Warner Bros hasn’t had the best luck with the DCEU as of late, and unfortunately, it looks like issues aren’t over yet for the superhero franchise. Along with cancelling the upcoming Batgirl movie, and halting the release of the animated series Batman: Caped Crusader on HBO Max, the studio revealed that both the sequels to the DC movies Shazam and Aquaman will be delayed till 2023.
However, this move isn’t part of an anti-superhero agenda. In fact, it may simply be because Warner Bros is running low on cash. According to The Hollywood Reporter‘s Borys Kit, the reason for the delays for Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom and Shazam! Fury of the Gods are in the hopes that it will minimise costs, as the studio only has enough money to release two big films this year.
The publication stated that the strategy was approved by David Zaslav, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery, to spread out the marketing and distribution costs associated with releasing studio tentpoles. Taking to Twitter, Kit wrote: “The moves underscore what a financial mess Warner Bros Discovery is in, as the studio has only enough cash to release two movies from now to the end of this year – Don’t Worry Darling, and Black Adam.”
While marketing and distribution are a costly endeavour, Deadline reported that this move may not all be for a financial reason, as Kit suggests. The publication reported that Aquaman 2 may still need more work in post-production before it’s ready to hit the big screen.
Shazam 2 was also initially slated to release around the same time as Disney’s Avatar: The Way of Water. With the new date, the superhero movie will have access to Imax screens and a better shot at the box office. While money must have played a role in some aspect, with Warner’s pushing two of its 2022 releases to 2023, the studio is yet to confirm its full reasoning for the delays.
However, whatever the reasons may be, the slew of delays and cancellations don’t inspire much confidence among DCEU fans. While we wait for more news on the situation, here are our guides to all the Marvel movies ranked and Marvel Phase 5.