You’ll now be able to see “The Flash” one week sooner — and it’ll be going head-to-head with Pixar’s latest.
Surprised? Close observers of the film industry have spent much of the past year wondering what Warner Bros. could do about “The Flash.” The DC film has become a public relations headache for the studio due to star Ezra Miller’s increasingly erratic public behavior. Over the past several years, the actor has come under scrutiny for choking a woman in Iceland, been accused of grooming children, faced multiple arrests for assault and burglary, and reportedly housed a mother and three young children on an unlicensed cannabis farm despite protests from their father.
All of that led to speculation that it might be impossible for Warner Bros. to even release “The Flash,” which had already been completed, let alone work with Miller on more projects. Warner Bros. executives reportedly paused future plans to include Miller in the DC universe earlier this year, but that still left the question about what to do with “The Flash.”
But according to a new report, the studio has begun to view the troubled film as more of an asset than a liability.
Deadline has reported that the response to early test screenings for “The Flash” have been overwhelmingly positive, with one anonymous source saying that the film is as good as Disney’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” The film reportedly features nostalgia-invoking cameos from Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck that have played extremely well with fans.
The strong response has caused Warner Bros. to move the film’s 2023 release date up by a week. The film was originally scheduled to open in theaters on June 23, 2023, but will now open on June 16. That slot positions the film to compete for a large portion of the Fathers Day weekend box office, with Pixar’s “Elemental” and Sony’s Jennifer Lawrence comedy “No Hard Feelings” as the film’s only major competition.
It is not yet clear whether the positive early responses to “The Flash” will prompt Warner Bros. and new DC Studios CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran (who were hired after “The Flash” was already completed) to reconsider working with Miller on future projects. Miller issued an apology for their behavior and pledged to seek treatment for their mental health in August.