Following the tremendous success of the hit movie “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa and directed by James Wan, the highly anticipated sequel “Aquaman: The Lost Kingdom” is set to grace the screens later this year. However, the film’s journey to completion has been met with challenges, including multiple reshoots and drama within the studio.
As per reports from The Hollywood Reporter, “Aquaman: The Lost Kingdom” has undergone three rounds of reshoots in New Zealand since mid-June. The reshoots were necessitated by poor test screenings, delays caused by the 2020 pandemic, overworked VFX artists, and a change in leadership at DC Studios. The film was greenlit during the tenure of former Warner Bros CEO Toby Emmerich and DC Studios head Walter Hamada, prior to the Warner Bros Discovery merger. Presently, CEO David Zaslav leads Warner Bros Discovery, while the creative-business duo of James Gunn and Peter Safran run DC Studios.
Before departing from his position, Hamada expressed his desire to feature Michael Keaton’s Batman in future DC films, similar to Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury in the MCU, serving as a connection between various superheroes. However, in the midst of reshoots, Keaton’s scenes were replaced by Ben Affleck. Due to the change in leadership and several release date delays, rumors have emerged suggesting that neither Batman (Keaton nor Affleck) will appear in the final cut of “Aquaman: The Lost Kingdom.” These reports have left many DC fans concerned, especially following the disappointing performance of the recent release, “The Flash,” which fell short of expectations at the box office.
Originally budgeted at $205 million, the production costs of “Lost Kingdom” are expected to have escalated due to the delays and reshoots. Whether the extensive reshoots will prove to be justified by a higher budget remains to be seen, with director James Wan remaining optimistic about the film’s future. He believes the movie will not only provide thrilling action-fantasy entertainment but also carry a meaningful message about climate change.
As for the future of DC Studios, “Aquaman: The Lost Kingdom” will officially mark the conclusion of films within the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), primarily influenced by the work of Zack Snyder. James Gunn, on the other hand, aspires to revitalize the DC brand with his upcoming film, “Superman: Legacy,” scheduled for release in 2025.
In conclusion, “Aquaman: The Lost Kingdom” has faced its fair share of challenges during its production, but fans eagerly await its release later this year. The film’s success and impact on the future of DC Studios will be revealed in due time.