Warner Bros. Discovery continues to have a spectacularly fraught August. Right after CEO David Zaslav axed Batgirl but voiced his continuing support for The Flash, its famously embattled star Ezra Miller got into yet more trouble. Now, per The Hollywood Reporter, the studio’s pondering several triage scenarios about how, or whether, to release the film, which is slated for next June.
Even the best case scenario, according to a THR source, is that Miller will “seek professional help” in time to publicly mumble something apologetic.
On Monday, Miller, who uses they/them pronouns, was charged with a felony burglary in Stamford, Vermont, where residents of a home reported to police that the actor had stolen bottles of alcohol from their home—and apparently they had the surveillance video to prove it. On Wednesday, Rolling Stone reported that Miller was served this particular citation during one of a series of attempts by the Vermont State Police to track down a 25-year-old woman and her three children who have reportedly been staying at Miller’s farm under unsafe conditions:
“Over the weekend, Vermont State Police repeatedly attempted to serve the mother an emergency care order that demanded the children’s removal from her care and the home over fear for their safety. But Miller claimed the family hasn’t lived there in months, which the Vermont State Attorney’s office said seemed like an attempt to ‘evade service’ of the order.”
Miller’s been racking up an impressively awful track record over the past four years. In March of this year, they were arrested in Hawaii for disorderly conduct and harassment. In April they were arrested again in Hawaii, that time for allegedly assaulting a woman with a chair. Other lowlights include allegedly nonconsensually kissing a fan; bragging about keeping a crossbow from We Need to Talk About Kevin in their house; being cult-leadery at an Airbnb in Iceland, where they also were accused of choking a woman at a bar; allegations of grooming and hiding an 18-year-old Sioux activist; and keeping guns in proximity to small children on their Vermont farm.
The once-promising star has become a major liability.
Regarding the future of The Flash, as THR reports, “an outright shelving of the film is not off the table, though it would be a last resort… but the pressure is mounting by the day.”
The latest indecision update comes amid reports that Warners is preparing massive layoffs in the wake of their earnings call in which Zaslav discussed a “reset” of DC films with a focus on theatrical releases such as The Flash and cost-cutting to the tune of $3 billion.
Meanwhile, Miller’s name is quickly becoming Kryptonite elsewhere in the industry as well as the public eye.
Yesterday, a press release for Daliland, Mary Harron’s biopic of Salvador Dali set to debut at the closing night of the Toronto Film Festival, omitted any mention of Miller, who plays a younger version of the artist to Ben Kingsley’s elder Dali. On Monday, director Kevin Smith joined the growing chorus of fan backlash, noting on his podcast the irony of the Batgirl cancellation while hope is kept alive for The Flash.
“I don’t give a shit how bad the Batgirl movie is,” Smith said. “Nobody in that movie is complicated or has anything in their real life you have to market around. In The Flash movie, we all know there’s a big problem! Flash is the Reverse-Flash in real life.”
So far, however, Zaslav has shown no willingness to scrap or reshoot The Flash: “We’ve seen them. We think they are terrific, and we think we can make them even better.”
Okay, he was talking about Warner’s entire slate of DC theatrical releases, not Miller. So one can only hope the CEO will finally, publicly acknowledge how un-terrific they really are.