The Flash: Why Grant Gustin Still Won't Replace Ezra Miller (BCTV DD)

Okay, a little history because you might think you're having a really bad case of deja vu. As you may have read on Bleeding Cool earlier this month, reportedly Warner Bros. & DC executives were in red alert mode & holding an emergency to address how to handle Flashpoint star Ezra Miller's recent arrest for disorderly conduct and harassment (as well as allegations of other bad behavior) with the executives choosing "to hit pause on any future projects involving Miller including possible appearances in the DC Cinematic Universe." Well, it didn't take too long for social media to begin campaigning for The CW's The Flash star Grant Gustin to be brought in (as others wonder why he wasn't considered to begin with).

Now let's flash ahead two weeks later… with history, unfortunately, repeating itself. Earlier today, the news broke that Miller had been arrested early Tuesday morning on a complaint of second-degree assault following an incident that reportedly took place at a home in Pahoa, according to the Hawaii Island Police Department. As to be expected, the calls on social media for Gustin to take over the film once again got the on-screen Barry Allen's name to trend. Yet, while we were willing to make the case for Gustin last time? I can't shake this feeling that Gustin will never be seriously considered, and here's why.

the flash
Image: Screencap

First, I want to take a second to say that this is strictly a business-focused opinion piece about "The Flash" television series & film franchises and not meant as a personal attack in any way. In fact, we wish nothing but the best for Miller and hope they get the help & support they need. It would be nice to see another "Robert Downey, Jr." recovery story. But that said, how do you have Miller be the face of the film and the DCCU at this point. Putting them through some kind of personal/professional reputation rehab "crash course" would only serve the studio and not Miller, and could turn into an even bigger problem for the studio if and when things go south.

But with Gustin having already spent the past eight (going on nine) seasons bringing viewers along during Barry's journey to becoming The Scarlet Speedster, what's the problem? Now that the DCU is embracing the multiverse concept (because all the cool kids are doing it), you have the perfect mechanism in place to make the change. Miller's Barry gets sucked into some kind of "dimensional trap" and then you have Gustin's Flash show up to take the lead. Look, I'm not being paid to write it so clearly folks with pay grades higher than mine could polish that up but you get the point. Plus, Gustin is one of The CW Arrowverse's foundational figures, and with that comes a fanbase that is large, dedicated, and faithful to the core- the kind that shows its support by seeing the film more than once.

And yet, Gustin will never be seriously considered to take over Flashpoint for one simple reason: TV snobbery. Now, this isn't about jumping into a fight over who's the better actor, Gustin or Miller. This is simply about the role of Barry Allen aka The Flash. And in that context, I have to ask the same question I asked last time. While Miller may be delivering a different take on Barry, can anyone seriously make the argument that their take is better than Gustin's? Objectively, not really. And yet, some see Miller on the big screen and give them the benefit of the doubt as being "The Great Actor"- essentially dismissing the years that Gustin put into the role just because it was on the small screen. What's ironic is that most of the folks who dismiss Gustin as an option are the same ones that praise Christopher Reeve's Superman while forgetting he was a relative unknown at the time. Or how Michael Keaton (Mr. Mom) was ridiculed for not being serious enough to lead Batman only for him to become one of the measuring sticks for all future Batmen. Look, this is one of those moments when I want to be painfully wrong, having to write an embarrassing response addressing just how wrong I was. But for now, let's just hope that Warner Bros. Discovery does something bold & daring by doing something that makes a whole lot of sense.

flash
(Shutterstock.com)

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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