Reportedly multiple Batman actors are going to appear in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. The Aquaman sequel and the rest of the DCU’s 2023 slate have been shrouded in confusion as their fate was left ambiguous in the wake of DC Studios’ restructuring. However, James Gunn and Peter Safran had relayed generally how each of these films will function relative to their new DCU, further claiming how lucky they got with these particular films. Aptly, as many people theorized, The Flash will essentially reset the franchise. Thus, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and Blue Beetle, whose releases succeed The Flash, are allowed to be reintegrated and incorporated.
Among the new projects announced are Superman: Legacy and The Brave and the Bold, both featuring new actors as Superman and Batman. They will put the final nail in the coffin of the Snyderverse and the old DCU. Supposedly, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will lead directly into Superman: Legacy. Seeing as Aquaman was the old DCU’s heaviest hitter at the box office, this is a smart choice to help officially launch “Chapter 1: Gods & Monsters” for the new DCU. Nevertheless, its status in bridging the two tenures has somewhat muddled Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’s potential as it’s still largely a product of the old regime’s plans.
How Batman Could Feature In Aquaman 2
It was announced back in July 2022 that Ben Affleck would feature as Batman in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. This was all complicated by a subsequent reveal that Michael Keaton would also appear as Batman, reprising from his tenure in Batman and Batman Returns. Jason Momoa confirmed he filmed scenes for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom with both Batmen. This was all intended to push the franchise forward, but those plans have changed. Nevertheless, Affleck’s Batman joining up with Aquaman still makes sense seeing as they’re teammates and friends.
However these appearances shake out in the wake of the new DCU plans, ideally, they’re minimal. Their purpose would hopefully be to further hopes for a Justice League film, perhaps in the post-credits stinger with Batman recruiting Aquaman for a new mission. Thankfully, its ocean-bound story does limit the possibility for the surface-dweller’s cameo to become anything bigger. If it were to, it could quickly detract from the film’s purpose – to continue the Aquaman story. As such, Affleck could just feature as Bruce Wayne, and not Batman.
Multiple Batman Actors In Aquaman 2 Would Be Odd
Overall, having two different Batman in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is just strange. Keaton was brought it because Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was pushed back to follow The Flash in which he was set to be introduced. However, now that Gunn confirmed that The Flash will reset the DCU, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is reportedly taking place in a newly established universe. As such, Keaton’s inclusion specifically doesn’t really make sense anymore.
There’s nothing to suggest that Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will be a multiversal story even in the wake of The Flash’s outcome. Any such elements, including having 2 Batmen from different universes, just feel out of place. Part of Aquaman’s charm was its self-contained nature coming off of Justice League. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom should be the same as it presents conflict between Atlantis and the surface world. Two Batman, regardless of how brief their appearances are, are a distraction the film does not need.
Don’t Expect Aquaman 2’s Batman Scenes To Stay In The Final Edit
This is all to say that Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and the DCU don’t need two Batmen. The Flash reportedly cut key cameos, including both Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, and perhaps Ben Affleck, as they all conflict with Gunn’s plans. Keaton’s role might’ve also been reduced. As such, their inclusion in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is highly unlikely. However, the most significant indicator that Affleck and Keaton might not make the final cut is the fact that the DCU is getting an entirely new Batman for The Brave and the Bold, and it’s not either of them. They can begin anew without any baggage from the old regime.
Unfortunately, the true loser of this entire situation is Michael Keaton. While Affleck is likely out, he could return as a director alternatively. Yet, for Keaton there were big plans for his future in the DCU after he graciously decided to put on the iconic cowl after three decades away. Gradually, though, these opportunities were ripped from him. First it was the Batgirl cancelation, and then The Flash, and now, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
This is among the major problems that plagued the old DCU. They constantly teased big things and made promises only for the internal upheaval and shifting creative focus to result in them all being abandoned or outright taken away. This left both audiences and creatives alike in the lurch and their uncertainty developed into a sense of untrustworthiness. James Gunn and Peter Safran must ensure these issues do not carry over to protect the franchise health and the good faith fans are giving them. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is key to this, but regrettably, it must come at Batman’s expense. Luckily, he can easily recover.