How Ezra Miller’s Search for a Cure Affects The Flash and the DCEU


the flash has not yet been canceled.

Despite recent burglary and assault charges and grooming allegations, Ezra Miller is still set to reprise his role as fast-paced superhero Barry Allen in a solo movie, flash, June 23, 2023 next year. Miller announced on Monday that they were seeking help for their “complex mental health issues.”

“Having recently gone through a period of intense crisis, I now understand that I suffer from complex mental health issues and have begun ongoing treatment,” Miller said in a statement. “I want to apologize to everyone I have alarmed and upset about my past behavior. I am committed to doing the work necessary to get back to a healthy, safe and productive stage of my life.

Read more: A history of the allegations against Ezra Miller

In recent years, Miller has been accused of choking a woman, throwing a chair that hit another woman in the face, and engaging in inappropriate behavior toward minor children, among other allegations. Their decision to start treatment comes after months of silence. The bad press reportedly launched talks at Warner Bros. on whether to shelve the $200 million movie meant to tie together the various parallel universes of the DC Extended Universe.

Here’s what you need to know about the future of the flash and DC superhero movies, given the controversy brewing around Miller.

What is the plot of the flash?

Ezra Miller as The Flash in Zack Snyder’s Justice League

HBO Max

In the comics, The Flash has long been closely associated with the multiverse. Barry Allen’s character has the power of super speed and is so fast he can traverse time and space.

Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen made his screen debut in Justice League. In Zack Snyder’s cut of the film, Barry travels through time to prevent alternate apocalyptic futures from occurring. He also briefly appeared in the flash TV show, in which he interacted with the TV version of Barry Allen, played by Grant Gustin. This series established that different versions of the character exist in parallel universes.

Read more: The Snyder cut is a better version of Justice League. But it sets a dangerous precedent

The character’s solo film, the flashwill be loosely adapted from the famous DC Breaking point comic book, in which Barry Allen switches universes after time-traveling to try to prevent his mother’s death. Barry’s time travel shenanigans accidentally create an apocalyptic present, and the sueprhero must try to reverse events.

We know from the trailer of the flash that, in an effort to restore normalcy, Barry must team up with different versions of Batman, an alternate universe version of himself, and a version of Supergirl.

Why is it the flash important to the DCEU?

How Ezra Miller's Search for a Cure Affects The Flash and the DCEU

JUSTICE LEAGUE, left to right: Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Ezra Miller as Flash, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, 2017.

Clay Enos/Warner Bros.—courtesy Everett Collection

The cartoon version of Breaking point allowed the writers to reboot the universe and redesign many characters. Presumably, the movie version could do the same for a disjointed and chaotic DCEU.

The studio billed The Justice League as DC’s response to The Avengers franchise. But the film struggled at the box office and several key players, including Superman actor Henry Cavill and Batman actor Ben Affleck, have since expressed their desire to leave the superhero world. Meanwhile, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Jason Momoa’s Aquaman are set to continue their individual franchises. Warner Bros. said he has no intention of continuing the storyline that Zack Snyder started building with Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice and its cup of The Justice League.

During this time, DC has produced tons of films that have nothing to do with each other. The studio introduced three distinct Batman franchises, one involving Affleck, another in which Joaquin Phoenix plays the Joker while Bruce Wayne is still a child, and another in which Robert Pattinson plays the Caped Crusader. As far as we know, these Batmen all exist in different universes.

The studio also produced a sequel-slash-reboot of The Suicide Squad with James Gunn suicide squad (note the missing article) without ever quite answering the question of whether the two films are related to each other and whether Gunn’s version continues to exist in the same universe as Affleck’s Batman and Miller’s The Flash. And the next anti-hero movie black adamwith Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, may exist in either or none of these universes.

Read more: Here are all the upcoming DCEU movies and TV shows

We know that the DCEU, like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is a multiverse. This was not made clear in the films themselves. But in 2020, DC Films head Walter Hamada laid out a plan for the DCEU’s future that involved different events taking place in parallel universes, which he dubbed “Earth One”, “Earth Two”, etc. .

the flash was set up to tie all these different stories together and explain what’s going on in this cinematic world, kind of like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in the Marvel Cinematic Universe introduced and linked parallel timelines. Warner Bros. revealed that in the flash, Barry Allen will meet at least two different Batmen from different universes: that of Ben Affleck from the Snyder films and that of Michael Keaton from the Tim Burton films. This would be Keaton’s first time donning the Batman cape in 34 years, and the trailer suggests he’ll have a major role in the film.

the flash could also give Warner Bros. the ability to press the reset button. The studio could fulfill Affleck’s wishes to get out of the franchise fare by killing him off or recasting the game through parallel time shenanigans. They could also kill the other characters that don’t work and replace them with new people and scenarios.

How Ezra Miller’s Career Uncertainty Will Affect the flash?

How Ezra Miller's Search for a Cure Affects The Flash and the DCEU

Ezra Miller attends the First Annual Time 100 Next on November 14, 2019 in New York City

ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

A story of The Hollywood Reporter suggested that Warner Bros. planned to release the film if Miller sought treatment and later gave interviews explaining the arrests. Earlier this month, the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav said the studio was “engaged in the theatrical releases of a number of DC films, including The flash.

But that same report also suggested that Warner Bros. would consider putting the film on hold if Miller continued to misbehave. Given that Miller plays the film’s titular character, it’s unlikely the movie could mount a successful marketing campaign for the film, at least as things stand, without significant backlash.

As if the decision wasn’t already complicated enough, Miller is at the center of another major Warner Bros. franchise: the fantastic beasts movies. The studio continued to release these Harry Potter prequels despite mounting controversy surrounding author JK Rowling, former star Johnny Depp, and current star Miller. The studio’s exit strategy for fantastic beasts could indicate that bad headlines won’t deter them from offering their expensive franchise fee.

Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to request for comment on the future of the flash DCEU film and franchise.

Warner Bros. does he rethink the whole DCEU?

How Ezra Miller's Search for a Cure Affects The Flash and the DCEU

This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Zoe Kravitz, left, and Robert Pattinson in a scene from ‘The Batman.’ “The Batman” is still going strong three weeks into its theatrical release, with a tight grip on the top spot at the box office. Robert Pattinson’s debut as the Dark Knight grossed an additional $36.8 million over the weekend, according to studio estimates as of Sunday, March 20, 2022. It also topped the $300 million mark before the projections.

Jonathan Olley—Warner Bros. Pictures/AP

The fate of the DCEU could hang in the balance.

After trying to take on Marvel at the box office before the pandemic and largely falling flat, Warner Bros. took a “see what sticks” approach to producing DC superhero films. All hope for a cohesive storyline across all the movies and TV shows seems to be lost.

That’s probably fine with the fans: following a dozen movies and TV shows a year to figure out what’s going on in the MCU can be exhausting. And Warner Bros. has found success with individual blockbusters, such as The Batman and Aquaman.

But the question of whether to set aside the flash comes amid a major overhaul from parent company Warner Bros. Discovery. The studio surprised Hollywood by writing off the nearly completed $90 million bat girl movie that was made for HBO Max. Warner Bros. Discovery contextualized the decision into a larger strategy to move away from making movies for streaming. It’s a major shift for a studio that released all of its movies directly to streaming for a year during the pandemic to build up HBO Max subscriptions.

Yet the bat girl the cancellation suggests that few properties in the DCEU are safe, whether designed for the big or small screen. According The Hollywood ReporterHamada almost resigned after the bat girl cancelation. If he ends up leaving, a new head of DC movies could completely revamp the universe.

Read more: What the HBO Max-Discovery+ merger means for viewers and the future of the streaming wars

What comes next in the DCEU?

How Ezra Miller's Search for a Cure Affects The Flash and the DCEU

Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck in The Joker

Niko Tavernise—Warner Bros.

black adam and Shazaam! Fury of the gods are set to hit theaters in the second half of this year, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Flash, and blue beetle remain on the program for 2023.

After that, Warner Bros. confirmed that they are working on several sequels to recent hits, including a third wonder woman film with director Patty Jenkins and star Gadot, a sequel to The Batman with Matt Reeves returning to write and direct and Pattinson reprising the role of the Dark Knight, and – perhaps most surprisingly – a musical sequel to The Joker starring none other than Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn, Joker’s mistress.

It is not clear if the flash impacts the plots of any of those films, so taking the film off the slate would wreak havoc on the studio’s larger plan for the DCEU. But arguably the most pressing concern for Warner Bros. is whether they can recoup the money they invested in a movie that was supposed to welcome back a fan-favorite character in Keaton’s Batman and launch a new star in the franchise. Considering Miller’s unpredictable ups and downs lately, those dreams may be dashed.

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Write to Eliana Dockterman at eliana.dockterman@time.com.


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