‘Aquaman’ Written Off at Warner Bros., Star Jumps Ship To Become Leading Man in MCU: Update

in DC, Marvel

Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman

Credit: DC Studios

Unlike the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Warner Bros. DC Extended Universe is to be completely deleted from existence. The company has written off Jason Momoa’s Aquaman with one star jumping ship to find a new home in the MCU. Now, an update has been quietly shared about the future of the project starring the Aquaman franchise A-lister.

Jason Momoa looking surprised as Aquaman in the water
Credit: DC Studios

At one point, the tale of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) versus the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) was one of two halves. Kevin Feige’s MCU was the jewel in the comic book movie franchise crown, while DC Studios’ DCEU never really found its footing, and when it did find purchase, it came from surprising places.

Director James Wan’s Aquaman (2018) shocked many when it became the first DCEU movie to cross the $1 billion mark, beating out the likes of Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel (2013) and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman (2018). More surprising, in fact, is that Aquaman performed better than the crossover movies Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017) from both Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon.

The Justice League
Credit: DC Studios

Starring Jason Momoa as the titular marine hero, Arthur Curry/Aquaman, Wan’s epic undersea action movie also starred Patrick Wilson as Orm Marius, Willem Dafoe as Vulko, Temuera Morrison as Tom Curry, Nicole Kidman as Atlanna, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as David Kane/Black Manta, and Amber Heard as Mera.

Since the first film came out five years ago, the future of Amber Heard’s Mera has been wildly contested. The controversy over her role in the DC movie came to a head last year during the publicized defamation trial between Heard and her ex-husband, Johnny Depp. The case came after Depp sued Heard, whom he met on the set of The Rum Diary (2011), following the publication of her Op-Ed in The Washington Post. At one point, it was even said that Heard had been removed altogether; however, that was proven false when she appeared in the first trailer for the sequel, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023).

Amber Heard as Mera in 'Aquaman'
Credit: DC Studios

Related: Disney Completely Dismantles ‘Avengers’ Franchise in Jeopardy: Report

After previously being set for release last December, Warner Bros. made the decision to postpone the movie so as not to go up against the titan James Cameron and his blockbuster follow-up to Avatar (2009), with Avatar: The Way of Water (2023). Now, after reshuffling from December 20, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will drop on Christmas weekend on December 22, 2023.

But once it drops into movie theaters, that will be Aquaman written off as DC Studios reboots the entire franchise into the DC Universe, or DCU. Announced last year, David Zaslav’s Warner Bros. hired James Gunn and Peter Safran as co-CEOs of DC Studios, and starting next year, the DCEU will be rebooted with a string of new interconnected projects. Some, like Matt Reeves’ The Batman films, will remain external in a DC Elseworlds universe.

Robert Pattinson on the rooftop in 'The Batman'
Credit: DC Studios

Presently, rumors are circulating that Jason Momoa already has a new role lined up in the DCU, as Lobo, the alien mercenary and bounty hunter. However, it is not yet fully confirmed by anyone at DC.

So, as Warner Bros. uses Aquaman 2 to fold the DCEU, one star has jumped to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and will become a leading man for the competing franchise. But not just that, updates have been shared about this project and how it fits into the broken-down MCU.

As revealed last year, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II will jump from the DCEU to the MCU, taking on the role of Wonder Man in the MCU. Wonder Man first appeared in Marvel Comics back in 1964 and was created by writer Stan Lee and artists Jack Kirby and Don Heck. Wonder Man was initially introduced as a supervillain who used his ionic abilities to fight the Avengers.

Black Manta stares straight ahead in Aquaman
Credit: DC Studios

Abdul-Mateen II will star as Simon Williams, AKA Wonder Man, alongside Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery, Demetrius Grosse as Eric Williams/Grim Reaper, and Ed Harris as Neal Saroyan. It will be created by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton and Hawkeye producer Andrew Guest.

Recently, it was announced that Cretton will be stepping down from his directing position on the next Avengers movie, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (2026), amid the studio grappling with both a slew of misfires and the Jonathan Majors controversy. Marvel also quietly announced that Wonder Man would be being released under the newly-coined Marvel Spotlight banner.

Wonder Man uses his ionic powers, which glow purple
Credit: Marvel Comics

Related: New Series Starring Black Widow and Hawkeye Announced After Disney Ends Current MCU

First introduced earlier this month, Marvel Spotlight will be home to the more “street-level” heroes and operate inside the greater MCU, but not tied down to the greater machinations of the franchise. Hawkeye spinoff, Echo, starring Alaqua Cox as the Maya Lopez/Echo, will be the first Marvel show to be in this new brand.

Wonder Man‘s inclusion in Marvel Spotlight should hopefully make it more accessible to more casual Marvel fans, and it may just pave the way for this Aquaman star to become a huge part of the MCU.

Will you be watching Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom this December? And will you be tuning into Wonder Man? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

in DC, Marvel

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