In an unexpected turn of events, the much-anticipated Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (Aquaman 2), the sequel to the massively successful Aquaman, is reportedly ‘so bad’, ‘boring’, and in dire need of a fix before its Christmas release.
Harrowing Early Reactions
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When Aquaman released in 2018, it was a surprise hit for Warner Bros, especially following the disappointing box office and critical reception to Justice League a year prior. In fact, Jason Momoa and Amber Heard’s superhero blockbuster remains the highest-grossing DC movie of all time with over $1.1 billion taken at the global box office.
The studio was naturally hoping for a repeat success with 2023 sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, but the first reactions from test screenings have been, to put it mildly, abysmal.
Leaked Test Screening Reactions
Respected leaker ViewerAnon shared (via The Express): “I’ll be honest, we’re half a dozen test screenings in and it’s not looking great. I’ve consistently heard over the last half year or so that it’s boring, not as good as the first, and potentially one of the worst DCEU movies”.
This unsettling sentiment was echoed by Big Screen Leaks, stating: “There’s a reason I’ve been avoiding any questions about Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom… test screenings for this film have not been good. I heard that something that almost never happened in test screenings happened with this movie. They’re really going to need to fix this one and fix it fast”.
CanWeGetSomeToast tweeted: “People walked out. Been hearing similarly bad things about #AquamanAndTheLostKingdom, and it’s a shame because I read the script for that over a year ago and it was actually pretty good.” And MyTimeToShineHello added: “I heard Aquaman 2 is horrible”.
Rumours Swirling Around Jason Momoa
I heard Aquaman 2 is horrible.
Only DC movie I'm currently excited for is Blue Beetle pic.twitter.com/rueDspDgaT
— MyTimeToShineHello (@MyTimeToShineH) June 15, 2023
In the midst of these troubling reports, rumours have arisen that Jason Momoa is slated to play Lobo in James Gunn’s rebooted DCU, with an insider claiming that this is due to Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom being so bad. Jeff Sneider tweeted: “I hear it’s terrible and that’s why Momoa is gonna be Lobo going forward”.
What’s Next for the DC Extended Universe?
Despite the reported calamity of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) has a packed schedule ahead, with three other movies releasing this year: Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash, and Blue Beetle.
With the promise of The Flash resetting the universe as the DCU, it remains to be seen how Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will fit into this grander narrative, particularly given its poor initial reception. It’s anyone’s guess what will transpire when it hits cinemas on Christmas Day.
While the first Aquaman was a beacon of hope for DC, showing that the company could produce a billion-dollar box office hit, the sequel’s early reactions are a stark reminder of the pitfalls and challenges of creating a worthy successor. The question now is whether Warner Bros can rectify the issues plaguing Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom before its Christmas release.
Despite the overwhelmingly negative reactions from the test screenings, it’s crucial to remember that these are early days. The film is still in post-production, which means that there is time for necessary adjustments and improvements. We can only hope that the creative team behind the sequel, led by director James Wan, will take this feedback to heart and work to deliver a film that lives up to the high expectations set by its predecessor.
As the countdown to Christmas Day continues, all eyes will be on Warner Bros and the team behind Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Will they manage to turn the tide and deliver a film that captivates audiences worldwide, or will the sequel sink beneath the weight of its early criticisms? Only time will tell.
In the meantime, DC fans have other films to look forward to, including Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash, and Blue Beetle. While the alleged failure of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is a blow to the DCEU, it is by no means a death sentence. The cinematic universe has shown resilience in the face of adversity before, and it is likely to do so again.
But let’s not forget that at the end of the day, cinema is subjective. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and it’s entirely possible that Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom might still find its audience. After all, as the saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. And in the realm of blockbuster superhero films, controversy and divisiveness have often proven to be a recipe for box office success.
What do you make of this news? Are you looking forward to watching Aquaman 2, or are you worried about this movie? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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