Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, the sequel to 2018’s Aquaman, has cut a scene that would’ve starred Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Affleck’s scene was originally meant to replace former Batman Michael Keaton in a potential reshoot, though it looks like James Gunn and Peter Safran, who are leading the charge on the newly revamped DC universe, removed that scene for pretty clear-cut reasons.
As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Gunn and Safran have removed Ben Affleck’s scene from Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom because they didn’t want audiences to get false hope for a movie universe that will never come to fruition. Gunn and Safran are attempting to reboot the DCU starting with Superman: Legacy, which recently cast David Corenswet as the next Man of Steel, replacing Henry Cavill.
Naturally, they’re also trying to eliminate any promises of a movie universe forming due to its current slate of DC movies, which are basically remnants of Warner Bros’ last failed attempts at making a Marvel Cinematic Universe competitor. Gunn and Safran want to wipe the slate clean and give its new DCU a fresh start. Sadly, that means starting to remove any traces of a movie universe forming from the past work.
It’s possible that Affleck’s scene in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom could’ve been the precursor to another Batman story that probably would’ve starred the actor as well. As most already know, Matt Reeves is currently forming his own isolated universe with The Batman where Robert Pattinson is the Caped Crusader. Add the possibility that Gunn and Safran could also hire an entirely new actor to play Batman in their revamped DCU and it makes sense why they’d stop Affleck’s Batman from moving ahead in a disconnected continuity.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom releases in cinemas on 20 December 2023.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter