The vision of Michael Keaton’s Batman becoming the DCEU’s version of Nick Fury came from former DC Films boss Walter Hamada, according to THR. But the man who oversaw the original billion-dollar “Aquaman,” along with the entire rise and fall of the Snyderverse, conspicuously resigned from his position in October 2022. Since then, most of his plans for a recently strengthened DCEU have been scrapped, clearing the way for James Gunn and Peter Safran’s vision of a rebooted on-screen universe.
Shaking everything up in the wake of Hamada’s departure was not only difficult for Warner Bros., it sounds like a complete disaster, especially when it came to deciding which movies Keaton was going to appear in. THR reports that the “Birdman” star had filmed a cameo for “Aquaman: The Lost Kingdom,” which was originally slated for a December 2022 release before being moved to March 2023. But after the delay-plagued “The Flash” finally received a June 2023 release, Keaton was replaced by Ben Affleck, who filmed a new version of what would have been Keaton’s cameo. After that, “Aquaman” star Jason Momoa posted a photo of him and Affleck, seemingly confirming his return as Bruce Wayne in the upcoming sequel.
After all that ordeal, “The Lost Kingdom” was moved once again, this time with a post-“The Flash” release date. That essentially made Affleck’s appearance unnecessary, with THR reporting that the latest cut of “Aquaman 2” “features no version of the Dark Knight at all.” And honestly, that seems like the best way to go. “The Flash” not only failed to do justice to Keaton’s iconic Batman, but the film was a resounding box office flop, suggesting once again that a full-scale reboot of the DC Universe is long overdue.