It has been become almost impossible to ignore the fact that Ezra Miller is not well. Miller has become increasingly erratic in public, and has been accused of everything from threatening violence to exploiting minors. Most recently, they are reportedly holed up at their home in Vermont, with young children, in what is allegedly being called a cult-like situation. The children’s mother, who is present, claims they are safe, but rumors abound that Miller has stockpiles of weapons and drugs at the location as well.
All of this is becoming a public relations nightmare for Warner Bros. Pictures, who banked on the actor as leading the future of their DC Comics-based film franchise. “The Flash,” starring Miller, would establish a multiverse where multiple versions of iconic DC Comics characters interact. Most notably, the film features the return of Michael Keaton as Batman after more than 30 years.
Originally due to release this year, the film was pushed back to “finish special effects.” That gamble has proved disastrous for WB with the continual problematic behavior of Miller.
Some fans have argued the way to save the movie is to bring in Grant Gustin, who plays Barry Allen on The CW’s “The Flash.” Digital effects could make it a relatively simple process to replace Miller with another actor. If they could create a brand new Sonic The Hedgehog, why couldn’t they just plug in Gustin over Miller?
Here are 5 reasons this is a phenomenally bad idea.
1. Grant Gustin Has Been Flash For Too Long
This fall will be the premiere of season 9 of “The Flash” on The CW. During its first few seasons, Gustin was lauded for his performance as the speedster. The show, even at its most ridiculous and corny, was carried by Gustin. In the years since, the show settled into a groove that soon turned into a slump. Fans have to admit the show is going through the motions, with actors enjoying the paycheck more anything. Expecting Gustin to rally that energy again after 10 years playing the character is a tough ask. If they were to ultimately replace Miller in the role, it makes more sense to bring in someone younger and eager to bring their energy to the character.
2. “The Flash” Film Already Costs Too Much Money
Despite the delay of “The Flash” to next summer, all accounts indicate the film is pretty close to finished. The uphill battle to make the movie in the first place has already been a significant investment. Warner Bros. originally announced it for a 2016 release. Along the way, it’s gone through many, many screenwriters and directors before finally entering production. Five years of development before shooting even started does not come cheap. “The Flash” HAS to be a monster hit to overcome those continual costs.
3. Recasting Could be Bad for Editing/Continuity
Another thing to consider is what a new actor in the role would do to the performances of everyone else in the movie. With principle photography long finished, you can’t expect for people like Michael Keaton to pick up the phone and be ready to reshoot. That really only leaves digitally replacing Miller on screen. The easiest way to illustrate what this scenario would look like is to draw from a little show called “The Simpsons.”
Seriously though, fans calling for a full digital replacement show a clear misunderstanding of how actors work. Acting isn’t just saying lines but establishing a rhythm and tone with other cast members. Even the best performers in the world would struggle with acting like they were always on set. It is simply not worth the risk to make Grant Gustin go through that.
[Editor’s note: We will say Zack Snyder‘s “Army of the Dead” did a pretty incredible job of digitally replacing an actor. Comedian and general nuisance Chris D’Elia was fired from the film following continual allegations of sexual misconduct. Comedian Tig Notero was brought in to replace D’Elia. The resulting scenes are seriously impressive from a VFX standpoint. Audiences who didn’t know about the recasting were shocked to find out about it.]
4. A Year Is A Long Time
This reason is one that shouldn’t really be included, but it is also one WB is no doubt considering. As of this writing, Miller has not been fired. It is possible, considering the studio has yet to comment on the various examples of Miller’s problematic behavior, that Warner Bros. is probably hoping most of the controversy will blow over.
5. We Don’t Know The Studio’s Future Plans
This is another unlikely reason but one that could be more feasible given what happens in the comics. We already know the “The Flash” will play with the multiverse. It will also draw on the “Flashpoint” comic event that occurred back in 2012. In that story, The Flash goes back in time to save his mother from being murdered, and his actions fundamentally alters the entire universe. What better way for “The Flash” movie to end then to make the case he is the ultimate threat? Rather than dump money into reshoots, just create a new ending or post credit sequence that shows Miller erases himself to save the world. Clunky? Probably. Way cheaper? Definitely. We will find out what ultimately happens soon enough.
“The Flash,” directed by Andy Muschietti from a script by Christina Hodson, currently has a release date of June 23rd, 2023. We’ll let you know what we hear about this and other news.