Flash Forward

DC Studios Releases First Trailer to Controversial ‘The Flash’ Film Starring Ezra Miller

After a drawn out “will they, won’t they” situation, DC Studios officially released their trailer for the upcoming The Flash film starring nonbinary actor Ezra Miller (they/them) in the titular role. 

The trailer features Miller as Barry Allen a.k.a The Flash, DC’s resident super speedster. In an effort to prevent his mother from dying, The Flash uses his “Speed Force” powers to travel back in time. However, this causes The Flash to be trapped within a timeline where metahumans, like himself, no longer exist. 

Having to face off against a new and improved Kryptonian general Zod (Michael Shannon) in this timeline, The Flash enlists the powers and resources of Batman, played by Michael Keaton, as well as Sasha Calle’s Kara Zor-El aka Supergirl. Combating Zod and returning time, as we know it, back to normal will be no easy feat, but The Flash will try his best to succeed and DC will attempt to release a film that’s marred by Miller and DC’s controversies.  

The Flash film has been in development since the ‘80s, but it wasn’t until 2016 when the film officially started making more headway. In 2016, Miller cameo’d as the red speedster in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad and starred in Justice League in 2017. The solo film was then moved to a 2018 release, with Miller still set to star, but with different directors and screenwriters joining and then leaving the project, The Flash film stayed within development. They finally moved forward with director Andy Muschetti and DC’s Birds of Prey screenwriter Christina Dodson, but Miller’s Fantastic Beasts commitments further delayed the film. 

But then 2022 became the year of Miller controversies. Miller recently pleaded guilty to Vermont felony burglary charges and accepted a plea deal to avoid jail time. As part of the plea deal, Miller must pay a $500 fine and complete one year of probation. Additionally, they must adhere to 41 agreed upon conditions, including no drinking, random drug tests, and a commitment to continued mental health treatment.

Miller was initially charged with trespassing, burglary, and petit larceny, after they were accused of entering a neighbor’s house, stealing numerous bottles of alcohol. Had the latter two charges not been dropped, Miller would have faced up to 25 years in prison. 

This also comes after the actor was arrested in Hawaii twice, once for disorderly conduct and harassment and then again for second-degree assault. Not to mention that Miller was previously accused of choking a woman in an Icelandic bar. 

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

Rumors surrounding Miller’s recasting, as well as audiences requesting it, in addition to DC’s cancellation of various upcoming DC films, clouded the press around the film. After James Gunn and Peter Safran became co-CEOs of DC Studios, Safran spoke out about potential recasting rumors. 

“Ezra is completely committed to their recovery. We’re fully supportive of that journey that they’re on right now,” stated Safran. “When the time is right, when they feel they are ready to have the discussion, we’ll all figure out what the best way forward is, but right now, they are completely focused on their recovery. In our conversations with them over the last couple of months, it feels like they’re making enormous progress.”

The film is expected to reset the DCU, with Gunn expressing their immense support of the film, calling it “probably one of the greatest superhero movies ever made.” 

Time will tell if he’s right. In addition to Miller, Keaton, Calle, and Shannon, Kiersey Clemons, Maribel Verdú, Ron Livingston, Antje Traue, and Ben Affleck (reprising his timeline’s Batman) also star in the upcoming superhero film. 

The Flash will premiere in theaters on June 16, 2023.

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