Warner Bros. faced significant challenges with the long-in-development The Flash following various allegations against its star, Ezra Miller, who uses they/them pronouns. Reports about the actor's alleged behavior put a big question mark over The Flash, especially as WB reportedly considered different options for the movie, including putting it out on HBO Max. Regardless, it seemed the studio was done with the actor, as Deadline stated Warner Bros. would likely not keep Miller for future DCEU projects.
However, in August of 2022, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Miller had attended a meeting with CEOs of Warner Bros. Pictures Group Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy to apologize for the negative attention their behavior had brought to The Flash. At first glance, the meeting seemed to point at the possibility of Miller remaining in the DCEU following The Flash's release after all.
Now, there seems to be another development in the story, as a rumor states that the actor is indeed done with the Scarlet Speedster. Insider MyTimeToShineHello posted on Twitter: "Not sure if good news or bad news; that's up to you, but I hear Ezra Miller is done as The Flash no matter what happens. Not coming back."
As per usual with rumors, it's important to take this information with a grain of salt. After all, it's possible that nothing will be officially said about Ezra Miller's involvement with DC until after The Flash comes out. Per Deadline, Warner Bros. hoped Miller's controversies would die down by the time of the movie's release.
The studio publicly disassociating itself from the star of one of its most anticipated blockbusters prior to its release would likely bring more unwanted attention to the already troubled project. As such, official information about the actor's status will probably not be provided until after The Flash hits theaters.
Is The Flash Still Relevant For The DCEU's Future?
The Flash seems to be a pivotal project in the DCEU's overarching plan given its focus on the multiverse, the introduction of Sasha Calle's Supergirl, and the fact that it features Michael Keaton's big screen return as Bruce Wayne since 1992's Batman Returns. However, recent developments for DC adaptations related to The Flash could make it seem as if the film's impact on the franchise has diminished—to a certain extent, at least. Batgirl, for example, which was expected to include Keaton's Batman after his appearance in Barry Allen's standalone film, was canceled earlier in 2022.
Furthermore, in July of 2022, Ben Affleck was revealed to be returning as Bruce Wayne for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Keaton had a scene in the film as Bruce Wayne, but test audiences were confused by his appearance. For context, The Flash was initially slated to come out in November 2022, while Aquaman 2 was given a December 2022 date, meaning the sequel was meant to take place after the events of Barry Allen's film, explaining Keaton's inclusion in Aquaman 2. That changed in March 2022, when the Aquaman sequel was moved to March 2023 and The Flash to June 2023.
Arthur Curry's second film is now once again expected to come out after The Flash, in December 2023. As THR suggested, the test audiences' confusion resulting from that shift could indicate that Affleck was brought in to replace Keaton, which in turn may hint at the possibility of the Batman Returns actor not having the Nick Fury-type role in the DCEU he was reportedly expected to have.
That possibility was seemingly supported by insider KC Walsh, who stated: "Looks like they are replacing the Keaton scenes with Affleck. Remember 'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom' was originally supposed to come out after 'The Flash,' and [test] audiences were confused by his inclusion."
Of course, that's not to say the aforementioned events have anything to do with Miller's controversies. After all, Batgirl's cancelation and Ben Affleck's Batman reshoots seem to be the result of other factors outside of the scope of the actor's troubles, such as WB's recent cost-cutting measures, and the rescheduling of some DC Films.
With that said, this is speculation. Ultimately, audiences will get a clearer idea of the future of The Flash and its impact on the DCEU once the film is actually released.
Miller, for their part, released a statement through their representative in August of 2022, apologizing for their behavior:
"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. 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."
The Flash is slated to come out in theaters on June 23, 2023.