Netflix kicked off April by releasing a ton of famed titles, including the Lethal Weapon and Matrix franchises, The Social Network and Minority Report. But there was one film that had a slew of 20-somethings immediately pressing play and slipping back into their emo phase teen years. Yes, I’m talking about Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being A Wallflower. It’s like looking into an old yearbook, except now Emma Watson is a “little woman,” Logan Lerman is hanging out with Al Pacino in Amazon Prime’s Hunters, and Ezra Miller is gearing up to finally star in his own Flash movie.
I’ll be honest with you, as the years have rolled by, the idea of Ezra Miller playing Barry Allen in his own DCEU solo feature has started to run right past me. Much of this has to do with the fact that The Flash has tirelessly been in development since 2014. And when Miller fully debuted in his role as the Scarlet Speedster in 2017’s Justice League (following cameos in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad), it just kind of fell flat to me. That’s more of a Justice League problem than his own fault – there’s a good reason why the Snyder Cut movement has remained so strong over the years. But revisiting Ezra Miller’s character in The Perks of Being A Wallflower just reminded me just how great of a pick he is for The Flash.
Ezra Miller Is One Glorious Loose Cannon In Perks Of Being A Wallflower
Let’s back up to 2012 for a moment. When The Perks of Being A Wallflower came out at the time, it was a big deal for YA fans because Logan Lerman was a heartthrob who had just come off the Percy Jackson series, and it was Emma Watson’s first leading role since the world said goodbye to Hermione in Harry Potter. In the critics circle, Ezra Miller had just blown them away with his breakout performance in We Need To Talk About Kevin, but for the most part, no one knew who he was before Perks. However when audiences came out of that movie, some major tabs were filed for Ezra Miller because, well, he’s undoubtedly the best part of it.
Perks is based on the 1999 book by Stephen Chbosky, who actually wrote the script and directed the film too. It centers on Logan Lerman’s Charlie, who is a “wallflower” until he stumbles into the inner circle of step-siblings Patrick (Ezra Miller) and Sam (Emma Watson). It’s a quite serious coming-of-age movie that tackles topics of depression, child abuse and sexuality. The movie certainly makes it a point to underline the quotable lines of the text (did I mention the writer directed it?) with scenes that have the characters saying “I feel infinite” and “Welcome to the island of misfit toys.” It could have come off very book adaptation-y, and for the most part it does. But then there’s a performance like Ezra Miller’s.
The now 27-year-old actor is introduced by drawing a beard on his face and doing an over-the-top impersonation of the wood shop teacher. Audiences have no context for said wood shop teacher or who the heck this goofball is, but he sells it. And he continues to make his runaway character utter perfection throughout the entirety of The Perks of Being A Wallflower. Between his drag performance of Rocky Horror Picture Show, the earnest storyline about his queer identity and zany one-liners like “C minus, ladies and gentlemen! I am below average!” and sneering “Be aggressive! Passive aggressive!” to high school cheerleaders is incredibly memorable.
Perks Of Being A Wallflower Had To Have Inspired His Flash Casting
All that mixed together makes for a perfect recipe as to why Ezra Miller is still a great choice for The Flash. I’m not saying Perks’ Patrick is Barry Allen – the two characters could not be on more opposite planes, and I wouldn’t expect a repeated Perks performance in a standalone DCEU movie. The point here is Ezra Miller has this unique power to strike an incredibly high energy performance without feeling over the top and still remaining grounded in his character. In Perks, you can tell the character is performing, but it doesn’t feel like Ezra is performing, and that’s very tough to do.
When I think of Flash, when he’s wearing the scarlet suit, suddenly he’s performing. He gets to let out all his high energies and just rapid fire everything that pops in his head or just go crazy with his high-speed action. It’s much different than who Barry Allen must be as a police scientist who has been dealing with the tragedy of being without a mother and his father being wrongly imprisoned. The Perks of Being A Wallflower reminded me of that aspect to Barry Allen that Ezra Miller showed an ability for early on in his career. The casting directors had to have seen that in this movie specifically before considering him.
Ezra Miller’s Recent Work Really Doesn’t Do All His Talents Justice
It’s now been six years since Ezra Miller’s initial casting as The Flash, and the movie finally seems to be getting off the ground. The movie will be directed IT’s Andy Muschietti and it has a summer 2022 release date. It’s easy to be skeptical about the project now that it's been in development for so long and has gone through many delays. And another element here is Ezra Miller really hasn’t given the kind of performance he did in The Perks of Being A Wallflower since. His most famous role has been replaced with the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
His role of Credence Barebone is an intriguing one and does stand out in the star-studded Harry Potter franchise, but it’s nowhere near as scene-stealing or energetic as Perks. If you just watched Fantastic Beasts and were told Ezra Miller was playing The Flash, I would not blame you one bit for saying it’s not a good choice. So do yourself a favor and look back on The Perks of Being A Wallflower on Netflix now. It might get you stoked for The Flash again like it did for me.
As things stand now, The Flash is scheduled to race into theaters on July 1, 2022, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on its progress.