The sequels to Aquaman and Shazam! are departing their release dates.
The James Wan-directed Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has moved off its March 17, 2023 release to a Dec. 25, 2023 slot.
Aquaman and the Los City will see the return of Jason Mamao’s superhero, as well as Patrick Wilson’s Orm Marius and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s Black Manta. It was recently revealed that Ben Affleck’s Batman will return for Aquaman 2. The first Aquaman was a major earner for Warner Bros/ DC, grossing over $1 billion at the global box office.
Also moving is Shazam! sequel, Fury of the Gods, which was meant to come out in December of this year. It has landed on Aquaman’s old date, March 17, 2023. The Hollywood Reporter first raised the possibility of these moves earlier this month.
Shazam!, released in 2019, was a modest hit by superhero standards with $365.9 million, but was well-liked and praised for bringing a youthful energy to the genre. It told the story of a foster kid named Billy Batson (Asher Angel) who transformed into the hero Shazam (Levi). The sequel adds franchise newcomers Lucy Liu, Helen Mirren, and Rachel Zegler, with the movie having had a massive debut last month at San Diego Comi-Con, where the film’s trailer premiered.
The release date shuffling comes amid tumult for other DC properties, most notably Batgirl. The once HBO Max-bound movie was shelved and will not be released on any platform, despite being completely finished and having a $90 million price tag. The unusual move comes after a change in leadership at Warners, with newly installed Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav prioritizing cost-cutting measures and refocusing Warners on creating theatrical films rather than projects for streaming.
More to come.