Aquaman 2 Undergoing Extensive Reshoots And Major Changes Ahead Of Looming Release Date


The DC Universe is about to collapse, but unlike the DC multiverse of "Crisis on Infinite Earths," this one seems to be going out not heroically with a fight, but by blowing raspberries. "The Flash" was heralded as the second coming of Clark Kent, as the superhero film to end all superhero films, only to become the second coming of "Green Lantern," and one of the biggest superhero fiascos of all time.

Unfortunately, it seems we may be headed for another potential dud. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" has become the latest superhero blockbuster requiring ludicrous amounts of money to salvage, with James Wan's sequel undergoing not one, not two, but three rounds of extensive reshoots that include stars Jason Momoa and Patrick Wilson. So many rounds of reshoots are rather rare, even for a movie like this, and while reshoots aren't necessarily a bad thing — "Rogue One" and its fantastic ending were reportedly a result of reshoots — we've seen time and time again what late-stage reshoots, particularly after changes in executives or creative teams, can do for a film, and it is seldom good.

Cue the drum-playing octopus

The first "Aquaman" was a fantastic surprise, a film that shared the aesthetic of the Zack Snyder movies, but fully embraced the fun, the goofiness, and the absurdity of a guy who can talk to fish. This is a film that deals with feeling ostracized for being biracial, but it is also a film that has an octopus that playing drums and has an aquatic horror scene. There's also the masterpiece of the scene where Aquaman heads to the Sahara Desert while a cover of Toto's "Africa" by Pitbull himself plays in the background. 

And yet, it seems "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" will be more serious than its predecessor, dealing with themes of environmentalism — while still keeping the drum-playing octopus. What's more, this already crowded franchise (the first film introduced entire kingdoms and dozens of characters) was also set to feature a Dark Knight. First, Michael Keaton was set to reprise his role as Bruce Wayne following his reintroduction in "The Flash," but when that movie got delayed, reshoots were filmed to replace Keaton with Ben Affleck. Unfortunately for Batman fans, according to THR, the latest cut of the film features no Batman whatsoever. The reason is that James Gunn and Peter Safran don't want to promise that Batman sticking around in the future, or tease possible new movie universes that may be changed. Most interestingly, they want to avoid tying the film to past failures. 

Though chaotic, this is a good move, as the entire reason DC is in this mess in the first place is because of the decision to build a cinematic universe off the financially and critically disappointing "Man of Steel" movie.

"Aquaman 2" is supposed to be released December 20, 2023, at least for now.

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