Condemn Miller but release “The Flash”

Cesar Soto, Staff Writer

No actor has drawn as much controversy as Ezra Miller has over the last few years, with separate incidents and accusations of grooming, harassment, assault and burglary. As the lead star of Warner Bros’ highly anticipated DC blockbuster, “The Flash,” Miller is also in trouble with the studio’s leadership. Despite calls to release the film on streaming platforms or to cancel it altogether, the right move for Warner Bros. is to move ahead with its theatrical release despite the actor’s problematic behavior.

Unfortunately, it is not a simple solution for Warner Bros. to abandon the film and move on with another iteration of the Flash character. Prior to Miller’s allegations going public, the film had already been shot and completed. Reshoots would be costly for the $200 million film, as Miller is present in nearly every scene. Furthermore, canceling its theatrical run would result in the studio losing a substantial investment in the project.

Some have compared the idea of canceling the movie to Warner Bros.’ cancelation of “Batgirl” last year, but they are under entirely different circumstances. “Batgirl” was originally intended solely for an HBO Max release, and while it had already finished production, it had also already exceeded its small budget by $20 million. It was now unfeasible for streaming and still lacked the production value that would make it suitable for a theatrical release.

“The Flash” is also important for DC’s cinematic universe, especially with new leadership from “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn and producer Peter Safran. Gunn himself has shown confidence in the film, citing, “it’s one of the best superhero movies I’ve ever seen.” With the franchise not having had a concrete plan for years, the multiversal storyline of “The Flash” is pivotal in setting up a complete reset of the DC Universe. 

There were many artists that worked on the film besides Ezra Miller, and they should all be recognized and celebrated for their work. Hired earlier in 2019, “It” director Andy Muschietti took the reins to get the movie made and deserves to see his vision come to life. Along with Muschietti, the other actors, writers, editors, visual effects artists and everyone else involved behind the scenes tirelessly put this movie together for audiences worldwide to experience. The actions of one should not ruin the hard work of all.

It is important to note that since these controversies, Miller has apologized and begun seeking mental health treatment for their issues. “I want to apologize to everyone that I have alarmed and upset with my past behavior. I am committed to doing the necessary work to get back to a healthy, safe and productive stage in my life,” they said in a statement released last August.

Although there are conflicting reports, Warner Bros. is not expected to continue with Miller in the role. This presents the studio with the complicated challenge of marketing its film as it approaches its June 16 release. Once it does hit theaters, it would be best to celebrate the many other artists involved, have a great time at the movies and set the DC Universe off on a new path — one that hopefully is without Ezra Miller.