Aquaman was a successful bubble in the otherwise struggling DC Universe. However, the newly revealed concept art for the film shows off a scrapped cameo by Batman and the rest of the Justice League.
The first Aquaman film came out at an odd moment in the DC Universe, following up the infamous Justice League film and outearning it at the box office despite featuring no other heroes. Yet, it seems that wasn’t always the case. This concept art by Ed Natividad showcases a scrapped cameo by Batman during the film’s climax, along with a promise of other Justice League members.
Ultimately, this Justice League connection didn’t come to fruition. It seems as though history is set to repeat itself with Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom, with reshoots cutting any connection to Batman or other DC Universe heroes. Though with DC Studios set to leave behind the old guard of actors, this may have been the only choice that keeps Jason Momoa from being recast.
The future of the DC Universe
James Gunn and Peter Safran told journalists that their vision for the DC Universe includes locked scripts, wiggle room, and a unified storyline across film, television, animation, and video game projects. The two explained that the DC Universe could bring back elements from previous DC regimes, meaning that their eight-to-year plan is not a full reboot.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash, and Blue Beetle have all been released following the announcement of the new DC Universe, with Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom still slated to hit theaters in 2023. Will the characters from those movies make appearances in the new DCU? Only Gunn and Safran know.
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