- Test screenings for Aquaman 2 received negative reactions from fans, possibly due to the inclusion of a comic book storyline where Black Manta kills Aquaman and Mera’s baby.
- The film has undergone significant changes, including featuring two different versions of Batman, played by Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck.
- The allegation that Jason Momoa dressed up as Johnny Depp on set to bother co-star Amber Heard is unlikely, as Momoa’s behavior on set is known for being professional and friendly.
Kevin Smith commented on the Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom conversation surrounding the reported behind-the-scenes controversy from test screenings and the antics of leading man Jason Momoa, as alleged by co-star Amber Heard.
Aquaman shattered expectations with a box office draw that blew past the one billion dollar mark. A sequel was all but guaranteed to follow. The anticipation for a sequel that would match the first was high, driven even further by Momoa’s co-star Dolph Lundgren insisting Aquaman 2 was better than the first film in his estimation. However, things would start to take a turn as negative news from test screenings was reported.
While the bad Aquaman 2 test screenings were potentially a rumor at first, it’s all but confirmed now that screened fans were not happy, and one industry stalwart has a hunch as to why that might be the case. On a recent episode of the Fatman Beyond podcast, Smith explained why he believed the screenings were getting a negative reaction. “I saw, the one thing that I read in the news that I was like, ‘Well, I guess I can understand that,’ was that they were having test screenings and…in the comics, Black Manta killed Aquaman’s son, him and Mera’s baby,” Smith stated. “That’s a pretty famous comic book storyline, and it sounds like they included a version of that in this movie, where Black Manta kills Aquaman and Mera’s baby, and audiences walked out. They were like ‘f–k this.’
“I can get my head around that. If some audience is like, ‘I don’t come to no superhero movie to watch a f–king baby die,’ but the comic book guy in me was like, ‘Well, that’s what they did in the comics,'” Smith added. “It sounds like they’ve been changing this movie so much. Dude, they’ve had, minimum, two Batmans in this movie. They had Michael Keaton Batman and they also had Ben Affleck Batman.” Keaton was most recently seen reprising that role in The Flash alongside Ben Affleck and George Clooney and was also shown in BTS shots from WBD’s infamously scrapped Batgirl film.
Also touching on the allegation that Momoa dressed up as Johhny Depp to get at Heard on the Aquaman 2 set, Smith voiced his lack of conviction. “I don’t think he just dressed as Johnny Depp. I think he just kind of dresses like Johnny Depp, layers and s–t like that,” Smith said, staying consistent with what insiders and Momoa’s reps have been asserting since the allegation was made. While Heard’s Aquaman co-star Momoa did appear to support Depp at times during the public fiasco, it still seems like a reach to insist that he changed his clothing to put Heard in a state of distress on the set of a project he was headlining. The move would be inconsistent with his insider reputation for professionalism and friendly behavior on-set.
With all the negative news and the stubborn firmness on the film’s inauspicious release window at Warner Bros. Discovery, the allegations that Aquaman 2 is potentially being set up to fail might never fade away. Bad press and no promotion from leading man Momoa and the other relatively high-profile cast members might be why the DCEU’s light goes out with a whimper.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is set for theatrical release on December 20. 2023.
Source: Kevin Smith/YouTube