Every major controversy DC Studios has faced in recent years, including allegations against 'The Flash' actor Ezra Miller, 'Aquaman' and Amber Heard, and more

Ezra Miller as Barry Allen in "The Flash" and Amber Heard as Mera in "Aquaman."
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  • DC Studios has faced its fair share of controversies in the last decade.

  • "The Flash," which hits theaters this week, has been rocked by allegations against star Ezra Miller.

  • There have also been controversies involving Amber Heard, Gal Gadot, and director Joss Whedon.

The reception to "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" was one of the first signs of trouble for the DC Extended Universe.

Ben Affleck as Batman and Henry Cavill as Superman in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice"

Director Zack Snyder followed up 2013's "Man of Steel" with "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" in 2016, pitting Ben Affleck's Batman against Henry Cavill's Superman. Unfortunately, this cinematic beatdown was not well-received by audiences, despite raking in $873 million at the box office.

"Batman v Superman" has a 29% score on Rotten Tomatoes, and negative reviews resulted in the now infamous "Sad Affleck" meme.

The film was pilloried over its plot choices, including the infamous "Martha" moment in which the two heroes put aside their personal differences because their mothers have the same name.

"Batman v Superman" was even parodied in Amazon Prime Video's violent superhero satire series, "The Boys," which is a good indication that it was something of a misfire for Warner Bros.

Henry Cavill's mustache caused issues for "Justice League."

Henry Cavill as Superman in 2017's "Justice League."
Henry Cavill as Superman with a CGI top lip in 2017's "Justice League."Warner Bros. Pictures

When "Justice League" arrived in theaters in November 2017, movie-goers were surprised by an odd-looking Superman (Henry Cavill) in the film's opening sequence.

The scene sees the Man of Steel chat with a couple of kids who are nervous to talk to him, but the lower half of his face has been smoothed out using CGI.

Well, you can blame director Christopher McQuarrie and "Mission: Impossible - Fallout" for that one.

The British star played CIA agent August Walker in the Tom Cruise thriller, and he sported a mustache for the role. Because the schedules for "Fallout" and reshoots on "Justice League" overlapped, Paramount Pictures — the studio behind the Cruise franchise — wouldn't let Cavill shave his mustache off.

In a now-deleted podcast episode, McQuarrie told Empire (via Esquire) that Warner Bros. was willing to pay Paramount $3 million to pause production on "Fallout" so Cavill could shave off his 'tache and shoot whatever was left on "Justice League," and they could CGI the mustache into new footage when he returned to the "Fallout" set. But Paramount wasn't having any of it.

"We said, here's what we'll do: give us the $3 million and we'll shut down, and that will give Henry Cavill the time to grow his mustache back, and we'll just shut our movie down," said McQuarrie.

"We said we'll do this, at which point, somebody from Paramount Pictures said, 'What is going on? What are you people even talking about?' They're like, 'There's no way we're going to do that.' We were just like, 'Okay.' That was the best plan that we could come up with."

This all resulted in Warner Bros. having to CGI the mustache out. In total, the "Justice League" reshoots cost the studio $25 million, according to Variety.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the studio's "Justice League" headache.

"Justice League" actor Ray Fisher accused director Joss Whedon of abusive behavior.

Joss Whedon Rodin Eckenroth Getty
Rodin Eckenroth/Getty

After original "Justice League" director Zack Snyder withdrew from the film in May 2017, following the death of his daughter, DC and Warner Bros. tapped "Avengers" director Joss Whedon to finish the film in time for its November 2017 release date.

However, Whedon was accused of abusive behavior on the set of reshoots for the movie.

In July 2020, Cyborg actor Ray Fisher tweeted: "Joss Whedon's on-set treatment of the cast and crew of Justice League was gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable."

Warner Bros. mounted an investigation into the situation, but Fisher was left feeling dissatisfied with their findings.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in April 2021, Fisher claimed that Whedon significantly changed Cyborg's character arc and was dismissive of the cast, including Fisher.

Fisher's costar Jason Momoa stood by him and also spoke out against Whedon.


Momoa also added that a fake "Frosty the Snowman" movie was announced with him leading the voice cast as a distraction from the Fisher allegations.

He added: "I just think it's fucked up that people released a fake Frosty announcement without my permission to try to distract from Ray Fisher speaking up about the shitty way we were treated on Justice League reshoots. Serious stuff went down. It needs to be investigated and people need to be held accountable. #IStandWithRayFisher."

"Wonder Woman" actor Gal Gadot said she also had a run-in with Whedon.

In 2020, Gadot told the Los Angeles Times: "I'm happy for Ray to go out and speak his truth. I wasn't there with the guys when they shot with Joss Whedon — I had my own experience with [him], which wasn't the best one, but I took care of it there and when it happened I took it to the higher-ups and they took care of it."

Gal Gadot's "Imagine" video at the beginning of the pandemic was not well-received.

wonder woman 1984 diana prince wonder woman
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in "Wonder Woman 1984."Clay Enos/DC Comics/Warner Bros.

Back in 2020, billions of people around the world were in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, and while TV shows and movies ceased production, many celebrities tried to entertain people on social media the best they could.

However, when "Wonder Woman" star Gal Gadot rallied her celebrity friends to create a montage of them all singing John Lennon's "Imagine," people were less than impressed.

The video included Kristen Wiig, Mark Ruffalo, Natalie Portman, Jamie Dornan, Zoe Kravitz, Amy Adams, Will Ferrell, Cara Delevingne, and many more.

The video was instantly slammed online, with many people blasting it for being tone-deaf due to Gadot's opening statement: "We're all in this together."

People online pointed out that celebrities going through lockdown in large houses and mansions isn't comparable to normal people around the world.

Gadot later said that the video was done with "pure intentions," but it was in "poor taste."

"Shazam" star Zachary Levi appeared to share an anti-vaccine sentiment.

Zachary Levi as Shazam pointing his finger.
Zachary Levi as Shazam.Warner Bros. Pictures

In January 2023, "Shazam" star Zachary Levi appeared to share an anti-vaccine sentiment when he said he "hardcore" agreed with a tweet that said: "Do you agree or not, that Pfizer is a real danger to the world?"

Pfizer, of course, was one of the biopharmaceutical companies that developed a COVID-19 vaccine, leading to people speculating whether Levi's tweet was anti-vaccine.

Levi followed up with another tweet, linking to a Department of Justice press release about Pfizer being fined $2.3 billion in 2009 for fraudulent marketing.

DC Studios co-chairman James Gunn was asked about Levi's tweets in February, and he responded: "Just real simply: Actors and filmmakers that I work with are going to say things that I agree with and things that I don't agree with. And that's going to happen."

He added: "I don't have a list of things that somebody should say because of what I think. And you know, I can't be changing my plans all the time because an actor says something that I don't agree with."

Fans have called for Amber Heard to be removed from "Aquaman 2" following her legal battle with Johnny Depp.

Amber Heard as Mera in "Aquaman."Warner Bros.

While Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's divorce was finalized in 2017, the former couple have made hundreds of headlines in the last few years.

In 2018, Heard wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post saying she had experienced domestic abuse. Although she never mentioned Depp by name, he filed a lawsuit against her for defamation in 2019.

Depp also sued News Group Newspapers Ltd, owner of the British tabloid The Sun, and its then-executive editor Dan Wootton for libel in June 2018 after being labeled a "wife-beater" in print. The star lost the case when it went to trial in 2020.

In November 2020, following the result of the UK court verdict, Warner Bros. asked Depp to step down from his role in the "Fantastic Beasts" franchise, with Mads Mikkelsen replacing him as villain Gellert Grindelwald in the third film.

In April 2022, Depp's defamation case against Heard over her op-ed went to trial. Heard and Depp leveled accusations of physical abuse against each other during the trial, and Heard also accused Depp of sexual abuse.

As a result of the accusations made by both stars, Depp's fans and supporters called on Warner Bros. to remove Heard from her role as Mera in the upcoming "Aquaman" sequel, since Depp had to drop out of the Wizarding World franchise.

A Change.org petition calling for Heard's removal from "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" has reached over 4.5 million signatures as of June 2023.

In April, Insider confirmed that the actor hasn't been cut after she appeared in the first trailer for the sequel that screened for critics at CinemaCon.

"The Flash" star Ezra Miller's troubling behavior over the last few years threatened to overshadow the new movie.

Ezra Miller at the "Justice League" premiere and as Barry Allen in "The Flash."
Ezra Miller at the "Justice League" premiere and as Barry Allen in "The Flash."Barry King/Getty Images/Warner Bros. Pictures

DC has tried for years to get a "Flash" solo movie off the ground, and while the film will finally arrive in theaters this Friday, the project has been mired in controversy for the last few years because of its star, Ezra Miller.

The actor — who is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns — has been involved in a string of troubling incidents, starting in 2019 when crew members who worked on the thriller movie "Asking For It" told Insider that they behaved erratically, wearing long robes and a unicorn head amid high temperatures.

Then, in April 2020, footage of Miller appearing to assault a woman outside of a bar in Iceland emerged online. The woman in the video told Variety that she initially thought it was "fun and games" before things turned violent.

Another woman named Nadia also told Variety that Miller came to her home in February 2022 and allegedly became angry when she told them they couldn't smoke indoors.

In March 2022,  Miller was arrested in Hawai'i for disorderly conduct and harassment over an incident in a bar, according to the Hawai'i Police Department.

Miller was arrested in Hawai'i a second time in April 2022 for second-degree assault. Police said they "reportedly threw a chair, striking a 26-year-old female on the forehead, resulting in an approximate half-inch cut."

In June 2022, a protective order was filed against the star by Chase Iron Eyes and his wife Sara Jumping Eagle in North Dakota, who accused Miller of physically and emotionally abusing their daughter, Tokata Iron Eyes.

In August 2022, Miller addressed the various controversies, saying in a statement: "Having recently gone through a time of intense crisis, I now understand that I am suffering complex mental health issues and have begun ongoing treatment."

Miller added: "I want to apologize to everyone that I have alarmed and upset with my past behavior. I am committed to doing the necessary work to get back to a healthy, safe, and productive stage in my life."

Despite their troubles, Miller appeared on the red carpet at the "Flash" premiere on Monday, and director Andy Muschietti said that he would want them back if there is a sequel to the movie.

On an episode of "The Discourse" podcast, Muschietti said: "I don't think there's anyone that can play that character as well as they did. The other depictions of the character are great, but this particular vision of the character, they just excelled in doing it."

Read the original article on Insider