Article by Kieran Burt.
Fans of the DCEU were dealt another blow as news from the Hollywood Reporter emerged that the sequels of both Aquaman and Shazam! will be delayed again by several months.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has been delayed nine months, from March 17, 2023 to December 25, 2023. Shazam! Fury of the Gods was originally scheduled for a December 21, 2022 release date, but has been pushed back three months to March 17, 2023, taking Aquaman’s prior release date.
Both of these films have faced significant disruption. This is the second delay Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has had, with one earlier this year pushing it from December 16, 2022 to March 17, 2023. Shazam! Fury of the Gods saw its release date move forward earlier this year, moving to December 12, before being delayed a few days.
Both directors have responded to their films being delayed, with David F. Sandberg, director of the first Shazam! and Shazam! Fury of the Gods director posting on Twitter:
This confirms that Shazam! Fury of the Gods is being moved in order to avoid competition with Avatar: The Way of Water. A move like this makes sense, as Shazam! Fury of the Gods would likely drown. While the first film was praised for its youthful charm, it only earnt $364.3 million worldwide, a modest take for a superhero film. The original Avatar by comparison made $2.847 billion worldwide, being the number one box office earner of all time.
James Wan, director of the first Aquaman and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, posted on Instagram:
No reason has been provided for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’s lengthy delay.
DC is going through a tumultuous period, with the shocking cancellation of Batgirl and the continuing controversy surrounding Ezra Miller and The Flash. Earlier this week, Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) announced that the new Batman animated series, Batman: Caped Crusader, will no longer move forward at HBO Max, and will seek a new home.
The Shazam! and Aquaman sequels aren’t the only films to face a shuffle of their release dates. WBD announced a release date for New Line’s House Party revival for December 9, 2022, Evil Dead Rise for April 21, 2023, and The Nun 2 for September 8, 2023. The studio removed Salem’s Lot off its April 21, 2023 date, without giving a new release date.