After it was announced that Warner Bros. had lined up multiple films set for release in the next decade, news came forward that Ezra Miller was cast to portray “The Flash” in the upcoming 2018 Justice League flick. Part of the importance is that Miller is the first openly out LGBTQ+ star to be cast in a comic franchise. The 22-year-old is best known for his role as Patrick in the film adaptation of “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” but it may be safe to say that this new role will be his most recognizable one to date.
In a 2012 interview with The Los Angeles Times, Miller stated, “I wouldn’t want to lose out on my macho action movie just because I told people I was queer.” Fast forward to today, where he doesn’t have to worry about that anymore.
It’s definitely a feat for the LGBTQ+ community, whose members are vastly underrepresented in mainstream media. The actual character may not be queer, but Miller is, and that still means something. Miller’s mild fear of not being cast for roles based on how he identifies regarding his gender or sexual orientation is justified and understandable.
Just because the world and Hollywood have become much more accepting of LGBTQ+ individuals does not mean there are still unspoken prejudices when it comes to who gets what roles. If it weren’t the case, Miller wouldn’t feel compelled to share that he felt like he couldn’t completely be open with who he was.
Miller first came out as queer in the August 2012 issue of OUT Magazine, which he mentions in the Times article was something he didn’t think would be made into such a big deal. Miller expressed his desire avoid being labelled, but it’s a complicated issue. There’s the tug-and-pull of wanting to highlight the significance of his identity in this moment and not solely focusing on that but just treating him like another artist in the business.
It’s worth mentioning because the die-hard comic fans are a devout category of consumers who tend to have an opinion on every little detail of their beloved comic characters and their movie adaptations. Plus, Ellen Page came out after she had already been given a role in the “X-Men” movies, making Miller’s situation a little bit more ground-breaking.
Perhaps this will allow a chance for more LGBTQ+ actors to score roles that were previously available for stars who fit the purist vision of the comic book world.