Thanks to one of the most notorious fan campaigns of all time, Warner Bros. Pictures released Zack Snyder’s Justice League—aka “The Snyder Cut”—on HBO Max Thursday.
Despite the ardent campaign to reveal what the original director’s film would have looked like before Joss Whedon stepped in, the Snyder cut has received mixed reviews. The film also debuts after Warner Bros. chose to stand by DC Films president Walter Hamada—whom Cyborg actor Ray Fisher accused of attempting to undermine a misconduct investigation into abusive and racist behavior on the Justice League set in order to protect his “friend and former co-president,” producer Geoff Johns. (A WarnerMedia rep’s statement said, in part, that “an extensive investigation was conducted by an outside law firm, led by a former federal judge who has assured WarnerMedia that there were no impediments to the investigation.”)
But discussion surrounding the film’s release appears to ignore another controversy that erupted last spring—one that, in some ways, appears to have gotten lost in the early days of pandemic-induced quarantine.
In early April, a video surfaced online in which The Flash actor Ezra Miller appeared to choke a woman and throw her to the ground.
The video, taken outside in the snow, lasts only seven seconds. Miller, clad in a red coat, calls out, “Did you wanna fight? Is that the deal?” The woman approaches them, waving her arms and seemingly smiling. Miller grabs her by the throat and pushes her back against a metal container before pushing her to the ground as another voice—seemingly that of the camera operator—says, “Whoa, bro, bro, bro.”
The camera lowers before the clip abruptly ends.
The video surfaced on Twitter and Reddit, but has largely been treated as rumor. But Variety did manage to confirm the incident with a source soon after the clip materialized.
The incident reportedly occurred outside the bar and café Prikið Kaffihús in Reykjavík, Iceland. A source from the watering hole confirmed to Variety that the incident occurred on April 1 at roughly 6 p.m., when a few “quite pushy” fans approached the actor.
Although some online came to believe at the time that the video was some sort of prank, or perhaps taken out of context, the source told Variety it was a serious altercation. They also confirmed the person involved was Miller. (The Daily Beast reached out to one of the original posters of the video and to Prikið for more details, but received no response.)
In the end, the source said, Prikið staff escorted Miller from the premises.
Reykjavík Metropolitan Police press officer Gunnar Rúnar Sveinbjörnsson told The Daily Beast in an email that police were not called to the scene, and that no one was arrested or placed in custody.
Representatives for Warner Bros. Pictures and HBO Max did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.
Miller, who uses they/them pronouns, first saw a career breakout in the early 2010s—first with the 2011 psychological thriller We Need to Talk About Kevin, and a year later with the coming-of-age drama The Perks of Being a Wallflower. After a harrowing turn in The Stanford Prison Experiment in 2015, Miller had a major breakthrough in 2016, debuting both as The Flash in Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but also as Credence Barebone in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
And so, Miller remains a key ingredient in two massive Warner franchises. Fantastic Beasts will release its third installment next year (minus Johnny Depp), and then 2022 will bring Miller the standalone vehicle The Flash—in which they will star opposite Kiersey Clemons as Iris West. Michael Keaton is also on board to reprise his role as Batman.
As Miller’s star continues to rise, the silence surrounding the video will only grow more conspicuous.