It’s an unusual period right now when it comes to DC cinematic entertainment. On the one hand, the DC Extended Universe is set to continue through upcoming DC movies like The Flash, Blue Beetle and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, but on the other hand, we know that the new DC Universe franchise spearheaded by James Gunn and Peter Safran is launching in a couple years. The Flash will pave the way for resetting this continuity, but while Aquaman 2 will technically be the last DCEU-era movie, director James Wan explained why these changes at DC Studios aren’t impacting his work on the 2023 new movie release.
2018’s Aquaman marked Wan’s debut in the superhero movie space, following after his work in the Saw, Insidious and Conjuring horror franchises, as well as helming Furious 7. With Aquaman becoming the highest-grossing DC movie of all time, it’s no wonder the filmmaker was brought back for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which shot from June 2021 to January 2022. Despite DC Studios preparing for the beginning of a new era, Wan said the following to THR about why he hasn’t had to worry about this as much as some might have assumed:
I’ve had to make adjustments all along the way. The DCU has been through lots of different versions, and one of the things that was challenging about this film was keeping track of what’s going on. Fortunately, the Aquaman universe is pretty far removed from the rest of the world. We’re going to many different underwater kingdoms that are not necessarily related to what’s happening with the other movies and characters, so we’re stand-alone in that respect. So I can just tell my story on its own without being affected too much, but at the same time, I have to be mindful of what’s been happening.
So while it’s not like James Wan has been completely out of touch with the DCEU transitioning to the DCU, because Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry and his supporting cast of characters are chiefly hanging out underwater and dealing with threats resting below the surface, this status quo shift hasn’t been a huge concern. Ultimately we’ll have to see just how much Aquaman 2 delves into these waters, but it sounds like so long as you’ve seen Aquaman, you’ll be covered following along with what goes down in the sequel. Is there a future for Momoa’s Aquaman after The Lost Kingdom? That’s a question that may take a long time to be officially answered, although Momoa has said he “absolutely” thinks his character will be “involved” in the new DC Universe.
Perhaps the biggest mystery concerning Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’s ties to non-Aquaman DC lore at the moment involves Justice Leaguer teammate Batman. In June 2022, Jason Momoa shared that Ben Affleck was reprising his version of the Caped Crusader during reshoots, and it was later revealed that Michael Keaton had shot his own Batman scene for Aquaman 2 after donning the cape and cowl again for The Flash, but test audiences found his presence “confusing,” resulting in said scene being shelved. At this point though, it’s unclear if The Lost Kingdom will include any Batman appearance, though it arguably doesn’t matter in the long run given that one of the movies in the new DC Universe’s Chapter One slate, titled Gods and Monsters, is The Brave and the Bold, and it will star a new actor as Bruce Wayne.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom premieres in theaters on December 20, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more coverage about it, including when the first trailer drops. Use your Max subscription to rewatch Aquaman and any of the other DCEU installments.