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Ben Affleck’s Batman Reportedly Removed from Aquaman 2 After Three Rounds of Reshoots

Ben Affleck Batman removed from Aquaman 2 The Lost Kingdom The Flash Return

The DC Extended Universe seems to be coming to a fiery end soon with the crash of The Flash at the box office, but there’s still a chance to go out on a high note as Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (Aquaman 2) is looking to deliver this December. That, however, seems to be quite the challenge as the movie has been delayed often and required three reshoot sessions and a plethora of test screenings to get into working order as studio leadership has changed and the future of the DCEU has become clearer.

Part of the issue was Batman appearing in Aquaman 2. Originally, the idea was that Micheal Keaton’s Batman, who first appeared in The Flash, would function as an anchor for the universe, helping guide the multiverse’s heroes kind of like Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Keaton reportedly shot a scene for the film, but that was scrapped as delays of the film and The Flash changed things — so instead Ben Affleck was brought in to do another Batman cameo for the movie. Then James Gunn and Peter Safran came on board and the entire DCEU blew up with the pair planning to relaunch everything with Gunn’s Superman: Legacy. Given that, director James Wan and cast were given an almost unheard-of third round of reshoots that have entirely removed any Batman from Aquaman 2 at all and turned the film into more of a standalone adventure. A wise decision as The Flash proved that even a slew of Batman actor cameos can’t save your film.

Throughout all of this, the movie has been relentlessly screen-tested and adjusted from that, with one point of focus evidently being making the plot a bit more understandable, something removing cameos could definitely do. This may all sound like a film that’s in trouble, but the thinking is that WB is still high on the movie since it’s dumping more and more cash into it despite the absolute flop of the last three DC comic book films (Black AdamShazam! Fury of the Gods, and The Flash). Of note is the fact that the studio also allowed two days of reshoots for Blue Beetle, the other DCEU film landing this year, meaning that the studio hasn’t completely given up on either of these films despite the lack of interest expressed by audiences in their predecessors.

About the author

Matthew Razak
Matthew Razak is a News Writer and film aficionado at Escapist. He has been writing for Escapist for nearly five years and has nearly 20 years of experience reviewing and talking about movies, TV shows, and video games for both print and online outlets. He has a degree in Film from Vassar College and a degree in gaming from growing up in the '80s and '90s. He runs the website and has written for The Washington Post, Destructoid, MTV, and more. He will gladly talk your ear off about horror, Marvel, Stallone, James Bond movies, Doctor Who, Zelda, and Star Trek.