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Warner Bros. is being completely neurotic about The Flash right now

Limited press contact, a sequestered star, and blurred-out endings mark the atypical run-up to a major studio blockbuster

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The Flash
The Flash
Screenshot: YouTube

Quick question: In recent memory, has a major movie studio been more publicly, visibly nervous about the release of a massive tentpole movie than Warner Bros. Discovery is being about The Flash right now? We’re now just two weeks away from the release of director Andy Muschietti’s particular stab at exploring the very crowded world of comic book multiverses, and the massive entertainment conglomerate is being more skittish about it than a publicist stuck in a room with Ezra Miller and a live mic.

That’s a joke, of course: Flash star Miller’s not getting anywhere near the press on this thing. (Variety quotes a source close to Miller who says “Ezra wants the movie to open and the conversation to be about the movie and not about Ezra.”) Miller has, of course, previously generated a great deal of press—but not the good kind, like you’d want—for The Flash, after spending a decent chunk of 2022 starring in a whole slew of negative headlines about worrying behavior on a nigh-weekly basis. (To be fair, those headlines dried up after Miller issued a statement of apology and a note that they were taking time to work on their mental health late last year.) But they’re nevertheless set to be absent from all but the barest of promotional duties for the film—which is also skipping most of the usual press junket stuff, presumably so that Muschietti and co-stars Ben Affleck, Sasha Calle, and Michael Shannon won’t have to field a lot of Miller-focused questions as they walk the red carpet.


Meanwhile, the studio is treating the film itself almost as gingerly: Warner Bros. is apparently so scared of spoilers leaking out about the film’s ending that it’s holding only a single premiere for the movie, just four days before it hits the public. Previous screenings, including one at CinemaCon in April, literally cut off before the ending; versions being shown at the studio’s Burbank lot this week apparently have chunks of the ending blurred out, which is very amusing to imagine. (One suspects the studio was not happy about the way Henry Cavill’s cameo in Black Adam got thoroughly spoiled in preview screenings last year.) The Flash is supposed to serve as a bridge between the previous Snyderverse of DC Films and the new stuff being rolled out by James Gunn and Peter Safran in the years to come, but even so: This is some intense, and atypical, secrecy at play.

For what it’s worth, Variety says none of this neurotic, clandestine maneuvering is expected to hurt the movie’s box office performance: The Flash is expected to open at $75 million, with the studio apparently hoping it’ll eventually hit Aquamanstyle box office numbers. (The studio even has a script for a sequel already reportedly written and waiting for Muschietti to tackle; he’s said he wouldn’t even consider re-casting Miller in the part.)