Jason Momoa’s revealed some enticing information about filming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which showcases a big problem with the DCU’s 2023 slate.
The DCU’s final movies have essentially been rendered insignificant as proved by an update regarding Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. The franchise has been in a constant state of flux for months now, and while James Gunn and Peter Safran taking over as heads of DC Studios in December might steady the sinking ship, its future might be coming at the expense of its current slate. Henry Cavill’s out as Superman, Patti Jenkins has left Wonder Woman 3, and Jason Momoa may be moving to a new role following Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
Intriguingly, 2023 is actually going to be the DCU’s biggest and most ambitious year yet with 4 new releases. The question remains though as to what the old DCU’s final movie will be, though at this point it’s safe to assume Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom might take that title given its Christmas 2023 release date. Aptly, Jason Momoa has detailed a strange part of that film’s production, which is indicative of a larger problem plaguing the franchise. Batman is set to appear, but the question is which one, as Momoa has claimed that he’s filmed various scenes with both Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton playing the caped crusader.
The DCU Has Made The Final DCEU Movies Less Important
The DCU’s biggest problems for a long time have been foundational inconsistencies and overall uncertainty in the franchise’s overarching narrative. It’s what played into the troubles that kept Superman from appearing in anything more than a cameo, including even when Cavill returned to do so in Black Adam. Momoa’s statement proves that even while filming the franchise didn’t know where it was going. As such the losers of the DCU’s uncertainty are certainly all the upcoming 2023 releases. These films have been rendered pointless essentially by the DCU’s impending end, but they were doomed from the start.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods, which does look to be quite entertaining and a fun continuation of what was a genuinely solid DCU film, Shazam!, however, as in the case of its spiritual cousin, Black Adam, anything it sets up probably won’t find a resolution. The same must go for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and tragically, Blue Beetle. However, if there was one film among DC’s 2023 movie slate that could carry over to the new DCU, it would be Blue Beetle as it’s the first time the hero will feature, and they’re largely disconnected from the established canon.
It’s worth considering why it was decided to release Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash, Blue Beetle, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom in a single year. Not even the DCU’s overachieving rival, the MCU is releasing that many films this year, although it now has its contingent of Disney+ shows. Perhaps they’re just trying to push everything out sooner rather than later, so they can get to the new stuff more quickly. Whatever the case, the reshuffling and apparent state of the franchise practically discredit any significance for these films.
Why DC’s The Flash Movie Might Be Different
It’s taken a long time to get The Flash in theaters, finally ending the curse of its many preceding canceled Flash films. In fact, it was first announced for release in 2018, but consistent delays due to creative changes, the pandemic, and the controversies surrounding its star, Ezra Miller, pushed it back. Nevertheless, The Flash might be an exception to the problems facing its fellow 2023 releases, although it’s also supposedly featuring both Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton as Batman like Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Thanks to its source material, The Flash might actually serve an important purpose in the franchise.
As in the Flashpoint comics arc, Miller’s Flash will travel back in time to save his mother, but in doing so he will drastically alter the timeline and possibly rip open the DCU’s Multiverse. In doing so, The Flash may connect the old DCU with Gunn’s, possibly catalyzing the franchise’s soft reboot. Such could therefore recontextualize both Blue Beetle and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom as the first part of the new DCU. Hopefully, more information is revealed soon, clarifying the DCU’s future and whether any of the upcoming 2023 releases are important or if they’re just money grabs to pay off their respective budgets now.