Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is in uncharted waters and the next few weeks may will determine its direction, for better or for worse.
Sequel to Warner Bros. 205 DC Films is wrapping up a round of reshoots in New Zealand in mid-June, starring Jason Momoa ( Jason Momoa) and, according to multiple sources, Patrick Wilson.
This is the third remake of the film, directed by James Wan. That’s an almost unprecedented number even for a movie of this size.
The Lost Kingdom is having some headwinds heading into December. release date. It’s been delayed several times (scheduled for release in December 2025), like its DC movie sibling, The Flash , whose production has now spanned three Warner regimes.
The film was approved under the Warners regime under former movie boss Toby Emmerich and his deputy, DC Films head Walter Hamada , as Aquaman , proved to be an unexpected hit and became the highest-grossing DC film of all time at $1. 148 100 million.
Principal photography was done in January 205, but in the summer, Emmerich is out ( Hamada is out soon
), both casualties of the Warner Bros. Discovery Channel merger.
That summer, the film was in post-production and began test screenings. Although the timeline is not yet clear, from summer 205 to at the beginning of the year, The Lost Kingdom went through two rounds of reshoots and a couple of lackluster test screenings.
After a round of test screenings, Warners’ new movie bosses Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy stepped in, Because they’re starring in DC until Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav can find a permanent DC boss to replace Hamada. Sources said that this fall, Abdi took a strong creative stance and was involved in the editing of a clip. However, when this version was tested, it scored lower than previous versions. This led to another round of reshoots.
While executives have a different vision, it’s unclear what the problem is, but one insider said the underlying issue of story clarity has been an ongoing concern Question.
Also controversial: Batman.
Hamada wants Michael Keaton’s version of the character to be similar to Samuel L. Elder statesmen from the movies, including the now-shelved Batgirl , and The lost kingdom. But changing the release date messed things up. At one point, The Lost Kingdom was scheduled to open in March 2022, The Flash A few more months. So, in late July 2022, two months after Abdi and DeLuca took over Warner, Ben Affleck joined a round of reshoots as Bruce Wayne to replace Keaton’s scenes. But then the movie moved again to “ The Flash ” and Affleck’s appearance was called into question. According to sources, the latest cut of the film does not feature any version of the Dark Knight, as the new DC head James Gunn And Peter Safran doesn’t want to commit to a cinematic universe that won’t materialize, nor unduly tie it down to past failures. “It was very chaotic,” one source said.
(Some of the confusion may not be the fault of the studio or the filmmakers. Some of the calendar shifts are due to VFX room overloading, which is happening during the pandemic This affects both Flash and Lost Kingdom, causing a string of release date pushbacks.)
Additional clip previews in February and April. At this point, Safran, producer of the first Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom, has become co-director of the newly created DC Studios with Gunn.
It’s unclear how Safran’s transformation even changed the film’s fortunes. Industry insiders say the seemingly never-ending post-production process and waterlogged test scores have left filmmakers stranded. However, with new reshoots, the sky may have cleared.
Gunn is said to have weighed in on the recent cut, with leadership sanctioning a five-day shoot. According to sources, filming went smoothly, with Van Ho doing what they needed in just four minutes.
To some, Warner’s willingness to keep spending money to make this movie is a better sign of the studio’s commitment to The Lost Kingdom Have confidence. (In February, the filmmakers of another DC film, The Blue Beetle, produced during the AT&T era and released in August, requested a two-day shoot, according to sources. Additional filming, but the studio declined. Safran was also a producer on Beetle before being promoted to executive.)
The Lost Kingdom is already an expensive production. It was approved on a million-dollar budget and filmed during a pandemic, a heavy expense for a lead production. Plus, every frame of the movie involves visual effects, which is another major cost. The reshoots only raised the overall budget.
The Lost Kingdom is the last film in the DC Extended Universe, released ten years ago, Zack Snyder’s Superman: Man of Steel . As its December release date looms, Warner Bros.’ DC film has suffered an unprecedented fiasco. Black Adam in October, Shazam in March! Wrath of the Gods (also produced by Safran) And last month’s “The Flash” both lost money in theaters. While Gunn and Safran plan to reboot DC’s Superman: Legacy , it won’t be out until July 1234966505. No one wants to miss out again, and there are questions about how much damage the DC Movies brand can take.
Filmmakers and studios know the value that intelligent post-production can bring. The first Aquaman also faced rough waters, and it is said that it did not find its footing until the later stage, when the new ending was polished, and the film stretched two hours and twenty- three minutes.
As for Wan, when he was with THR April, when he continued filming: “This movie has some content [climate change] worth talking about, but it’s still a fun action-fantasy movie.” 1235248438