They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but then Warner Bros decided to make the DC Extended Universe. Everything I’ve ever heard about the DCEU has been entirely against my will, and Aquaman 2 is no exception.
Despite not being part of the new DC Universe, Warner Bros is pushing on with the film. But the problem is that while Aquaman 2 has a charismatic lead in Jason Momoa, the new movie has become infamous for its numerous reshoots, production delays, and Batman actors.
Imagine shooting a movie with both Batfleck and Michael Keaton’s Batman, and even that not being enough to save it. There’s also the fact that we have no reason to care about Momoa’s DC character anymore since DC has already started work on a whole new cinematic universe. Still, James Wan, the director of the DC movie, seems determined to stay positive in a new interview with Empire magazine (via The Direct).
“[I’ve learned to] filter out the negativity and focus on the film,” the former Fast and Furious director explained. “That’s the biggest thing I’ve learned from this experience. To filter out the negativity and focus on the film. Because that’s what will live on — in 20 years, no one will remember the noise. Only the movie.”
If the rumored early test screenings of the superhero movie are anything to go by, Aquaman 2 will definitely be remembered, but probably for the wrong reasons. There have been unsubstantiated reports that some viewers even walked out of early test screenings, which if true doesn’t bode well for Aquaman’s fortunes.
It’s also difficult to extricate a movie from publicity like this, no matter how much James Wan may want us to. It’s been years since Joss Whedon’s Justice League and The Last Jedi, for instance. Still, even now, the bad press has stuck to those films like tar. So, even if Aquaman 2 ends up being the best movie DC has ever made, production hell and bad publicity will be its true legacy. I didn’t even know it was possible to have secondhand embarrassment over a movie, but Aquaman 2 has just about managed it.
Ultimately, Aquaman 2 inhabits such a strange place in the DC universe it’s not surprising that it gets extra press attention. Now that the DCEU is on its way out; we know that the movie will be basically irrelevant to the future of DC as it doesn’t form part of Chapter 1 Gods and Monsters. Can you really blame reporters for questioning things like that?