Variety has reported that Warner Bros. is moving ahead to give one of the latest films in the DC Extended Universe, The Flash, the full blockbuster treatment, despite controversies surrounding lead actor Ezra Miller.
In 2020, a video of Miller choking a woman outside of a bar in Iceland to the ground surfaced online and sparked major controversy about the actor’s off-screen behavior. Warner Bros. and DC played coy on the incident during 2020’s DC FanDome, but Miller was then embroiled in far bigger incidents earlier this year. For instance, Miller was arrested twice in Hawaii. On March 28th, they were arrested following a physical confrontation with customers after yelling obscenities at them at a karaoke bar. They were then charged with disorderly conduct and harassment.
On April 19, just a few days after Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore came out (which stars Miller as Credence Barebone/Aurelius Dumbledore), Miller was arrested again for second-degree assault, after throwing a chair at a woman, leaving her with a cut on her forehead. Two residents also filed a restraining order against Miller, who allegedly tried to break into their bedroom and steal their passports and wallets. The restraining order was eventually dropped, but they have added to Miller’s reputation of bad behavior that will now permeate their career.
However, since Andy Muschietti‘s The Flash cost too much money to make (with a budget of over $200 million), it is impossible to reshoot the movie without Miller (or replace them with another actor as Ridley Scott did with Christopher Plummer in All The Money in the World, Zack Snyder with Tig Notaro in Army of the Dead or Taika Waititi with Will Arnett in Next Goal Wins) since they are in almost every scene. Because of this, Warner Bros. is going full steam ahead at giving The Flash the blockbuster treatment the studio thinks it deserves, hoping it will not trigger backlash once the movie is close to release.
Warner Bros. was forced to downplay Miller’s involvement in Fantastic Beasts after their arrest in March, which was a movie already plagued with controversy surrounding J.K. Rowling and Johnny Depp, who was asked to resign from his role as Gellert Grindelwald after he lost a libel case against The Sun. Mads Mikkelsen eventually replaced him in the role.
There were rumors that Warner Bros. was planning to replace Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash, but it looks like this will not happen for now. Miller has been in the most titles of any actor in the DCEU so far, appearing in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Justice League, Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Peacemaker, and cameoed in Arrow‘s Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Four alongside a scene with Grant Gustin‘s Barry Allen, who is the Arrowverse version of The Flash. They are next set to appear in The Flash, alongside Michael Keaton, Ben Affleck, and Sasha Calle. It will release in theatres, as planned on June 23, 2023.