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Will Ezra Miller end DC’s world of superheroes?

The Ezra Miller‘s legal problems are just one more thing that is going wrong with Warner Bros. Is it time to start over?

Ezra Miller

So Warner Bros. wants to start over again with the DC superhero universe. According to the Hollywood Reporter, CEO David Zaslav recently told investors that the studio, which is now called Warner Bros. Discovery after mergers, has a new 10-year plan for the comic book mega-saga that it hopes will be as successful as Marvel. All of this sounds more exciting than Harley Quinn doing a backflip, except for the fact that Batgirl was just canceled. Then we remember how many times we’ve been here before.

DC’s original plan was to build a universe of connected movies around Zack Snyder’s Justice League movie, which came out in 2017 and starred Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash, and others. What could go wrong here? Well, the movie bombed when Snyder quit in the middle of making it and Joss Whedon took over as director. Warner executives then got scared and started focusing on movies that did well on their own, like Wonder Woman by Patty Jenkins and Joker by Todd Phillips, which won an Oscar. All of a sudden, there was less focus on making sure that each movie set up the next chapter in a Marvel-style way, and there was more focus on letting filmmakers be creative.

Then came Matt Reeves’ dark and mysterious The Batman, with a version of the Caped Crusader who seems about as likely to meet Superman as the Conservatives are to understand the cost of living crisis. But that’s okay because someone at Warners decided to let Snyder reshoot Justice League for the company’s new HBO Max streaming project, and the new four-hour epic was liked by a lot of people. This means that the movie’s Batman, played by Ben Affleck, had a mini-rebirth (after all that Sad Affleck stuff) and is suddenly back in the picture, in the upcoming Flash and Aquaman movies.

You might think it’s great. Warners now has a younger, darker Batman who can listen to Nirvana while killing bad guys in his Gotham mansion. They also have an older Batman who doesn’t mind meeting other superheroes and might even go into the DC multiverse. No one loses.

But this has nothing to do with what Warner Bros. seems to want, which is a carefully curated universe like Marvel. At some point, the studio will have to decide if it wants to hand over creative control to the filmmakers or hire a Marvel-style supremo like Kevin Feige to run the show and make aure that all of these movies are connected in style and story.

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Warners seem to want both, but right now it looks like they are just throwing things at the wall to see what sticks rather than making a well-thought-out 10-year plan.

DC has become a huge mess on the big screen, and it looks even worse when you hear that Warners is now thinking about canceling The Flash, its Spider-Man: No Way Home-style multiverse movie, because of the bad press surrounding it it it its star, Ezra Miller. The Hollywood Reporter says that the $200 million project can’t be reshot because Miller is in almost every scene. The project is loosely based on the 1980s comic book storyline Flashpoint.

The Flash, which is all about making different universes, might have made sense for multiple Batmans, since it already has Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton, the first big-screen dark knight, in it. If the movie is canceled, it will cost a lot of money, which will put Warners in a tough spot.

At this point, we might wonder if Zaslav and his team should just start over. Every creative person eventually has to look at their work and decide that it just doesn’t work.

If Warners/DC wants a fresh start, it might be best to start from scratch. This would be better than trying to keep a franchise from falling apart like a late-stage Jenga game, which is what they are doing now.

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