Though Blue Beetle is subsequent on the upcoming DC films schedule, in relation to the DC Prolonged Universe continuity, there’s just one extra entry left: Aquaman 2, a.okay.a. Aquaman and the Misplaced Kingdom. By the point it arrives as one of many remaining 2023 new film releases, it’ll have been 5 years since Aquaman hit theaters and went on to turn out to be the highest-grossing DC film of all time. Nonetheless, phrase’s are available in that The Misplaced Kingdom has been plagued with each reshoot and scheduling issues for some time now, and that’s resulted in some dangerous information for Batman followers.
You may learn by THR’s detailed story concerning the points which have made the Aquaman and the Misplaced Kingdom artistic course of arguably extra difficult than the making of its predecessor, together with how there have been three rounds of reshoots and “a number of uninspired check screenings.” However concerning the Batman replace, it is a results of the assorted scheduling shakeups that film has went by, in addition to a brand new decree from DC Studios heads James Gunn and Peter Safran. Neither Michael Keaton nor Ben Affleck’s variations of the Caped Crusader will seem within the sequel, as they “don’t need to promise a film universe that won’t come to fruition, nor tie it down excessively to previous failures,” with one supply describing this as “fairly chaotic.”
For these out of the loop, in July 2022, a bit over half a yr after Aquaman 2 ended principal images, Jason Momoa revealed that Ben Affleck would reprise Batman, with these two heroes having beforehand shared display screen time in each variations of Justice League. Not lengthy after, it was reported that Keaton had initially been introduced again as Bruce Wayne for the subsequent Aquaman film (bear in mind, he was already set to seem within the now-scrapped Batgirl), however check audiences allegedly discovered his presence “complicated.” This new THR piece additional clarifies that Affleck was introduced in because the Batman substitute when The Misplaced Kingdom was set to open in March 2023, three months earlier than Keaton would seem in The Flash, therefore why him spending time with Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry wouldn’t make any sense.
Since then, Aquaman and the Misplaced Kingdom has been moved to December 2023, and till now, it’d been unclear if both model of Batman could be current in it. Evidently they won’t, and Gunn and Safran’s reported rationale for that is sensible provided that they’re presently placing the brand new DC Universe collectively, and that continuity could have its personal Batman launched in The Courageous and the Daring. So now we all know for positive that The Flash would be the final see of Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck’s variations of Batman. The previous was seen dying in battle towards Zod and his Kryptonian renegades in that alternate 2013, and after Ezra Miller’s principal model of Barry Allen undid these modifications to the timeline, he found on the finish of The Flash that the DCEU’s Bruce Wayne now seemed completely different, with George Clooney reprising the function 26 years after he starred in Batman & Robin.
Batman’s exclusion from this film additionally suits with director James Wan having mentioned that Aquaman 2 is a “very standalone movie.” So there gained’t be any Darkish Knight motion on this flick, however different members of The Misplaced Kingdom’s solid embody Amber Heard’s Mera, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s Black Manta and Patrick Wilson’s Orm, to call just some. The sequel dives into theaters on December 20, and you may revisit Aquaman forward of time whereas going by the DC films so as together with your Max subscription.