DC Teases Jason Momoa Recast, No Longer Aquaman

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Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman

Credit: Warner Bros.

Following the merger between Warner Bros. and Discovery forming Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) last year, substantial organizational changes took place. It led to Walter Hamada, the former head of DC, leaving his position.

As a result, WBD brought in James Gunn, the acclaimed director known for his contributions to Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy franchise in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). As a part of this transition, Gunn was appointed as the new leader of DC Studios, and he now shares leadership responsibilities in the division with Peter Safran.

James Gunn with the Superman Logo
Credit: Inside the Magic

It’s important to mention that James Gunn had previous involvement with the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), which has since been rebranded as the DC Universe (DCU). He directed films such as The Suicide Squad (2021), which marked a significant departure from the earlier Suicide Squad (2016) that featured Jared Leto as the Joker. At present, DC Studios is embarking on a wholly unique venture that emphasizes its distinctive approach separate from the productions of Marvel Studios.

The entire cast of Peacemaker season 1
Credit: HBO

Amidst the significant transformation taking place at DC Studios, which leans towards James Gunn’s fresh DCU direction while discontinuing Zack Snyder’s Justice League franchise, often referred to as the “Snyderverse,” there is a single forthcoming DCEU film on the horizon. This movie follows the release of The Flash (2023), featuring Ezra Miller as The Flash/Barry Allen, Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) starring Zachary Levi as Billy Batson/Shazam and Rachel Zegler as Anthea, and the most recent release, Blue Beetle (2023), where Xolo Maridueña takes on the role of Jaime Reyes/Blue Beetle.

The last DCEU-era film? None other than Aquaman 2 AKA Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom by director James Wan.

Aquaman 2; Actor Jason Momoa as Aquaman
Credit: Inside the Magic

DC’s Last Aquaman Movie?

Due to setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and difficulties in post-production, the DC film Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is now scheduled for release on December 20, 2023. 2018’s Aquaman sequel has a plot that centers on Aquaman’s mission to protect Atlantis from the destructive forces unleashed by ancient powers.

Watch the Aquaman 2 trailer here:

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom‘s cast features Jason Momoa portraying Arthur Curry/Aquaman, the ruler of Atlantis. Amber Heard plays Princess Mera, known for her water-manipulation skills and telepathic communication with Atlanteans. Patrick Wilson assumes the role of Orm Marius, while Dolph Lundgren portrays King Nereus of Xebel. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II brings to life the character of Black Manta, driven by a thirst for revenge against Aquaman. Temuera Morrison stars as Tom Curry, and Nicole Kidman takes on the role of Atlanna.

aquaman-2-black-manta
Credit: Warner Bros.

Additionally, the ensemble includes Randall Park as Dr. Stephen Shin, Vincent Regan as Atlan, Jani Zhao as Stingray, Indya Moore as Karshon, and Pilou Asbæk in a role that has not been disclosed.

DC Hints at Imminent Recast

Jason Momoa is one of the last remaining members of the Snyder Justice League, with Gal Gadot’s future looking flimsy (although she is still technically hanging on as Wonder Woman). Now-CEO Gunn is dead set on that DCU reboot however, and the DC Universe’s new Chapter One — Gods and Monsters will

Jason Momoa in 'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom'
Credit: DC Studios

Currently, the most is known about DCU’s inaugural film, Superman: Legacy, which is currently entering pre-production. Not much is known about the plot of Superman: Legacy, but what is known is that it will depict a younger Clark Kent as he grapples with his role as Superman. Speculation about the casting of the titular Superman/Clark Kent and his partner Lois Lane circulated wildly for a while — until recently when it was revealed that David Corenswet (Hollywood) and Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) would take on the roles respectively.

Next up on DC’s docket will be a Batman reboot, currently titled The Brave and the Bold, led by The Flash‘s director Andy Muschietti, which will center around a new Robin storyline, with “Batman and his actual son, Damian Wayne.”

Jason Momoa as Aquaman
Credit: Warner Bros.

Amid all of this news, it was also rumored that Gunn was interested in keeping Momoa onboard the DC train — except not in his role as Aquaman/Arthur Curry, but as the lesser-known hero Lobo.

The DC antihero is a bounty hunter known for his extreme violence, irreverent humor, and over-the-top personality. Lobo is often depicted as an alien from the planet Czarnia, and he is one of the last of his species due to his penchant for causing mass destruction on his home planet. He is known for taking on contracts to capture or kill targets across the universe and is almost indestructible.

And it seems like DC could be seriously intending to go down this route of recasting the charismatic Momoa in the live-action DC Universe.

Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Mera (Amber Heard) in James Wan's 'Aquaman'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Now, known Hollywood insider CanWeGetSomeToast has highlighted this very pointed tease by DC Comics, referencing this very specific tongue-in-cheek comic panel which shows off Lobo from the DC Comics saying, “this is friggin’ RIDICULOUS. I look nothing like Aquaman”:

DC Comics knows what they’re doing with this Lobo/#Aquaman tease 😂

Wouldn’t be surprising if James Gunn announced Momoa’s return/entry into the #DCU as the main main himself after Lost Kingdom flops 🧜‍♂️

Is this a hint from an insider than Gunn is going to pull some DC Universe shenanigans after Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom? Seeing as the film marks the more-or-less official end of the Snyderverse DCEU, and the Justice League as we know it, DC fans will have to stay vigilant for further news about their beloved heroes.

With the controversial Amber Heard also attached to this iteration of Aquaman (potentially threatening its theatrical reception), perhaps it’s now more likely than ever that along with Ben Affleck’s Batman and Henry Cavill’s Superman, Momoa’s Aquaman is not long for this world.

Do you think Jason Momoa should be recast as Lobo instead of Aquaman? What do you think about this tease from DC Comics? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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