The Flash: Warner Bros. navigated the marketing by dedicating focus on Michael Keaton’s Batman

Following the tumultuous journey with their star, Warners threw a lot of money at an unusual campaign in an effort to gain audience interest.

Keaton Batman

We’re in the final leg of promotion before the long-awaited solo film for The Flash is finally released. And Warner Bros. might have audiences think it’s more of a third Michael Keaton Batman movie. The century-old studio has been given a difficult task of marketing the film while working around its star following a series of criminal troubles Ezra Miller has been charged with. Miller has already been absent from the press circuit and will even only make an appearance at the film’s premiere in a more low-key nature.

Back when Miller’s public image had been tarnished with the shocking revelations of the crimes committed, many thought the film was doomed. People had seen no way to promote the film or garner interest with a known offender at the forefront. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. was not planning to pull a Batgirl with this one as the summer tentpole had a $200 million price tag for the studio. Warner Bros. decided to capitalize on the biggest asset the movie had going for it — Batman. TV spots for the movie would practically edit Miller out, but push Michael Keaton’s return in his defining role.

Additionally, in lieu of having Miller promote the movie, the studio would instead enlist The Flash‘s director, Andy Muschietti, producer Barbara Muschietti and Supergirl, Sasha Calle, as the movie’s ambassadors. Other studios have commented that Warners is using a lot of money for the unusual marketing blitz. An executive from a rival studio, who is adept at these proceedings, mentioned, “They are spending huge, huge. This is a massive campaign.” The exec added, “They are not promoting Flash as a character because they can’t.”

The deal that the studio broke with its star was to publicly apologize, seek professional help and forgo any press if Miller ever wanted to come back to the role. Luckily, Miller hadn’t made any headlines since, and Warners would push hype for the movie with word-of-mouth reactions. Instead of industry screenings, the studio hosted a number of “fan events” where people had the chance to see the film in advance, and Warners would count on the film to speak for itself. Instances even involved public reactions from noteworthy names that you wouldn’t expect to praise such a film, like Tom Cruise and Stephen King.

Source: THR

About the Author

1646 Articles Published

E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.