Saturday, March 16, 2019

Ezra Miller Might Not Be Playing The Flash In The Future And That's OK

Yesterday's news of James Gunn being welcomed back into the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 fold so dominated the news cycle yesterday that a piece of major comic book news that got dropped by The Hollywood Reporter last night seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle. That piece of news revolved around the fate of the lead actor in that Flash movie that's burned through more directors than Batman goes through Batarangs. Currently under the direction of Game Night directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the film is aiming for a Fall 2019 start, but it might be going forward with a different actor than current Flash performer Ezra Miller playing this super-speedy superhero.

It looks like Ezra Miller, who has played The Flash in three seperate movies up to this point, is, reportedly, having creative clashes with Daley and Goldstein as Miller desires a darker take on this character than the light-hearted feature that the current directors are said to be creating. Interestingly, this creative quarrel has resulted in Miller hiring Grant Morrison to help him pen a darker script for another version of this Flash movie that they'll turn into Warner Bros. promptly. WB then has basically two directions it can go in for their Flash movie, either the darker version Miller and Morrison are currently scripting or the more upbeat version that's currently already in production. Oh, and Ezra Miller's contract to play this character expires in May 2019, so if the actor continues to be dissatisfied with the creative progress of the project, he may use that contract ending as a chance to jump ship on the role.

I'm not a betting man, but if I were, well, I'd put money on Ezra Miller leaving the project once his contract's up in May and WB finding a new Barry Allen just in time for their San Diego Comic-Con Panel in July. I say that not as a critique of either Ezra Miller as an actor or his version of Barry Allen. Miller's work in The Perks of Being A Wallflower and We Need To Talk About Kevin make it clear what an enormously talented performer he is and I thought he made for a charming Flash in Justice League. I'd love to see him continue to play this role, but frankly, I doubt WB is gonna wanna go in his direction for a darker Flash movie, not when the light-hearted colorful Aquaman movie just became the biggest DC Comics movie ever at the worldwide box office.

The marketing alone for Shazam! has made it clear that Aquaman is no fluke, light-hearted superhero antics are the way of the future for the DC Extended Universe and The Flash is gonna have to align with that. Plus, WB seems to be taking any chance it can to shed non-Wonder Woman actors who were associated with the DCEU prior to 2018 whenever possible. Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Amber Heard and Margot Robbie are sticking around but they seem to be the only ones making it through this revamp of the DCEU that's reportedly already lost Henry Cavill as Superman and has officially lost Ben Affleck as Batman. I'd imagine WB is treating Ezra Miller as Flash like they did with Will Smith as Deadshot; if they can make that casting work for another movie, awesome, but if outside elements like scheduling conflicts or creative clashes prevent them from returning, they won't have any hesitation in recasting the party.

It seems like we have basically two whole months until we see this matter get resolved one way or another, but right now, I'd wager Ezra Miller leaves this role and that sounds fine to me primarily since it could potentially open up more room in his schedule to do more challenging dramatic acting like we all saw in We Need To Talk About Kevin eight years ago. Now the question becomes does Kiersey Clemons stick around as Iris West? As late as last May she was still signed up for the role, but I wonder if they'd recast the part if Ezra Miller left. Personally, I'd love to see Clemons headline any movie so I hope they keep her around. Heck, maybe they should let her headline this Flash movie, that could be lots of fun!

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