The first “Aquaman” was a fantastic surprise, a movie that shared the aesthetic of the Zack Snyder movies, but completely embraced the fun, silliness, and absurdity of a guy who can talk to fish. This is a movie that’s about feeling ostracized for being biracial, but it’s also a movie that has an octopus playing the drums and has an aquatic horror scene. There’s also the masterpiece of the scene where Aquaman heads into the Sahara desert while a cover of Toto’s “Africa” by Pitbull himself plays in the background.
And yet, it seems that “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” will be more serious than its predecessor, dealing with themes of environmentalism, while keeping the drumming octopus at the same time. Furthermore, this already crowded franchise (the first film featured entire kingdoms and dozens of characters) was also poised to introduce 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 was pushed back, reshoots were filmed to replace Keaton with Ben Affleck. Unfortunately for Batman fans, according to THR, the last cut of the movie doesn’t feature Batman at all. The reason is that James Gunn and Peter Safran don’t want to promise that Batman will stick around in the future, or tease possible new movie universes that they may change. Most interestingly, they want to avoid linking the movie to past failures.
Although chaotic, this is a good move, as the main reason DC is in this mess is because of the decision to build a cinematic universe out of the financially and critically disappointing “Man of Steel” movie.
“Aquaman 2” is supposed to be released on December 20, 2023, at least for now.