'DCU' Honchos Enthusiastic about 'The Flash,' Ezra Miller

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday February 1, 2023

Ezra Miller in "The Flash"
Ezra Miller in "The Flash"  (Source:Warner Bros.)

It was only last summer that questions hovered around whether superhero movie "The Flash" would be scrapped following a spate of bad press around non-binary actor Ezra Miller. But the new overseers of the DCU, Peter Safran and James Gunn, indicated that they are highly enthusiastic about both the movie and its troubled star.

Variety reported that Safran directly addressed the question of whether he and Gunn would be open to working with Miller, 30, following the June 16 opening of the $200 million superhero film "The Flash." Miller plays the title character.

"Ezra is completely committed to their recovery," Safran said, referring to unspecified mental health issues for which the actor, who uses they/them pronouns, has reportedly been receiving treatment.

Safran went on to add that he and Gunn were "fully supportive of that journey that they're on right now."

"When the time is right, when they feel like they're ready to have the discussion, we'll all figure out what the best path forward is," Safran went on to say. "But right now, they are completely focused on their recovery. And in our conversations with them over the last couple of months, it feels like they're making enormous progress."

Miller's conduct and entanglements with the law generated headline after headline throughout 2022, including a couple in Hawaii requesting a restraining order after Miller reportedly burst into the couple's room and made threats. Miller was also arrested in Hawaii for an incident at a bar in Hilo where the actor reportedly harassed patrons.

Back on the mainland, Miller became embroiled in accusations from the parents of a young woman who claimed Miller had "brainwashed" their daughter. Another parent claimed that Miller had had interactions with her non-binary child, 11 at the time, that left the child "uncomfortable."

In June, Miller found themself at the center of allegations claiming that a mother and her young children staying at Miller's Vermont residence were in an "unsafe" situation involving guns and marijuana.

Miller was also charged with burglary in connection with "several bottles of alcohol" allegedly being taken from a private residence in Vermont. The actor accepted a plea deal in that case.

In August, as rumors swirled that "The Flash" might be canceled as a result of the blizzard of bad press, Miller issued an apology and made a personal plea to Warner Bros. executives Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy to secure the future of the film.

Whether that meeting was instrumental in keeping the film on track for a release this coming summer is unclear, but Safran and Gunn, who were recently appointed to take on the uneven slate of films based on DC Comics superheroes — previously known as the DCEU — seemed to have no doubts about "The Flash," which, the Associated Press reported, "resets the entire DC Universe," according to Gunn.

Variety also quoted Gunn as saying that "The Flash" "is probably one of the greatest superhero movies ever made."

Safran and Gunn inherited four movies from the DCEU's previous guardians. In addition to "The Flash," the coming year will see the premieres of "Shazam! Fury of the Gods," "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom," and a "Blue Beetle" project.

Those films will help the DCEU segue into a new era under Safran and Gunn's stewardship, reports said, with a "Superman" feature (replacing Henry Cavill with an unannounced successor to the role) hitting screens in 2025. A number of other big-budget features and TV series based on DC properties are also in the works.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.