Entertainment

Warner Brothers can’t quit Ezra Miller

Any fan of comics will let you know that it takes a lot to keep a superhero down. Even the most strategically brilliant villains like Doctor Doom and Lex Luthor—who have seemingly killed their rivals on numerous occasions—can’t close the deal with the reaper. And judging by the recent news with Ezra Miller, the superhero trait of improbable invincibility extends to the actors that portray them.

If you’ve been keeping up with the chaotic Ezra Miller story, the troubled actor has been on an arrest hot streak that would make Gucci Mane in the late 2000s blush. In short, they’ve racked up a series of arrests over the last couple of years for a slew of violent and disturbing incidents. Despite the violence and negative press, Warner Brothers is choosing to stand by the actor because they’re in too deep with the Flash film to switch gears now. Variety:

In recent months, the actor has been arrested or taken into custody several times for harassment, disorderly conduct and a traffic violation. Around the same time, two Hawaii residents filed a temporary restraining order against Miller after they allegedly broke into the couple’s bedroom and tried to steal their passports and wallets. Though the restraining order was later dropped, their continued behavior has prompted serious unease about the people they have endangered, as well as Miller’s own health and well-being. Those incidents took place nearly two years after footage surfaced of Miller appearing to choke a woman outside a bar in Iceland. It’s hardly the kind of attention that a studio wants for the star of a $200 million-budgeted tentpole.

Those eyebrow-raising events have led to speculation about Warner Bros.’ plans for the blockbuster-hopeful, which serves as the first solo film for Barry Allen, aka the Scarlet Speedster, aka the Flash. Would the studio actually replace Miller with another actor? Will it jettison the film to HBO Max in an attempt to limit potentially negative fanfare that could accompany a theatrical release? Gold will Warner Bros. keep the movie in theaters on June 23, 2023 as planned?

Barring unforeseen developments, sources say, Warners is barreling ahead with intention to give the superhero film the full blockbuster treatment. “The Flash” simply cost too much money to scrap the project entirely and it likely will not generate the revenues needed to turn a profit without playing in theaters. For option three to happen without triggering a major backlash, Miller would need to be on their best behavior. And that’s a big question, because so far Miller has been dogged by one controversy after another, leaving collaborators concerned about the actor’s welfare.

With “The Flash,” insiders say it would not be possible to replace Miller without reshooting the entire movie. They are in just about every scene, and there is not enough digital technology in existence to configure that magic without going back to square one. And redoing the entire film is not a realistic proposition for any movie — much less one that wrapped production months ago and already cost hundreds of millions.

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