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The DCEU's Controversial Flash Movie Speeds Toward An Earlier Release Date

"The Flash" may be DC's most embattled film yet (excluding "Zack Snyder's Justice League," naturally). The film stars Ezra Miller as the titular speedster, who first appeared nearly seven years ago in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice." Bursting out of a temporal gateway with vague warnings of a dark future, Miller's Flash seemed to be set up as the core of an overarching story, an idea further supported by the infamous (and Oscar-winning) "Flash Enters the Speed Force" scene included in Snyder's "Justice League" cut.

Now, however, the studio seems not to know what to do with the star, who has been accused of offenses ranging from burglary and assault to grooming and drugging a minor (via People). Their unusual behavior arguably began to come to light in 2020, when a video surfaced of them choking a fan outside a bar. Despite these controversies, the show must go on. And Warner Bros. has announced that it will be adjusting the release date of "The Flash," previously set for June 23, 2023.

The Flash needs to fight for attention in June

The Hollywood Reporter relays that the release date of "The Flash" will be moved up one week, from June 23 to June 16 of next year. In doing so, the studio has attained a solid two-week window before Disney and Lucasfilm's "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" bursts into theaters.

Moving even just a week ahead could stave off the unexpected effects of a crowded June 2023 cinematic lineup — "The Flash" may be trying to avoid a battle it isn't poised to win given the negative feelings surrounding the film. In addition to Miller's alleged acts, "The Flash" will also have to deal with a toxically divided DC fan base. While many simply want to see Warner Bros. produce more frequent and high-quality DC content, there are others who continue to campaign for Snyder's return, and it's more than likely some will boycott the film, especially since it's speculated to undo Snyder's cannon (via CBR.com).

With its new release date, "The Flash" still leaves "Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse" with two full weeks uncontested, though it now competes more directly with "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" and Disney and Pixar's "Elemental." Given the lukewarm response to Disney's recent animated offerings in "Lightyear" and "Strange World," it's possible "The Flash" sees "Elemental" as easy competition. "Rise of the Beasts," however, is currently riding a wave of goodwill set up by 2018's surprise hit "Bumblebee." In any case, it's shaking up to be an absolutely fascinating summer at the movies.