A new report says Michael Keaton filmed a scene as Batman in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdombut it could be replaced with Ben Affleck’s Batman instead. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will be directed by James Wan, who also made the first $1 billion Aquarius movie. In the sequel, Jason Momoa once again plays the title role. Keaton originally starred in Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989 and the continuation of 1992, Batman returns, before retiring from the role. In 2020, it was announced that the actor would be reprising the role for both The flash and batgirl solo movies, which Keaton has already filmed.
The current uproar with the WB Discovery movie and TV series has cast doubt on Keaton’s return. batgirl was canceled on Tuesday and was permanently shelved during post-production. The flash has an equally uncertain future, as star Ezra Miller is constantly making headlines with their legal troubles, drawing unwanted attention to the $200 million superhero movie. Affleck played the role of Batman in Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League movies, as well as appearing in David Ayer’s suicide squad, before reportedly relinquishing the role. However, the actor is set to reappear in The flash and was recently revealed to have a role in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom also, showing that he is far from done with the character.
Keaton’s scene for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom apparently confused test audience for the film (per THR), which was originally going to open earlier The flash. Director Andy Muschietti’s The flash is set to reveal the multiverse in the DCEU, allowing both Keaton and Affleck’s Batman characters to appear in the same film while explaining the return of Keaton’s Batman. However, since the original plan was for The flash to open first, Keaton appears in Aquaman 2The universe was wrong. Now it seems likely that Affleck will replace him.
No explanation or official confirmation has been made regarding Affleck’s actions in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom until now, so it’s impossible to know how that role will affect the overall film, which wrapped major photography in January 2022. It has also become known that both Shazam! Anger of the Gods and Aquaman 2 are subject to yet another release date shuffle, while Todd Phillips’ joker continuation, Joker: Folie a Deux, just announced an October 2024 release date. The only other DCEU theatrical film in the books outside The flash and the Shazam! and Aquarius sequels that can undergo some sort of date shift is blue beetle starring Cobra Kai‘s Xolo Maridueña, currently debuting on August 18, 2023. There is no word yet on the fate of that film.
The fuse lit at Warner Bros. Discovery after the… batgirl cancellation is still coming to an end and the explosion of consequences in the ever-changing business strategy has yet to be fully revealed. Keaton, however, seems to be getting the short end of these changes, in what was once considered a big return for his iteration as Batman. It’s very possible that that’s still the case, and that Affleck’s Batman in Aquaman 2 was filmed to reduce confusion before Keaton could take over in The flash. While some may hope to see Affleck back in the role full-time instead of Keaton, it’s still unclear exactly which Batman will be helping the DCEU at this point. Probably the public won’t know until after the release of both The flash and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdomor until some sort of official announcement clarifies who will be the DCEU’s Batman arrives.
Next: Where Does Batgirl’s Cancellation Leave Ben Affleck’s Batman?
- Black Adam (2022)Release date: October 21, 2022
- Shazam! Rage of the Gods (2022)Release date: December 21, 2022
- Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023)Release date: March 17, 2023
- The Flash (2023)Release date: June 23, 2023
- Blue Beetle (2023)Release date: August 18, 2023
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