Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom: Are Disastrous Test Screenings Threatening the Theatrical Release?
Jason Momoa is now said to be focusing on his role as Lobo
"Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" will be the last film from the current DCEU to be released at the end of the year. That will make a total of 16 films in the universe that started with "Man of Steel" in 2013. One thing is certain: the previous universe will no longer be continued after the acquisition of the DC Studios by James Gunn and Peter Safran and will instead be replaced by the new DC Universe, or DCU for short. Thus, all movies that have been released after 2013 will no longer receive a sequel, which also means the exit from DC for most of the leading actors.
With "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom", the nearly ten-year existence of the old universe could be brought to a grand conclusion and at the same time create a good transition to the DCU. However, the latest reports suggest that the movie is far from being well received by audiences. Movie insider Jeff Sneider, who is usually well-informed, recently commented on Twitter about the test screenings of the "Aquaman" sequel. He claims to have learned that these have just started and so far have turned out to be extremely disappointing. Lead actor Jason Momoa is also rumored to have reacted with considerable resentment when he learned that viewers were leaving the screenings in droves. This is probably also a result of the fact that initial screenings were already run last summer, which were likewise received negatively.
The 43-year-old could nevertheless stay with the DCU, unlike most of his fellow stars: Rumors have been circulating for some time that although he will turn his back on "Aquaman" in the future, he will take on the role of the alien bounty hunter Lobo. The DC bosses have not yet officially spoken out about this - for now, the priority will be on "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" and the remaining DCEU films.
Therefore, the film may not be doomed yet. There is still plenty of time to turn things around in post-production and deliver a worthy sequel to the very successful first installment. The test screenings are not a reliable indicator for the success of a film anyway: In the past, many films flopped there, which were then successfully adjusted based on the feedback, or they flopped at the box office despite excellent test screenings. Anyhow, we are looking forward to the final outcome: "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" is slated for a December 25, 2023 theatrical release.