While the internet is abuzz with whatever is going on with The Batman at the moment (it’ll be ready when it’s ready, which will probably be a while), Warner Bros. is slightly delaying the release date of one of its other DC films. Today the studio pushed back Aquaman from its scheduled October 5, 2018 release date to December 21, 2018. No reason was given for the move, but director James Wan is gearing up to start filming on the sea-centric superhero movie in Australia within a matter of weeks.
It’s possible that the move was made to maximize box office receipts for the pic. October isn’t traditionally blockbuster territory, and with Lucasfilm releasing their untitled Han Solo movie in May 2018, there’s no risk of being swallowed up by Star Wars that December (so far—it’s still possible Lucasfilm moves Han Solo to December). Currently, the only other film set for release on December 21, 2018 is Sony’s animated Spider-Man movie—which sets up a superhero showdown. That film is intended to exist separately from the live-action franchise and will focus on Miles Morales, with Phil Lord penning the script.
While Sony’s animated Spider-Man movie is likely skewing younger than Aquaman, it’s unlikely that both superhero movies open on the same weekend. Which means one of them will probably blink. It’d be tough for Spider-Man to move up just because animation takes so long to complete, so I wonder if it’ll get pushed to spring or summer of 2019.
Aquaman stars Jason Momoa as the titular character, and while he made a cameo in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, he has a more substantial role in this November’s Justice League. Wan’s film, however, is his chance to shine, and he stars opposite Amber Heard as Mera, William Dafoe as Aquaman’s advisor Dr. Vulko, and Patrick Wilson as the film’s villain Orm, Aquaman’s half-brother.
This leaves a pretty big gap between Justice League and Warner Bros.’ next DC movie, and while they have a release date staked out in July for an untitled DC movie, that’s not likely to happen since Aquaman‘s the only one about to go into production and The Flash is delayed until Ezra Miller completes Fantastic Beasts 2, which won’t be until very late this year or early 2018. WB is certainly developing quite a bit, including Gotham City Sirens, Suicide Squad 2, and Shazam, but nothing aside from Aquaman is in any shape to be ready in time for release next year.
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