After a series of critical and commercial flops, Warner Bros. Discovery will soon reboot the DC Extended Universe as the new DCU with a series of films and TV shows from DC Studios that has been dubbed “Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters.” James Gunn and Peter Safran will oversee this relaunch, although some of the decisions they've made have already been criticized. Criticisms obviously include the casting decisions made, with the majority of Justice League set to be replaced.
In the case of Aquaman actor Jason Momoa, it is widely believed that he will leave the role of Arthur Curry to play Lobo. This will likely mean the franchise will end with Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom in December, a surprise because the 2018 film grossed over $1.1 billion. Furthermore, in recent weeks the unverified opinion has spread that this sequel had terrible reactions to the studio's test screenings and therefore received endless reshoots!
During a recent interview with Screen Rant, director James Wan was asked his thoughts on the reboot, and while he neither praised nor criticized DC Studios' approach to restoring this fractured world, it sounds like the changes have presented some challenges! “I am aware of everything that happens around me. I mean, I use the analogy that I live in a house that's being renovated,” he says. “It's hard not to be aware of the renewal happening around me.
But the beauty of Aquaman is that we always designed these two films to be within their own world. The advantage of not being hooked into this larger universe is that whatever happens over there doesn't really affect my film. This film doesn't do that." It doesn't attach to anything. She lives in his world. This is what we found worked really well for us in the first film, and we're doing exactly the same thing,” concluded Wan. “There is noise around, but I'm alone in my cocoon, in my underwater kingdom.”
Among the challenges James Wan faced as a result of the regime change was having to reshoot and then remove a post-credits scene focused on Batman and likely any other references that would tie this sequel to the larger DCEU. If Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom exceed expectations all things considered, this iteration of the King of Atlantis could also emerge in the DCU; unfortunately, that seems unlikely at the moment. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom releases on December 20th.