It's time to talk about DC again.
Just under a month ago I wrote an article about the current DCEU slate and the major changes that WB made to it, at the time I thought that was the last article I'd have to write about that topic for a while. I was wrong. On the 28th of May the star of the upcoming Flash movie Ezra Miller was arrested in Hawaii for their antisocial behaviour in a karaoke bar. They also then had a restraining order filed against them by the couple that was housing them at the time (they had all met at a farmers market prior to these events). This follows the previous choking incident and the recent slightly confusing Instagram video in which Miller threatened to kill a North Carolina chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. Something is clearly going on with the DCEU's leading man and I'm not suggesting that he is a bad person, but that's not what this article is specifically about. This article is about what will happen to the DCEU after this string of bizzare events.
An emergency meeting was reportedly called by executives and producers at Warner Bros to discuss the future of Ezra Miller in the DC and Harry Potter film series' and the conclusion seems to have been that Ezra Miller will make their final appearances in both franchises in The Flash and the third Fantastic Beasts film. This means that a major reshuffling is likely in order.
Option #1: Delay The Flash
Delaying The Flash should really be off the cards this late into production but it's already been done with the movie now having been in production for over eight years. There is every chance that the movie could be delayed until the noise around the situation dies down, somewhat like every Armie Hammer movie did after sexual assault and harrasment allegations made against him in 2021. This approach probably wouldn't solve anything and would likely just see the movie lose any potential box office money it would have made on its current June release date.
Option #2: Release straight to streaming
There is a chance that the movie could be dropped from a cinema release and moved to an HBO Max release instead, this would make a lot more sense than delaying it. WB would still make money back on the movie through new subscriptions to their services, fans of the Flash and the DCEU could still watch the movie, and it would help to avoid an underwhelming box office return by removing the box office from the situation. I have a feeling that this is the option WB will go with.
Option #3: Release The Flash as normal but recast for any movies going forward
The other probable choice is to release the movie but with some sort of scene or story element that allows them to use the multiverse plotline to recast the main character. The obvious actor to replace Ezra Miller is Grant Gustin, whether you're a fan of the CW DCU or not this one makes by far the most sense. The two Flash actors have already met on screen in the Crisis on Infinite Earths CW event so it isn't exactly a new concept either. Grant Gustin also seems a safe bet for avoiding any future incidents with no previous record of controversy. It might take fans of the 'Snyderverse' a while to get used to but it looks to be possible and definitely not a bad choice.
Option #4: Cancel The Flash entirely
It wouldn't be the first time they've scrapped an Ezra Miller led Flash movie but I honestly can't see it happening this time round. I'm only suggesting it because it's a possibility, even if it is a very very slim one. They could remove the movie from the slate entirely and move on with the rest of the DCEU, but I think that moving it to streaming would be the preferred option if a cinema release is a definite no go.
Option #5: Ignore the incidents and move on
Given WB's previous track record of ignoring incidents such as Amber Heard's abuse case, Joss Whedon and DC/WB executives on set abuses/abuse of power and Jared Leto's multiple accusations of sexual offences against minors so it wouldn't be completely surprising if nothing changed. The Flash is a huge player in DC comics and movies so to make radical changes this late on before the film releases might be something that WB are aiming to avoid. That being said I can see a delay being put in place if this is the tactic they go for so don't expect The Flash to hold its release date in this scenario.
I'm sure that there are a million and one contingency plans that account for events such as this meaning WB and DC have likely already decided what to do but it's also fun to speculate. If you want another article about the DCEU there's this one from last month. There's also the Cloven Hoof podcast with episodes every other Friday, next Friday we'll be discussing all things Fantastic Beasts and the Harry Potter Quidditch World Cup game so don't miss out on that.