Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom delayed to December 2023, Shazam! Fury of the Gods takes its March spot
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and Shazam! Fury of the Gods release dates have been pushed back. According to a report from Deadline, Warner Bros. makes a number of changes to the release date, with Jason Momoa-directed Aquaman 2 moving to December 25, 2023. The film was previously scheduled for March 17, 2023, after being delayed from December. March 21, 2022. To fill that March 17 gap, Shazam! by David F. Sandberg! Fury of the Gods will be pushed back from its December 21 date. The Zachary Levi-directed sequel faced several delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, moving from April 1, 2022 to November, and then to a December release.
Deadline notes that James Wan’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom needs more time in post-production. The film underwent additional photography late last month, with Momoa revealing that Ben Affleck was set to reprise his role as Bruce Wayne in the sequel. Principal production on the film wrapped in January, with a screenplay co-written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Momoa. The first one Aquaman The film was also released in December and grossed $1.148 billion (about Rs 9,164 crore) at the global box office.
Warner Bros is changing Shazam! The release date of Fury of the Gods next year is a logical decision. James Cameron’s long-awaited Avatar: The Way of Water, slated for release on December 16, was a big hurdle WB had to clear. This delay allows enough time for the Pandora-set sequel to leave theaters. The second Shazam! The film now opens two weeks after the Chris Pine and Regé-Jean Page-directed fantasy action-adventure Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, and a week before the Keanu Reeves-directed neo-noir action-thriller John Wick. : Chapter 4.
The release date changes come as a result of Warner Bros. Discovery laying out a 10-year plan for future DC Comics movies, in the veins of the Kevin Feige-led Marvel Cinematic Universe. The company has announced a “reset” for the DC Extended Universe, with a dedicated team laying out long-term plans focused on quality over quantity.
The Warner Bros. merger. Discovery earlier this year brought new CEO David Zaslav on board, who wants to focus heavily on theatrical releases now that COVID-19 isn’t a major issue. Two titles originally slated for release on HBO Max will now open on the big screen. The first is the Calmtic-directed reboot of the 1990 comedy film House Party, which will be released on December 9. Then there’s Lee Cronin’s supernatural zombie movie, Evil Dead Rise, coming April 21, 2023.
As part of this theatrical strategy, Warner Bros. Discovery also recently canceled Batman: Caped Crusader, the vintage-style animated series directed by Bruce Timm, JJ Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Matt Reeves (The Batman). Caped Crusader, alongside six other animated kids shows and movies, has been ordered for release on HBO Max.
According to Variety, the decision not to release them on the streaming platform is part of a “wider trend” that Warner Bros. Discovery sees in content for kids and family. That said, production on said animated projects will continue, with plans to buy them on platforms other than HBO Max.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods will now be released on March 17, 2023, followed by Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom on December 25, 2023. These are two of the four DCEU titles currently scheduled for release in 2023, alongside the flash with the highly controversial Ezra Miller, and blue beetle with Xolo Maridueña (Cobra Kai).