Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, the long-awaited sequel to James Wan and Jason Momoa’s reimagining of the DC superhero, seems to have encountered some turbulence during production. It’s been revealed that they just completed a third round of reshoots involving the main stars of the film and the director himself.
As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, while it’s not unusual for productions in the superhero genre to go back and do changes after wrapping up main photography, a third set of reshoots is definitely extraordinary. These new changes to the movie happened as a response to negative test screenings of the second version of the film, overseen by executive producers Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy, which involved an entirely new edit of the movie.
“Different visions of executives notwithstanding, it is unclear what the problems were,” said THR in its report. “But one insider said the underlying issue of the story clarity has been an ongoing concern.” It was this response to the edit that gave way to the additional reshooting of the film. And while there aren’t many details about the plot of the movie, it’s been mentioned that one of the biggest problems has been Batman, or more importantly, who should play the hero in a small cameo for the film.
Which Batman should be in The Lost Kingdom?
As Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has been delayed several times, alongside much of the DCEU productions before the arrival of James Gunn and Peter Safran to lead the studio, the question of which Batman should appear in the film for a small part of it was a constant point of confusion.
According to THR, Michael Keaton had already filmed a scene, but was eventually replaced by Ben Affleck when it was announced that they would release before The Flash. However, that changed once again, and now it seems like the director has chosen to keep Both of those Batmen from the movie. This would mean that one of the strongest figures of the DCEU would be cut entirely out of the movie.
“The latest cut of the film features neither version of the Dark Knight,” said the report at THR, citing anonymous insider sources, “As new DC heads James Gunn and Peter Safran do not want to promise a movie universe that will not come to fruition nor tie it down excessively to past failures.”
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will release in theaters around the world on December 20, 2023.