DC Stars Reportedly Cut From ‘Aquaman 2’ Amid Poor Quality Disaster

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Amber Heard as Mera (L) and Jason Momoa as Aquaman (R) in 'Aquaman'

Credit: DC Studios

After a delay to bypass going up against James Cameron’s behemoth Avatar: The Way of Water (2023), Aquaman 2 from director James Wan will officially release in December this year. Although it may not be the box office smash that the first movie was, thanks to a negative early reception to the DC Studios film.

Now, it seems that cuts are being made amid James Gunn and Peter Safran’s takeover as Co-CEOs of DC Studios, ushering in a new era of DC Comics-inspired stories in this multi-platform age.

Jason Momoa as Aquaman
Credit: Warner Bros.

The DCEU is coming to an end, and in its place will be the newly streamlined DC Universe, or DCU, as created by James Gunn and Peter Dafran for David Zaslav’s Warner Bros. Discovery. Last year saw the shocking scrapping of Batgirl, the box office bomb of Black Adam (2022), and Henry Cavill return as Superman — but not for long. Shortly after Cavill’s appearance in the post-credits scene of Dwayne Johnson’s superhero movie and the actor’s announcement of a new movie, it was revealed that The Witcher star would no longer don the red cape as DC intends to move away from existing actors in the future.

In January, Gunn revealed the first part of DC Studios new DCU with projects like Superman: Legacy (2025), Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow (TBD), and another Batman revival based off of “The Bold and the Brave” comic books. TV shows will include Waller, Creature Commandos, and Lanterns. The DCU is said to be a cross-platform franchise with film, TV, and gaming all forming the cohesive universe with little to no recast characters.

Henry Cavill as Superman
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: James Gunn Backtracks On DCU Reboot, Reveals More Details

What begins this new age of stories will be what Gunn said was one of the “greatest superhero movies ever made” — Andy Muschietti’s The Flash (2023). Starring the controversial Ezra Miller as Barry Allen, AKA the titular Scarlet Speedster, The Flash is said to “reset” everything for DC, meaning it is likely that the Multiversal story will usher in this next chapter of stories for Warner Bros.

But before The Flash gets to do its thing, fans will continue with the DCEU with Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) and then Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023) will close out the year in December. The former is said to be on track for one of DC’s worst openings which would be another blow for Warner Bros. after the Black Adam flop last year. Then, after The Flash in June and Blue Beetle (2023) in August, all eyes will be on the release of James Wan’s sequel to his billion-dollar hit Aquaman (2018).

Amber Heard as Mera (left) gazing at Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry (right) in 'Aquaman'
Credit: Warner Bros.

What is going on with Aquaman 2?

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was part of DC’s major delay shake up, moving out of its Christmas 2022 slot so it wouldn’t go to war with the other aquatic adventure, Avatar: The Way of Water.

The film drew quite a lot of attention last year during the highly-publicized trial between Amber Heard and her former husband, Hollywood star Johnny Depp. Heard’s role as Mera garnered intense backlash during the defamation trial, where it was revealed that Heard’s role had been reduced significantly and, at one point, was said to have almost been removed by former DC head Walter Hamada if not for Jason Momoa (Arthur Curry/Aquaman).

Jason Momoa as Aquaman
Credit: Warner Bros.

The jury in Fairfax County, Virginia, presided over by Judge Penney Azcarate, found both Heard and Depp guilty of defamation in some way. They awarded Depp $5 million in punitive damages and $10 million in compensatory damages after unanimously agreeing that Heard did, in fact, defame her ex-husband with the infamous Op-Ed in The Washington Post.

So, while Heard will appear in the upcoming Aquaman sequel, although how much Mera will be involved is yet to be seen, reports have found their way to the internet that two other characters have been cut from the DC film — and two big names at that.

Amber Heard as Mera in 'Aquaman'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: Warner Bros. Spits In the Face of Fans, Does Not Care About Actor’s Illegal Activities

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was set to feature Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne, AKA Batman. However, amid reports that the film is not testing well in early screens, it appears that Affleck and Keaton have been cut from the movie. Comic Book Movie reports that an insider has revealed that neither Keaton nor Affleck will appear in the closing DC movie of the year. The Aquaman sequel will feature Patrick Wilson as Orm Marius, Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as David Kane/Black Manta, Randall Park as Dr. Stephen Shin, Temuera Morrison as Tom Curry, Dolph Lundgren as King Nereus, and Nicole Kidman as Atlanna.

While there has been no confirmation from DC that this is the case, it does track with the culls and cancelations the studio has made over the last year. It will be interesting to see, as more “disastrous” test screening reports emerge, just how Warner Bros. plans to handle this year before they can fully emerse themselves into the newly formed DCU.

What do you think of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom cutting Batman? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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