One of the biggest stories in Hollywood this year has been the erratic and controversial behavior of actor Ezra Miller. And now, after Miller was arrested for the third time this year on Monday, this time for felony burglary, it’s clear that Warner Bros. has to make a definitive stance on the actor and his involvement in their upcoming DCEU blockbuster, “The Flash.”
But what’s Warner Bros. and their new parent company Warner Bros. Discovery to do, shelve a $200 million film? That may be in the cards, even though Miller’s the star of “The Flash,” playing multiple characters and being in nearly every scene. The movie’s release isn’t until June 23, 2023, so Warner Bros. has time to decide. But Miller’s behavior this year has only worsened, and now with a third arrest, the studio needs to take action.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that an insider source says Warner Bros. currently weighs three scenarios regarding Miller and “The Flash.” The first sees Miller seek professional help after they return home to Vermont. If treatment goes well for Miller, they’ll give an interview that explains their recent strange behavior, then they will also do limited press for “The Flash,” and the movie releases in theaters next summer as planned.
The second, slightly more severe scenario: Miller doesn’t seek treatment, but Warner Bros. still releases “The Flash.” Miller would have a minimal role in marketing for the film, maybe even none at all. He would also no longer be The Flash in future DCEU movies, with the part recast for future projects. Finally, the third possibility is that Miller’s behavior deteriorates even further, and Warner Bros. kills “The Flash” entirely. That means no extensive reshoots with a different actor in Miller’s role, just a big-budget movie getting shelved for good. Of course, in that scenario, Miller’s relationship with Warner Bros. would be permanently over.
How likely is that third option? Given all the recent changes at Warner Bros. thanks to the new Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, it’s more likely than most think. Zaslav stunned Hollywood and DCEU fans alike last week when he pulled the plug on “Batgirl,” a $90 million movie slated for an HBO Max release. He’s also shuffled around DCEU’s long-term plans to the ire of DC Films, with a slew of other projects in development getting canceled. So would Zaslav nix “The Flash,” another movie that’s more or less complete and ready for release? If Miller’s situation worsens, possibly, but Zaslav is also high on “The Flash” and the rest of DC’s upcoming slate. “We’ve seen them. We think they are terrific, and we think we can make them even better,” he said on an earnings call this week.
But even with Zaslav’s maverick movies recently as new CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, the future of “The Flash” ultimately hinges on Ezra Miller. Will the troubled star seek out professional help, or will their behavior decline even further? On Tuesday, the Salvador Dali biopic “Daliland” left Miller out of its press release in the film’s announcement for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Miller plays a young version of the surrealist artist in the upcoming movie. That’s one movie that’s distanced itself from Miller. Will Warner Bros. and “The Flash” be next? If Miller’s situation worsens, we unfortunately may have an answer to that question sooner than we’d like.