2022: The Year of Ezra Miller
2022 was the year of Ezra Miller. Despite him, and, above all, Warner’s, he went from being the future of the DC Universe to becoming an outcast and almost getting ‘The Flash‘ never released. And, for once, we all agreed that the crimes were serious: strangulation, fighting, relationships with minors, sexual harassment, and even becoming cult leader.
Twelve months ago, it was even believed that the Crimson Sprinter movie could end up on HBO Max or in a drawer in the best ‘Batgirl’ style. However, in the moment of truth, it seems that everything can be forgotten… in exchange for a good trailer.
Forgiving a Controversial Actor
The fastest forgetting in the world Warner’s press department has to be thanking heaven: his suicide ploy seems to have slipped through. Turning “the Ezra Miller movie, the person canceled around the world” into “the good DC movie, this time” is paying off, and critics and audiences alike have been more than willing to let the streak pass. of headlines the film suffered for last year in exchange for having a good superhero adventure.
Yeah, okay, he became Hollywood’s number one public danger, but. Ah, the “but”. The word that goes to justify everything in the dream industry is if the marketing machine moves fast enough.
If you have friends in Los Angeles, you have to be Harvey Weinstein to really put your career in jeopardy. Even Victor Salva, after being convicted as a pedophile in 1988, has been able to continue filming films as if nothing had happened: it is normal for contacts to try to erase the criminal trail and protect their friends from the general public… but it is not so normal that the public itself advocate sweeping it under the rug.
Separating Work and Author
Would the same thing happen if the film was a small indie production instead of the supposed reboot of the DC Universe before James Gunn takes the reins? Are we willing to bite the bullet if the movie is cool enough? What is the limit to which, as a public, we can reach? It is one thing to separate work and author. Another very different thing is to demand that we feel like seeing a person close-up for two and a half hours who not so long ago caused displeasure among any movie fan and still has a few trials ahead of him.
In fact, I have tried to avoid using the word ‘forgive’ throughout the article, because he was not aware of or master of his actions. In addition, although the news of his misdeeds jumped to all the media, the truth is that two situations are mixed that are connected to create the perfect oblivion. On the one hand, the a clear detachment of current viewers from the stars: beyond Tom Cruise, Dwayne Johnson, or Brad Pitt, there are no celebrities like there used to be (and, if there were, Ezra Miller wouldn’t be one of them).
On the other, the complete homage to the exciting blockbuster full of money in an industry that has yet to define what it really is after the Covid crisis. The screenings with the test audience were really good, Tom Cruise himself has given his approval and not even James Gunn (who already knows what it’s like to be censored by the public) is capable of guessing what will happen to the character afterward of ‘The Flash’: until its release in June, the world of cinema holds its breath before clearly answering the question “What will become of Ezra Miller?”.
Forgiveness, like Lightning
It is not the first time that an actor’s future depends on his box office results, but perhaps it is the most amoral moment to realize that a good box office equals a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. Literally.
In 2001, Winona Ryder stole $5,560 worth of items from a luxury store (Saks Fifth Avenue). She made all the covers of show business: she became the punching bag, the running gag, the official Hollywood kleptomaniac. The actress was at the peak of her career and it took her almost a decade for the public to forgive her and she could come out of it in movies like ‘Star Trek’ or ‘Black Swan’. Ezra Miller has needed only half a year and a couple of trailers for the public to forget authentic atrocities.
The Limits of Forgiveness
It can be explained in a thousand different ways: the obsession with celebrities and wild gossip at the beginning of the 21st century, the depreciation of the term “celebrity”, the accumulation of scandals and daily news that make us lose focus, the blind fanaticism for superhero movies… But, in the end, what seems clear is that the public seems willing to make a clean slate in exchange for a couple of Batmans, a Supergirl, and a round of cheap nostalgia.
The critics of ‘The Flash’ have put the controversy aside to focus on the adventure: “Believe the hype”, “Tremendous”, “One of the best superhero movies”… And, of course, it would be unfair for a film in which hundreds of people have worked to focus on the nonsense of just one, but it is still surprising that in an industry whose fans tend to look for the finishing touch to sink a film for the smallest detail (‘Lightyear’ comes to the fore mind inevitably) has decided to overlook the fact that his new darling is literally starring a delinquent.
We will see if it shows at the box office or if we have collectively decided that entertainment cinema is more important than respect for the victims.
In Espinof | I didn’t have much interest in ‘The Flash’. Now with the trailer everything has changed and I can’t wait to see this version of Flashpoint in the cinema