegation of sexual assault in 2020. Ditto Armie Hammer, who starred in Disney and the 20th century movie Death on the Nile, faced allegations of sexual assault after wrapping filming. For “West Side Story,” Elgort co-stars Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose, and Rita Moreno successfully directed the film’s press tour. With Death on the Nile, it was felt that Hammer (who didn’t do any lobbying for the heavy-duty movie) was not a household name for people to know about the allegations.

Sources close to “The Flash” believe Miller himself is under the radar, despite credits such as “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” movie quote, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”, “Justice League” and three Fantastic Beasts installments already. Miller’s series of arrests forced Warner Bros. to do so Reducing the actor’s participation In “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” which opened in theaters in April.

But similar to Hammer in Death on the Nile, Miller played one of several major characters in “Harry Potter,” which means promotional efforts haven’t landed squarely on their shoulders. The same cannot be said for “flash”. Sure, the movie also features big names like Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton. But the studio couldn’t effectively promote a huge, big-budget movie without the movie’s star.

However, analysts noted that with comic book heroes, the character himself is often a bigger star than the actor in a Lycra suit.

“The thing about superheroes is…it doesn’t really matter who’s under the mask,” Bock says. “You can plug in and play different actors in these roles.” Although Miller’s opinion of the character has appeared in several DC-mashups, such as “Justice League,” Bock argues that they are not “the face of The Flash yet.” In other words, “Ezra is not Robert Downey Jr. like Iron Man.”

Even before Miller made headlines for the wrong reasons, The Flash was plagued by a long pregnancy and numerous starts and stops. That time since Miller Made in 2014Several directors, including Seth Grahame-Smith and Rick Famuyiwa and the duo of John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, were attached and then left production due to creative differences. “It” filmmaker Andy Muschietti joined 2019 and completed the mission.

The headaches behind the scenes, as well as the pandemic, have resulted in many delays in the release date. But the studio can’t postpone The Flash indefinitely. The new calendar slot in mid-2023 should, in theory, give Warner Bros. enough time. To determine the best course of action.

The way the studio sees it, “The Flash” is more than just a superhero origin story. The film, which begins when Barry Allen travels back in time to prevent his mother’s murder, opens the DC multiverse, paving the way for Batman from alternate realities (such as Keaton and Affleck) to overlap with Miller’s hero Spandex. Just think of possible sequels, branches, and teams that could inspire.

“The Flash” also gives the Warners another viable contender on their mission to keep pace with Disney’s commercially unparalleled Marvel Cinematic Universe. The capital has several properties on schedule in 2022 and beyond, including “Shazam: Fury of the Gods,” “Aquaman 2,” and “DC League of Super-Pets.” But crossover events like “The Flash” are becoming particularly exciting for fans, particularly after 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was successfully shown to mainstream audiences in the multiverse concept — and massive ticket sales for 2021 “Spider-Man”: No Way Home” and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” for 2022 confirmed that moviegoers really, truly Like concept.

There’s a timeline in which Miller does, in fact, get their work together and “The Flash” can open up seamlessly while attracting critics and fans alike. Although Miller’s behavior may force Warners to make “The Flash” a one-off project, it’s not meant to be a one-off adventure. Despite all of that, Warner Bros. still remains. Enthusiastic about “The Flash,” believing the movie to be one of DC’s strongest theatrical efforts.

In the meantime, an actor tasked with bringing flash to life on the big screen may be threatening the future of the franchise and the studio’s willingness to work for Ezra Miller. But there is reason to believe that the Flash could continue to work, even if Miller had to hang up his shoes.