That's it for Batman: According to the latest reports, Ben Affleck has been cut from "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" again - marking the latest chapter in an endless drama surrounding the new DC movie.
Actually, things were looking pretty good: 2018's "Aquaman" is one of the most successful DC adaptations ever and lead actor Jason Momoa is a veritable fan favorite - so what could possibly go wrong with "Aquaman 2"? As it turns out: quite a few things, and the production itself is hardly to blame.
At first, co-star Amber Heard was a cause for concern, as most people are completely down on her after the mess she got into with ex-husband Johnny Depp. To this day, it's not entirely sure how big her role in the new "Aquaman" movie will be. What came next was the end of the familiar DCEU and the plans for the new DCU: release dates were changed repeatedly, while the megaflop "The Flash" was supposed to be the transition to the new universe.
In this context, there were several reshoots for "Aquaman 2": At one point, Michael Keaton was supposed to make an appearance as Batman, then Ben Affleck, and sometimes both. As The Hollywood Reporter informs, the current presence of Ben Affleck is now out of the question: Following the meanwhile third round of reshooting, the movie is now said to be entirely Batman-free. The reason for this is, among other things, that DC bosses James Gunn and Peter Safran want to let the movies stand on their own for now, without creating dozens of connections - a mistake that was made with the DCEU right from the start.
The test screenings of the previous versions of "Aquaman 2" turned out to be very mixed: At times the reactions were quite positive, at other times the sequel was a total failure. One thing is certain: The final version is unlikely to have much in common with the original one. Whether the long ordeal was worth it will be revealed once the movie hits theaters on December 20, 2023.