Warner Bros. Discovery and subsidiary DC Studios, the creator of the DC Universe, is doubling down on its future release of The Flash (2023) despite the ongoing and unfolding Ezra Miller controversy.
Unlike its more streamlined cousin, Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, the DC Universe — formerly the DC Extended Universe — has been haphazard at best. In an attempt to mimic the MCU’s Avengers team-up and explore the crossover potential of the franchise, DC Studios prematurely released Justice League (2017) while having only so far debuted Henry Cavill’s Superman, Ben Affleck’s Batman, and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. Zack Snyder’s version of the movie would be released in 2021 to a better reception.
Along with the aforementioned, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, and Ezra Miller joined the cast of Justice League, rounding out the superhero squad as Aquaman, Cyborg, and the Flash, respectively. Momoa’s solo outing Aquaman (2018) became, and remains, DC’s highest-grossing superhero movie with the film taking over $1 billion at the global box office. A sequel, Aquaman the Lost Kingdom (2023) from director James Wan, will release next year.
The newly reformed DC Studios under the leadership of Peter Safran and James Gunn looks to reenergize the labored DCU with a cohesive effort across film, TV, video games, and animation, and in 2023 the studio will release at least four feature films — Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023), Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Blue Beetle (2023), and The Flash (2023). Other projects like Batgirl were famously canceled by Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav earlier this year.
What stands out in next year’s line-up is The Flash. Ezra Miller’s solo movie has reportedly received favorable test screenings and the studio will go ahead with its release. This is a controversial move considering the ongoing erratic behavior and illegal activities Miller has found themselves in.
After a slew of erratic behavior in Hawaii saw Ezra Miller involved in a karaoke bar bust-up in addition to an arrest for second-degree assault for throwing a chair at a woman, a mother put out a temporary harassment behavior order against Miller for their alleged menacing and inappropriate behavior towards the child.
In another incident, the Barry Allen star was also issued a North Dakota tribal summons, but the courts could not locate the actor to serve the notice. This came in the wake of the parents of 18-year-old Tokata Iron Eyes filing paperwork asking a judge to issue an order of protection against the actor; they alleged Miller has groomed and brainwashed Iron Eyes, encouraging erratic behavior and introducing them to drugs and alcohol.
Now, in spite of all this, Warner Bros. continues to move forward with The Flash. There was a meeting between Miller and Warner Bros. execs this past summer where the actor reportedly apologized for their actions and vowed to seek out care, but the severity of Miller’s activities — which also includes alleged erratic on-set behavior — seems to have been brushed under the carpet.
The Twitter account for The Flash recently received an update by the way of a new logo. It is not unheard of for movie studios to refresh their content the closer a project gets to release. But Warner Bros.’s update to mark the impending release of The Flash goes no way to repair the damage Miller caused them and their audiences, leaving the DCU once more open to debate, discussion, and controversy (see: Amber Heard).
Over the summer it was suggested that the studio had three options — Miller would seek out help, do an interview explaining their actions, and then do limited press for the DC Comics film; Miller would not do any press and the role would be recast in future installments; or, Warner Bros. would scrap the $200 million project altogether.
On the upcoming film Comic Book Movie noted:
Though no official synopsis has been released, The Flash is expected to be (loosely) based on the Flashpoint comic book arc, and is rumored to serve as a “rest” of sorts for the DCU. Both Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton will return as their respective takes on Batman, and the movie will also introduce Sasha Calle as Supergirl.
Judging by this latest update, Warner Bros. is likely readying a trailer and the beginning of its press for The Flash. It will be interesting to see in what capacity the DC Studios movie is received by fans when it does. The Flash movie opens in movie theaters on June 23, 2023, and stars Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash, Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Ron Livingston as Harry Allen, Kiersey Clemons as Iris West, Michael Shannon as General Zod, Sasha Calle as Supergirl, Antje Traue as Faora-Ul, and Maribel Verdú as Nora Allen. It is directed by Andy Muschietti.
Do you think Warner Bros. should have scrapped The Flash? Let us know in the comments down below!