The case tops websites devoted to people’s lives, their vacations and their quirks, but it has unexpected economic repercussions in a Hollywood industry undergoing major restructuring. Ezra Miller, 29-year-old American movie star with the face of Apollo, is in turmoil. The one who defines himself as non-binary appeared in the early 2010s as the deranged son of Tilda Swinton in We Need to Talk About Kevin, by Lynne Ramsay, before being co-opted by the world of superheroes. If he’s been talking about him for some time, it’s not so much for his worked appearance and his fur coats as for his escapades.
For two years, nothing has gone right. In April 2020, a video in which the young actor appears to strangle a fan as he leaves a bar in Reykjavik goes viral. According to various sources that subsequently emerged in the American press, his Airbnb functioned as a community where his roommates “hypnotized” were under his thumb and participated in ritual ceremonies as Miller claimed to have supernatural powers. In June this year, the parents of two teenagers aged 12 and 18 filed a complaint against the star, accusing him of having a bad influence on their children.
Since the spring, he has also been housing, on his farm in Vermont and in troubled conditions, a 25-year-old woman he met in Hawaii and her three young children. In June, the magazine RollingStone reported the rumors that the actor and his friends smoked marijuana next to the children. Miller is also said to have a habit of leaving firearms lying around the house, within easy reach of the little ones. An unnamed source said they saw the 1-year-old baby pick up a ball lying around and put it in his mouth.
Leaving the road
It could pass for a road trip like Hollywood has been accustomed to for decades. Except that Ezra Miller holds the title role of The Flash, blockbuster signed Warner Bros, which should be released in theaters in June 2023. The company has already paid nearly 200 million dollars (200 million euros) for this first film dedicated to the superhero faster than lightning, from the DC Comics universe (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman…). A new stage in a strategy intended to counter Marvel, owned by Disney, which knows how to capitalize on its multiple characters (Captain America, the X-Men, Thor, Doctor Strange, Hulk, Black Panther, etc.).
Inaugurated in 2013 with the release of Man of Steel, by Zack Snyder, the exploitation of the DC Extended Universe franchise brought in nearly $5.3 billion at the box office. Four times less than Marvel heroes. But while superhero movies are the stars of the box office, the economic life of major studios is endangered by the rise of streaming platforms that are reshaping the Hollywood landscape.
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