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A decade ago, Ezra Miller broke out as the eponymous troubled teen in We Need to Talk About Kevin as well as a sensitive, charismatic and volatile friend in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Then he became a valued Warner Bros. mainstay, appearing in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter prequel franchise Fantastic Beasts, as the pivotal Credence Barebone, as well as the DC Extended Universe as Barry Allen/the Flash.
Since 2014, the studio has been in development on what’s now a $200 million-plus The Flash film, in which Miller, who identifies as nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, will star. While the creative process has been challenging (multiple directors and screenwriters), and there’s been much corporate tumult (see: the recently announced shelving of the $90 million Batgirl as a tax write-down), freshly installed Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav has yet to publicly waver on the superhero project, due out in June 2023. The Andy Muschietti-directed film concluded principal photography a year ago, and has been testing well. Production continues to progress; previously scheduled reshoots with Miller took place over the summer.
But a troubling, much-publicized recent history of incidents, involving arrests and protective orders, has Warner Bros. pondering scenarios for its release. Here’s a timeline.
On April 6, 2020, a brief video clip surfaced on social media in which Miller appears to choke a female fan outside a bar in central Reykjavik, Iceland. “Oh, you wanna fight? That’s what you wanna do?” A source at the bar told Variety that a group of “pushy” fans had confronted Miller, who’d lost their temper.
AUGUST 2020-OCTOBER 2021: The Flash pushes forward.
Miller appeared Aug. 22, 2020, in a pretaped message for DC fans at the Warners-produced online event DC FanDome, where the actor touted the time-travel aspect of the film. Months later, in October, pandemic pressures forced Warners to move The Flash release date back to November 2022 from an initial June 2022 date.
After years of development, The Flash began filming on April 19, 2021, in London, with director Muschietti posting a new logo along with the caption, “Here we go!!!” Principal photography wrapped on Oct. 8. A week later, on Oct. 16, Miller shared a prerecorded message at DC FanDome introducing the first footage from the film — including a tease of Michael Keaton’s return as Batman. Said Miller: “I will see you in theaters later next year — or, more importantly, you will see me.”
Miller delivered a cryptic message aimed at a Ku Klux Klan chapter in North Carolina. Said the actor in a Jan. 27 video he posted to Instagram: “Look, if y’all want to die, I suggest just killing yourselves with your own guns. OK? Otherwise, keep doing exactly what you’re doing right now — and you know what I am talking about — then, you know, we’ll do it for you, if that’s really what you want. Talk to you soon, OK. Bye.” It was never determined what prompted the message.
On March 9, Warner Bros. made a slew of changes to its release calendar, including delaying the release of The Flash from Nov. 22, 2022, to June 23, 2023.
In downtown Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii, police were called March 19, 2022, to a dispute in which Miller was cited for obstructing a highway. Police claimed they were “uncooperative and refused to leave the area and continued to obstruct a sidewalk.”
Later that month, on March 28, the Hawaii County Police Department arrested and charged Miller with disorderly conduct and harassment after they allegedly yelled obscenities and became agitated with patrons at a Honolulu karaoke bar. Miller is alleged to have attempted to rip a microphone away from one woman and to have lunged at a man. The actor posted bail and was released.
The next day, a Hilo couple filed a temporary restraining order (later dropped) against Miller, contending the actor had burst into their bedroom, threatened to kill them and then taken a passport and wallet from one of them.
Miller was again arrested in Hawaii on April 19, 2022, this time on suspicion of second-degree assault. The incident occurred at a residence in Pāhoa on the Big Island. According to local police, Miller “became irate after being asked to leave and reportedly threw a chair, striking a 26-year-old female on the forehead, resulting in an approximate half-inch cut.”
TikTok creator Mia Solange, who uses they/them pronouns, referred to an alleged intimate relationship with Miller. “You took everything from me. Ezra M***er is not a good human. And I can finally say so without being terrified. #abuser,” they wrote.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore opened to a tepid $43 million at the domestic box office over Easter weekend. The movie’s disappointing performance wasn’t a surprise, as the franchise had been on the decline. Still, the weak box office may have doomed the series’ previously planned five-part arc.
On June 7, parents of 18-year-old Tokata Iron Eyes, an Indigenous environmental activist and member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, requested a protective order against Miller on behalf of their offspring. The pair met when Tokata was 12 and Miller was 23. The parents contend that under Miller’s influence, Tokata, who’s nonbinary, was introduced to illicit drugs including LSD, dropped out of a private school in Massachusetts and was flown around the world, including to Hawaii and to the London studio where Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was filmed. Tokata has publicly pushed back, posting on Instagram: “My choices are my own.”
Separately, a judge granted another protective order to a Massachusetts mother on behalf of her 12-year-old child, who’s nonbinary, against Miller. The decision, granted June 15, noted that “there is a substantial likelihood of immediate danger of harassment.”
Miller was charged Aug. 8 with felony burglary in Vermont, where the actor resides, after allegedly lifting bottles of alcohol from an unoccupied local home in May.
A day later, the Toronto Film Festival announced the Salvador Dalí biopic Dalíland, starring Ben Kingsley and helmed by Canadian director Mary Harron (American Psycho), will close the film festival. Miller, who plays Dalí in his younger years, was left out of the press announcement. TIFF and the film’s sales agent, Bankside Films, which is shopping Dalíland to international buyers, didn’t comment on the omission.
Vermont State Police repeatedly attempted to serve a 25-year-old mother of three young children with an emergency order, demanding Aug. 9 their removal from her care and Miller’s home, due to concern over their safety. Miller has asserted that the family hasn’t lived with them for months. But law enforcement believes that their service attempts are being evaded. Neighbors claim the family, who are from Hawaii, have been in danger, in part due to unsecured guns on the farm property.
On Aug. 15, Miller released a statement from a representative that they were seeking help. Said the actor’s statement: “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.”
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