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‘The Flash’ premiere brings Ezra Miller back to legal drama

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                                Ezra Miller arrives at the premiere of “The Flash” on Monday.


    Ezra Miller arrives at the premiere of “The Flash” on Monday.

LOS ANGELES >> Ezra Miller on Monday attended the Los Angeles premiere of “The Flash” — Miller’s first high-profile, public appearance since a string of arrests and accusations of abuse were leveled against the embattled actor.

The titular star of Warner Bros.’ latest superhero film has been noticeably absent from the tentpole movie’s publicity campaign. But at the subdued event at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood on Monday, Miller posed for photos on the red carpet, although few broadcast outlets were allowed inside the event. Miller joined the “Justice League” spinoff film’s cast and crew, including Sasha Calle (Supergirl), Ron Livingston (Flash’s father), Maribel Verdu (Flash’s mother), Ben Affleck (Batman), as well as the film’s producer Barbara Muschietti and her brother, “The Flash” director Andy Muschietti.

“I love you, maestro,” Miller said onstage, referring to Andy Muschietti while addressing the audience and media inside the theater, according to Deadline and the Hollywood Reporter. “I think you are amazing, and I think your work is monumental.”

Variety reported that Miller made a big show of thanking Warner Bros.’ film division co-chairs Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy, Discovery CEO David Zaslav “and the dynamic duo — (DC Studio heads) Peter Safran and James Gunn — for your grace and discernment and care in the context of my life and in bringing this moment actually to fruition.”

In August, Miller apologized “to everyone that I have alarmed and upset with my past behavior,” and promised that they are “committed to doing the necessary work to get back to a healthy, safe and productive stage in my life.”

Through a representative, Miller talked about experiencing “complex mental health issues and (I) have begun ongoing treatment.”

In the spring of 2022, Miller was arrested twice in Hawaii: first, for disorderly conduct and harassment following an altercation at a bar; second, for second-degree assault after the actor allegedly threw a chair at a woman. In June of last year, Miller was accused by the parents of an 18-year-old in North Dakota of using “emotional and psychological manipulation” and “cult-like behavior” to groom their child starting at the age of 12. In August, the actor was charged with a felony burglary and reports emerged that Vermont’s child services agency was trying to find a mother and three children who allegedly had been residing at Miller’s farm.

Amid the allegations, Warner Bros. had been questioned over how it should proceed with Miller’s stand-alone DC Extended Universe film.

The studio previously ousted actor Johnny Depp from its Wizarding World franchise amid his legal battles with ex-wife Amber Heard and also downplayed Miller’s involvement in “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” which was released in 2022. Reports claimed that Warner Bros. executives had considered shelving “The Flash,” which the studio had done to “Batgirl” in its new leadership shakeup.

Although Miller’s future in Hollywood appears murky, with no greenlighted projects yet lined up, “The Flash” director Muschietti already said he would cast Miller in a sequel.

“I don’t think there’s anyone that can play that character as well as they did,” the director said on a recent episode of the “Discourse” podcast.

At the L.A. premiere Monday, Miller did not field questions about or offer comments on the allegations against them. Instead, the actor spoke of playing Barry Allen, who in the film traverses alternate realities and joins forces with a younger version of himself, an aging Batman (Michael Keaton) and Supergirl to try to prevent his mother’s death and save the world from the Kryptonian villain General Zod (Michael Shannon).

“You have one Barry who is seasoned and has been through a lot of heartache and a lot of pain,” Miller told “Entertainment Tonight,” one of the few broadcast outlets allowed into the event. “And you have another Barry who never really had to go through that stuff, who’s sort of had all the privilege of kind of a cushy life, and so the way they developed is fundamentally different.”

The film, which hits theaters Friday, reportedly cost nearly $200 million to produce and it is not yet clear how Miller’s legal troubles might affect the production’s ability to get audiences into theaters. Projections for the film’s opening-weekend box office range from $60 million to $80 million, according to Variety.


(Los Angeles Times staff writers Josh Rottenberg, Nardine Saad and Alexandra Del Rosario contributed to this report.)

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