Shazam 2 (Shazam! Fury of the Gods) and Aquaman 2 (Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom) have been pushed back again by Warner Bros Discovery. The new adventures of Billy Batson will now debut in March 2023, while Aquaman’s sequel will be released in December 2023.
If you’re a DC fan like me, I’m sure you’ve heard and followed all about the recent leadership changes at Warner Bros. Discovery and everything it implies for our favourite DC characters. These management changes must be the most covered and followed in the entire history of cinema, as fans online have been analysing with eagle eyes and taking quite personally the new leadership adjustments. But now, why exactly have these two movies been delayed again? Let’s dive into the details and possible explanations.
Speculations swirl after the delay of Shazam 2 and Aquaman 2
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There’s been a lot of speculation regarding the reasons for those delays, delays that come right after the cancellation of Batgirl, which caused an unexpected outrage from fans online. With many other shows and movies reported as not moving forward anymore for a theatrical release or for HBO Max, the public’s trust towards the studio is at an all-time low, and I personally find it completely normal. The audience is now hesitant to be excited about any upcoming project, as they’re constantly waiting to see what’s going to be delayed or cancelled next by new CEO David Zaslav. Here, there seem to be some possible explanations for the two movies’ delay.
According to reporter Borys Kit on Twitter, the studio is currently so low on funds that they couldn’t possibly afford to release three movies in 2022, thus deciding to focus all their DC effort on Black Adam and its marketing campaign. This seems plausible as the studio’s financial struggles have been in the public eye for quite some time now. It’s well known that David Zaslav is currently fighting to reduce costs following the decisions of the previous regime, which led to a huge 3 billion dollar loss.
Why were Shazam 2 and Aquaman 2 delayed?
Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ previous release date would have put the superhero directly against the giant Avatar: The Way of Water, and according to Shazam! director David Sandberg, the Avatar sequel was already grabbing most of the IMAX and PLF screens for its December release, which is obvious if you ask me. Keeping Shazam 2 against Avatar 2 would have ended up in the DC movie being put in lower-quality time slots, all while losing the studio a lot of money against Avatar 2, which was always a suicidal decision, in my opinion.
Shazam! grossed 366 million dollars globally, while Avatar grossed 2.7 billion dollars… Not much of a “competition” here. Keeping Shazam out of Avatar’s way makes it a lot easier for it to be a box office success. When it comes to Aquaman 2, the problem seems to be linked to post-production.
Aquaman 2 having post-production issues?
The movie reportedly has been having “issues” during its post-production process and needs more time to be completed. Very few details are currently known regarding these post-production matters, and many seem to think about the possibility that Warner Bros. Discovery may have finally made the decision to reshoot all Mera scenes… with another actress in the costume? Since Mera actress Amber Heard lost her trial against her ex-husband Johnny Depp, many seem to be cutting ties with the actress.
In my humble opinion, although it’s sad that these movies have to be delayed because of the previous regime’s decisions, Zaslav is now only trying to right some previous wrongs. He insisted that he wanted quality for the studio’s movies and reaffirmed multiple times he would not release movies too quickly, without trying to make them as good as possible. I think in the end, if having more time enables them to produce better films, these decisions are all for the better. Let’s now hope nothing else comes in the way.
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