After a tumultuous year that involved a series of arrests and public meltdowns, “The Flashstar Ezra Miller appeared to be a case of one and done in the DC Universe. But newly installed DC co-head Peter Safran said the door is open for further collaborations with Miller after “The Flash” stand-alone opens on June 16.
“Ezra is completely committed to their recovery,” Safran said. “And we are fully supportive of that journey that they’re on right now. When the time is right, when they feel like they’re ready to have the discussion, we’ll all figure out what the best path forward is. But right now, they are completely focused on their recovery. And in our conversations with them over the last couple of months, it feels like they’re making enormous progress.”
The comments, which were made during a presentation held Monday on the Warner Bros. lot for select journalists, referenced Miller’s self-described mental health struggles. This past summer, Miller began treatment for a previously undiagnosed mental health condition and has stayed out of trouble since. (Miller identifies as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns.) Safran and DC co-head James Gunn laid out their vision for Phase 1 of the DC reset, which will kick off with a Superman movie in 2025. Neither an actor nor a director have been chosen yet for that project.
When Gunn and Safran took the DC reins in October, there was a great deal of speculation that the four upcoming DC movies were green lit by the previous DC/Warners regime — “Shazam!,” “The Flash,” “Blue Beetle” and an “Aquaman” sequel — were viewed as lame ducks. But Gunn quickly dispelled that notion by characterizing “The Flash” in the most laudatory terms possible.
“I will say here that “Flash” is probably one of the greatest superhero movies ever made,” Gunn said.
The pair said “Shazam!” sets up the Andy Muschietti-directed “The Flash,” which “resets everything,” according to Gunn. (He declined to spell out exactly how the Miller-led stand-alone resets everything because the move is plot-driven and would contain spoilers). “The Flash” then segues into “Blue Beetle,” which flows into “Aquaman 2,” which will then lead into a new “Superman” film without Henry Cavill, the actor who most recently donned the red cape for the big screen.
Gunn said that much of the past DC chaos stemmed from a loose policy toward intellectual property.
“The history of DC is pretty fucked up,” he said. “They were just giving away IP like they were party favors to any creators. What we are going to do is we’re going to promise that everything from our first project forward is going to be unified. But we will say that we’ve gotten very lucky [inheriting these] next four projects.”
Safran and Gunn’s enthusiasm for “The Flash,” in particular, bodes well for Miller, whose erratic behavior during the Covid pandemic began to alarm studio executives and fans.
Added Safran: “These four movies are terrific. There’s no reason why any of the characters and the actors playing those characters are not part of the DCU. There’s nothing that prohibits that from happening.”