The DC Universe is... dealing with some stuff right now. Amid a tumultuous merger between Warner Bros. and Discovery, the franchise has suffered some collateral damage, including the cancellation of Batgirl and the shelving of other Batman projects. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean all is lost. It just means certain projects may need more time to develop.
Sequels to both Aquaman and Shazam! are feeling the effects of the shakeup, as both films have been hit with more delays. But don’t worry, Aquaman fans. There’s plenty to look forward to in the future.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will now release on December 25, 2023, instead of March 17, 2023. Let’s hope a Christmas miracle is more reliable than the Luck of the Irish, because the St. Patrick’s Day release date was the result of an earlier delay from the initial release date of December 16, 2022.
That’s a cumulative delay of more than a year, slating the sequel more than five years after the release of Aquaman. Will audiences still care about Jason Momoa’s fishy adventures? The timing might not seem ideal, but it may actually be fortuitous.
In an article exploring the cancellation of Batgirl, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom included a scene featuring Michael Keaton as Batman, but the scene was cut after test audiences found Keaton’s presence confusing. Later, it was revealed that Ben Affleck filmed a scene for the movie, suggesting he’ll take Keaton’s place. But now The Flash, which heavily features Keaton as Batman, is releasing before Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. We may therefore still see the original Keaton scene in Lost Kingdom, because DC fans will have a better sense of who he is and what he’s doing in the DCEU.
If that isn’t enough to get you excited, Director James Wan responded to the delay with an Instagram post revealing some truly stellar concept art.
There aren’t any huge reveals in the art, but the aesthetics alone are worth getting excited about. The art, and Wan’s claim that the images “barely scratch the surface,” are reassuring signs for fans worried that Lost Kingdom’s continued delays are the result of poor quality. If the movie’s anything like how it’s been conceived then it will hopefully be a gorgeous success, even if it comes out later than expected.
The DC Universe is undergoing some construction and renovation, but it has the potential to emerge even stronger than ever.
Aquaman: The Lost Kingdom premieres December 25, 2023.