Ezra Miller – The Latest Star Giving Hollywood Nightmares

Ezra Miller – The Latest Star Giving Hollywood Nightmares

(LR): Ed Westwick, Ezra Miller, Armie Hammer and Kevin Spacey - AP/Getty/Reuters

(LR): Ed Westwick, Ezra Miller, Armie Hammer and Kevin Spacey – AP/Getty/Reuters

There must have been a time when Warner Bros. thought Ezra Miller was the answer to their PR prayers. The lead for her upcoming comic book blockbuster, The Flash, wasn’t a Marvel pin-up, but an abandoned indie darling whose Generation Z appeal felt water-tight. After coming out as non-binary in 2018, Miller was honored on Time magazine’s inaugural Next list of celebrities who were “shaping the future” and spoke enthusiastically about preferred pronouns – they/they, it/its and ze/zir , last time to ask – in magazine interviews.

However, this very modern movie star has become a very new kind of headache. In the past three months, Miller has been arrested twice, once for second-degree assault on a 26-year-old woman, and he has also been the subject of three separate court orders, two of which related to alleged misconduct. with underage girls. One of those girls, now 18 and reportedly traveling with Miller, has since defended the actor on Instagram and described the order, which was presented by her parents, as “transphobic”. Meanwhile, Miller’s own response was limited to a few cryptic and possibly police posts on a verified but now deactivated Instagram account.

On one level, this kind of behavior is a staple of the shadow industry. Once the films took off, they were nearly swamped by a series of high-profile scandals, including the Fatty Arbuckle case, in which the silent comedy icon was tried three times for the rape and manslaughter of the 26-year-old aspiring actress. Virginia Rappe. But in those days, studios could often accommodate the crimes of their high-profile employees. For repairmen like the notorious Eddie Mannix, whose four-decade stint as MGM’s shadowy “general manager” became a noir legend, paying call girls, covering up crimes and making injured parts disappear was all part of the job.

But, as studios are now discovering, a new generation of stars – armed with smartphones and an impregnable sense of entitlement – ​​is essentially unbearable. And thanks to social media’s own long memory and never-ending appetite for retributive justice, all it takes is a wacky 2am tweet or an incriminating video that goes viral to put the fate of a $200 million blockbuster at stake.

See Letitia Wright, the talented 28-year-old English actress on the rise who was handpicked by Marvel to stardom in 2016. Wright’s brilliant performance as Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa’s sister in the billionaire Black Panther made her character, Shuri , a fan favorite: Following Boseman’s death from cancer in 2020, his character was expected to take on the role of Black Panther. A few months before filming for the sequel began, however, Wright shared a video on Twitter that speculated that coronavirus vaccines could cause extra limbs to grow, then defended the post by saying it was important to “ask questions.” The reputational consequences were so severe that Wright parted ways with his US administration.

Letitia Wright in Black Panther - Alamy

Letitia Wright in Black Panther – Alamy

Wright also recently appeared in Disney’s adaptation of Death on the Nile, whose cast appeared to be vying to cancel in the extended two-year gap between filming and release. Wright’s views were overshadowed by those of Russell Brand, who relaunched himself during the pandemic as a YouTube conspirator. Then there was Armie Hammer, against whom an allegation of rape was made in early 2021 – although no lawsuits have been filed, nor charges brought. Still, Hammer was contaminated enough to be practically erased from the film’s hype.

In their fight against this new strain of actor toxicity, the best strategy the studios have come up with is reshoots: look at Warner Bros’ decision (again, poor people) to replace Johnny Depp with Mads Mikkelsen two months after filming Animals. Fantastic 3, after the former’s disastrous defamation trial in the Supreme Court.

The procedure was started in 2017 by Ridley Scott after his thriller All the Money in the World was made irreversible by the fall of Kevin Spacey. Scott simply cut Spacey’s scenes, reworked Christopher Plummer, and replaced the missing material. Similarly, the BBC edited Ed Westwick of an Agatha Christie adaptation in 2018 following allegations of rape and sexual assault. He vehemently denied the allegations and the charges were later dropped.

Such procedures, of course, bloat the budget. In the realm of blockbusters, these costs can be catastrophic. Additionally, Warner Bros. is said to have quietly deemed The Flash unrecordable, as Miller plays two versions of the title’s hero, in scenes that have already been stitched together with very expensive visual effects.

Then there’s the issue that Miller’s whereabouts are currently unknown – and the studio is presumably praying they stay that way until the movie is released – they hope.

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