Warner Bros. can’t run from the problems surrounding The Flash forever! The studio is reportedly deciding right now what steps it will take.
As we’ve been reporting, star Ezra Miller (who uses they/them pronouns) has had several run-ins with the law over the past year amid a string of increasingly erratic behavior. Most recently, they were charged with a felony burglary for allegedly stealing bottles of alcohol from a Vermont home; meanwhile, Vermont’s child services department is reportedly trying to locate a mother and three children who had allegedly been staying at Miller’s farm.
It’s unfortunate timing for WB, as Ezra is headlining the latest big-budget DC superhero tentpole that’s scheduled to hit theaters on June 23, 2023.
So what’s a studio to do? Well, a source with knowledge of the situation told The Hollywood Reporter that Warner Bros. is mulling over three potential scenarios:
1. Ezra Explains Themself
Execs at the company have reportedly received word that the 29-year-old star, whose mother has been by their side over the past few days, will seek professional help after coming back to their Vermont farm.
If Ezra does seek treatment, they could give an interview before the film hits theaters explaining their controversial behavior. The actor would then likely do limited press for the superhero flick, and the movie would be released as scheduled. This is probably the ideal outcome for Warner, as well as DC Comics fans — who just lost a complete other movie when the completed $90 million Batgirl movie got shelved forever.
2. Ezra Who?
The second option is giving serious I-don’t-know-her energy. Warners would release the movie as planned, but Miller would play a minimal role in the marketing and publicity. Possibly none at all. They would also not play the Flash in future projects.
Cutting ties may be the only option afforded the studio by now. So many of these scandals have been racked up so far. However, WB might consider a “canceled” star to be too much of a liability that will implode the film, so… there’s the nuclear option…
3. Trash The Flash
The third option is probably a worst case scenario for WB. If the situation with Miller gets worse, the studio may scrap the movie altogether.
It sadly couldn’t be re-shot with a different actor, as Ezra plays multiple characters and is in practically every scene. This would be an unprecedented move, seeing as the film cost $200 million.
The stakes here are pretty high for WB, too, as The Flash is expected to chart a new course for the DC Extended Universe. The film also stars Michael Keaton, who will reprise his role as Batman for the first time in 30 years, as well as Ben Affleck, who plays a different version of the Caped Crusader. It’s really sounding like it was supposed to be their Spider-Man: No Way Home. And that REALLY worked out for Sony.
On the bright side for the company, they could potentially — thanks to the merger with Discovery — still have a window to get a tax break by canning the project forever. Again, that’s for worse for them than a hit movie and far, far worse for all the fans.
Which direction do U think Warner Bros. will go in, Perezious readers? Share your thoughts (below).
[Image via Warner Bros./MEGA/WENN]