Aquaman 2, officially titled Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, is making waves, but not in the way DC Studios or fans would have hoped. The sequel to the 2018 blockbuster has been through three rounds of reshoots, an almost unprecedented number for a film of this scale.
The reshoots, coupled with a series of uninspiring test screenings, have raised concerns about the film’s quality and the state of the DC Universe.
Aquaman 2 Reshoots
The first round of reshoots took place in New Zealand in mid-June, involving stars Jason Momoa and Patrick Wilson. The reshoots were directed by James Wan, who also helmed the first film. The third round of reshoots has just wrapped up, and insiders are questioning what this means for the film’s quality and the release date.
The reshoots are not the only issue plaguing Aquaman 2. The film has been postponed several times, originally set to release in December 2022. The production has spanned three regimes at Warner Bros., adding to the chaos and uncertainty surrounding the project.
The Aquaman 2 Drama
The drama behind the scenes of Aquaman 2 extends beyond the reshoots. The film was greenlit under the Warner Bros. regime led by former film boss Toby Emmerich and his lieutenant, DC Films head Walter Hamada. However, both Emmerich and Hamada were casualties of the merger that created Warner Bros. Discovery.
The film was in the middle of post-production and beginning test screenings when the leadership changed. The new Warner Bros. film bosses, Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy, got involved, but their version of the film scored lower in test screenings than the previous version, leading to another round of reshoots.
Aquaman 2’s Batman Issue
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One of the stumbling blocks in getting Aquaman 2 shipshape was the question of Batman. Former DC Films head Walter Hamada wanted Michael Keaton’s version of Batman to be akin to Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury in the Marvel movies — an elder statesman who could pop up in various films. However, shifting release dates muddled things, and the latest cut of the film features neither version of the Dark Knight.
The Future of Aquaman 2
Despite the reshoots and the drama, Warner Bros. is still investing in Aquaman 2, showing that the studio has faith in the film. The film is already an expensive production, with a budget of $205 million and additional costs due to the pandemic and the visual effects required for every frame of the movie.
The film is set to be the last movie of the DC Extended Universe, which launched a decade ago with Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. As the December release date approaches, the filmmakers and studio are aware of the value that smart post-production can bring. The first Aquaman was also facing turbulent waves and is said to have found its footing only in post-production.
Final Thoughts on Aquaman 2 and these reshoots
Aquaman 2 is in uncharted waters, with the next several weeks potentially setting its course, for good or for ill. The film’s survival through regime changes at WB and the DC Films subsidiary, the disappointing box office for The Flash, and Amber Heard’s defamation trial is incredible — and a testament to the fact that Aquaman remains the highest-grossing DC movie. However, the question remains: will Aquaman 2 sink or swim? Only time will tell.
What do you make of this news? Are you still looking forward to watching Aquaman 2 despite all of these reported issues with the film? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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