Aquaman 2 director James Wan explains why Ben Affleck’s Batman won’t appear in the sequel despite shooting scenes last year.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will bring the DCEU to an end, setting the stage for James Gunn to launch the new DC Universe with Superman: Legacy. However, the Aquaman sequel clearly wasn’t meant to be the end of the franchise. With rumors of multiple reshoots, it’s likely that portions of the film have been left on the cutting room floor, particularly scenes which connected to the DCEU. We know that one or more of those scenes involved Batman, with Aquaman 2 director James Wan reportedly shooting two different versions, one involving Michael Keaton’s Batman and the other featuring Ben Affleck’s Batman.
While speaking to Empire (via ComicBookMovie.com) for their latest issue, James Wan was asked if Ben Affleck’s Batman might still make the cut. “Probably not,” Wan said. “All I’ll say is that those scenes were just to have something in the bank in case we needed to explain time continuity if we came out first.“
The original ending of The Flash would have seen Michael Keaton taking Ben Affeck’s place as the DCEU’s Batman, but just like Aquaman 2, that film saw its fair share of changes with the fate of Keaton’s Batman left ambiguous. Jason Momoa teased that Ben Affleck had shot new scenes as Bruce Wayne for the Aquaman sequel last year. As James Wan explains, it seems that reshoot was simply to cover their bases if the movie came out before The Flash.
“Having failed to defeat Aquaman the first time, Black Manta, still driven by the need to avenge his father’s death, will stop at nothing to take Aquaman down once and for all,” reads the official synopsis for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. “This time Black Manta is more formidable than ever before, wielding the power of the mythic Black Trident, which unleashes an ancient and malevolent force. To defeat him, Aquaman will turn to his imprisoned brother Orm, the former King of Atlantis, to forge an unlikely alliance. Together, they must set aside their differences in order to protect their kingdom and save Aquaman’s family, and the world, from irreversible destruction.“
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will hit theaters on December 20th.