Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

There's More To Ezra Miller's Crisis Cameo Than We Thought

Crisis on Infinite Earthsthe CW's biggest multi-night superhero event to date, has given DC fans their first legitimate crossover moment between the film and television universes, but there's more to the shocking cameo than meets the eye.

As part of a five-episode storyline that saw all six of The CW's live-action DC series — Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning, and Batwoman — converge into one shared Earth-Prime universe, Crisis on Infinite Earths featured a slew of notable cameos by actors who have donned a DC superhero suit both within and beyond the network's current slate of shows. Chief among them was a surprising episode 4 run-in between DC Extended Universe star Ezra Miller and his Barry Allen TV-counterpart played by Grant Gustin.

Crisis on Infinite Earths executive producer Marc Guggenheim tweeted after the episode aired, "I'm doing a few interviews tomorrow, and I'm sure the subject of Ezra's appearance will come up, but what you need to know right now is that gentleman and scholar, Jim Lee, was instrumental in making this moment happen,"

Not long after, Guggenheim opened up to Entertainment Weekly, revealing just how involved the DC Comics chief content officer actually was in pulling off one of the TV season's most exciting — and unexpected — appearances.

"Basically, I was really working hand-in-hand with Jim," Guggenheim told EW. "From the moment we found out that this was a possibility, to once we knew Grant Gustin was cool and on board with it and Ezra was on board with it, I would send drafts of the scene to both Jim Lee and [DC Entertainment's film VP] Adam Schlagman, and we would just go back and forth."

That communication between Lee and Guggenheim offered a brief but significant exchange between two Flashes that could signal big things for DC's movie-verse.

The cameo was a careful dance between the TV and film universes

As Marvel and DC have expanded their screen presences over the last decade, they've had to contend with one glaring issue: how their cinematic universes fit in with their television ones. For DC especially, which has had more luck among critics and fans with its animated and television properties, that continuity (or lack thereof) has loomed in a seemingly irreconcilable way.

But as Marvel has done away with most of its original TV shows and replaced them with Disney+ extensions of the MCU, DC has mostly stood behind its TV properties — from Black Lightning and Doom Patrol to Harley Quinn and Supergirl. Up until now, the CW line-up especially has been key to DC's small screen dominance, in part because it hasn't tried to merge it with the film division. Batwoman can co-exist alongside Titans, Young Justice, and Batman v Superman without everything having to tie-in neatly or even at all.

It's a narrative ecosystem in which writers drop Easter eggs about one production into another but usually do nothing beyond that, which makes Miller's Crisis appearance the most serious and significant attempt at a DC cinematic-TV connection to date. It's also one Guggenheim and Lee were very careful with executing — for the sake of every universe.

"The trick with the scene is that I didn't want to, and they didn't want me to do anything that stepped on the toes of the Flashpoint movie that they're developing. So, we really worked hand-in-hand," Guggenheim told EW. "Jim was really great about just making sure that all the parties were talking to each other, that nothing was getting stalled. He was a cheerleader when he needed to be, a diplomat when he needed to be."

Ezra Miller's cameo was as unexpected for the Crisis executive producer as it was for fans

They may have taken a carefully planned approach to writing the Barry-meets-Barry exchange, but how Miller's cameo came about was more impromptu. In a Variety interview, Guggenheim revealed that Warner Bros. Television president Peter Roth reached out with a proposition after Arrow had wrapped, and the crossover was nearly completed. 

"I got a phone call from Peter Roth saying, 'I know you're locked, but can you put Ezra into the crossover?'" Guggenheim said. "And I said, 'Yes.' And he said, 'How, you're series wrapped? And you're wrapped on the crossover.' And I said, 'Yeah, I know, but if you're telling me Ezra Miller can be in the crossover, I can make it happen.'"

Their very next step was contacting the speedsters themselves. "[Grant] was incredibly enthusiastic," Guggenheim told Variety. "And then we got on the phone with Ezra Miller and told him the scene I had written, and he was completely into it. And we just went. We put together a unit of the Flash crew on the Flash set."

Guggenheim, Roth, and Lee delivered something many fans thought was an improbable dream. But it was one that writer, director, podcaster, and all-around king of geeks Kevin Smith alluded to the possibility of during a segment cut from DC's Dawn Of The Justice League TV special. 

"The idea [came up] of, 'Hey man, DC is known for nothing if not a multiverse,' so at which point I was like [to DC Creative Officer Geoff Johns], 'Could they f***ing crossover?'" Smith said during a 2016 episode of his Fat Man on Batman podcast. "And he was like, 'Ahh.' So doors are being left open and stuff like that."

What Ezra Miller's Crisis cameo confirms about the DC multiverse

Miller may have also put out positive vibes for a potential crossover while brushing off a bit of controversy around the DCEU's decision to cast him instead of merely using Gustin, who was already playing the speedster on TV. In a July 2015 interview with MTV News, The Flash star called the existence of two Barry Allens "awesome."

"It's parallel universes!" Miller said. "Grant Gustin is the Flash, and I'm the Flash, don't you see? It's the event horizon, we crossed it, baby! Grant and I are chillin.' We're gonna have a race, it's gonna be dope. Like Jay Garrick and Barry Allen back in the day, it's gonna be dope."

Casual fans will undoubtedly see Miller's cameo as a "dope" one-off moment, but for those a bit more up-to-speed on the comics and various screen universes, the implications are way more exciting. To start, the run-in confirms the existence of a multiverse through Miller's appearance — something that's corroborated by Gustin's line, "This shouldn't be possible." Technically, it shouldn't be possible, what with the crossover's endgame allegedly merging all Earths into one timeline: Earth-Prime. And yet, there the two Barrys were, proving that DC may have finally settled on the multiverse as the official answer to and connection between its big- and small-screen stories. 

But tucked away in the cameo, there are also hints about the version of Barry Allen viewers can expect in Miller's upcoming Flash film. 

The Crisis on Infinite Earths cameo hints at what fans can expect from Ezra Miller's The Flash

After being repeatedly delayed and going through multiple creative team changesThe Flash is difficult to get a full read on, as it's become less clear what exactly audiences are in for when the Andrés Muschietti-directed movie premieres in 2022. However, the Crisis on Infinite Earths cameo did help decipher some of that.

During their brief encounter, both Flashes weighed the possibility of being face-to-face for different reasons. As the cameo scene illustrates, Miller's Barry was way less in the know than his counterpart. His general confusion over where he is, as well as how he arrived there, reveals that he may be significantly less experienced when it comes to his full meta-human abilities and in his knowledge of the multiverse. 

It's a perfect place for a film based on Andy Kubert and Geoff Johns' Flashpoint novel to start. Miller's final line in Crisis on Infinite Earths, "I told Victor this was possible," also doubles as a nod to fellow Justice League member Cyborg and as confirmation that Barry may bring his newfound knowledge of the multiverse to his upcoming standalone film. 

Additionally, the scene introduces Miller's Allen to his name. At one point, Gustin's Barry says he's "also The Flash," and Miller's Barry reacts like he's never heard the name before. That makes sense if the 2022 movie serves as an origin tale for the DCEU speedster and not a story in which he's already a fully-fledged hero. Still, that doesn't make much sense anyway considering he wasn't one when we last saw him in 2017's Justice League. With how well Miller's Barrt seemingly takes to the moniker, fans can maybe look forward to seeing a nod to the crossover moment from the big-screen speedster in his forthcoming movie.

While Ezra Miller's Crisis cameo was but a few minutes long, it may have played a pivotal role in connecting DC's universes – moving the troubled franchise forward and launching one of its best-known superheroes.