Ezra Miller has gotten in trouble multiple times in the last few months, including two arrests and an alleged incident where the actor broke into a couple’s hotel room and threatened them, and it reportedly got bad enough that Warner Bros. executives held an “emergency meeting” about whether or not to “pause” development on future projects with Miller attached—the most notable of which being the long-delayed Flash solo movie, which is supposedly going to finally come out next year.
Now, according to a new report from Variety, it sounds like Warner Bros. is already far too committed to The Flash movie to even consider burying it under the rug or shunting it off to a lower-profile HBO Max debut, giving the studio no choice but to stick to its theatrical release plan and hope for the best. Variety’s sources say that, “barring unforeseen developments,” The Flash simply “cost too much money” to be scrapped and it “likely will not generate the revenues needed to turn a profit without playing in theaters.” (Congratulations to those who remain faithful to the movie theater, as that latter point seems like another indication that HBO Max isn’t the future of the industry.)
Of course, unlike with Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore, which replaced Johnny Depp with Mads Mikkelsen early on, it would be very difficult and expensive to take Miller out of The Flash. They’re the title character, after all, and Variety’s “insiders” say that replacing them would require “reshooting the entire movie.” Seeing as how it “already cost hundreds of millions” to make the movie the first time (to say nothing of the years in development hell), it’s just unfeasible for Warner Bros. to even consider that.
But it sounds like what happens between now and when The Flash comes out will have a big impact on the future of Warner Bros.’ DC superhero movies. Jeff Bock, a box office analyst who spoke to Variety, pointed out that Miller “is not Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man” yet, meaning that the studio could recast them in a hypothetical future movie without it being a huge controversy. Also, like every movie these days, The Flash is going to be a whole multiverse thing with both the Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck Batmans and a number of other DC superheroes, so if Ezra Miller becomes unviable as a superhero movie star, WB will have some options for what to do next.
Again, though, that’s all going to be after The Flash, which is probably coming to theaters next year no matter what but may still depend on Ezra Miller’s behavior to determine whether or not people care.