Things aren’t looking great for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023)
When James Gunn and Peter Safran took the reins of DC Studios, they announced sweeping changes across the company. Many franchises, Gunn announced, would be discontinued, others would be rebooted, and a select few would remain. It would stand to reason that if any projects were to remain, they would be the cream of the crop, something that the new studio could be proud of. According to new leaks, that may not be the case all around.
Related: “We’ll See,” Jason Momoa Unsure Which Batman Is Appearing In ‘Aquaman 2’
It doesn’t make the most sense, does it? Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel (2013) was an extremely popular iteration of the character, and he got the ax. There was a strong following behind Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne/Batman, but more and more, it’s looking like he won’t be part of the new DC Universe. So, if Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry/Aquaman was going to stick around, his next movie had better be solid, right?
The fresh take on the character was introduced back in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) through a small cameo but was featured in Justice League (2017) and his own solo superhero movie, Aquaman (2018). A far cry from the bland and trite blonde, orange, and green-clad hero who talks to fish, Momoa offered a deeper (pun intended) look at the man behind the hero. His solo film examined his struggles with a dual culture, a concept which Momoa said he related to on a personal level, having heritage from both Hawaii and landlocked Iowa.
Momoa’s Aquaman is slated to return late this year in Aquman and the Lost Kingdom, alongside the controversial Amber Heard reprising her role as Mera. Initial thoughts about the film were good, despite Heard’s involvement, but now things for the film might not be such smooth sailing. According to an article from The Direct, early reactions to the film haven’t been great.
Related: Jason Momoa Shares DC Update Amid ‘Aquaman’ Recasting Rumors
The article cites several different early screeners who have each echoed the same sentiment. Each described the film in different terms, but the same basic idea was that the Aquaman sequel wasn’t good; it was boring, and needed to change. One such insider even clarified that it’s not that early screeners wish the film ill. Quite the opposite, actually, in talking about director James Wan:
“This is one of the bad things about being a scooper: I don’t want to shit on movies but at a certain point, when people know there have been a lot of test screenings our silence becomes pretty telling. I like Wan, I know he’s had a rough time on this one, I hope it works out.”
Despite what audiences might think, insiders were quick to point out that the film doesn’t suffer necessarily because of Amber Heard, as she is “not in the film that much.” Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is the last of the pre-Gunn/Safran DC films to come out and will hit theaters on December 25, 2023. The underwater kingdom sequel stars Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman, Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko, Patrick Wilson as Orm Marius, Dolph Lundgren as King Nereus, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as David Kane/Black Manta.
What do you think of these early reactions to Aquaman? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments below!