Batman has become a prominent figure in the DC Universe, making appearances in various solo and ensemble projects. On the other hand, Aquaman’s presence has been predominantly limited to cameo roles. One intriguing revelation comes from concept artist Ed Natividad, who shared previously unseen artwork from 2018’s Aquaman, unveiling a deleted cameo featuring Ben Affleck’s Batman. This glimpse into an alternate version of the film sheds light on how the Justice League would have intertwined with Jason Momoa’s inaugural solo venture.
The Lost Scene: Batman's Knightcrawler in Action
The released artwork showcases Batman at the helm of his colossal Knightcrawler vehicle, navigating chaotic streets. This deleted scene provides a tantalizing glimpse into how the Justice League, particularly Batman and Aquaman, could have collaborated in Aquaman’s initial standalone adventure. The Knightcrawler, a formidable machine, played a pivotal role in both 2017’s Justice League and 2021’s Zack Snyder’s Justice League, emphasizing the dynamic between the Dark Knight and the King of Atlantis.
Early Script Insights: Justice League vs. Ocean Master
In early iterations of the Aquaman script, Patrick Wilson’s Ocean Master encountered resistance from the Justice League as he sought to unite the underwater kingdoms in his quest against the surface world. This narrative thread highlights the potential for a compelling clash between the aquatic monarchs and the formidable team of superheroes. It also underscores the intricate web of alliances and rivalries within the DC Universe.
The Keaton vs. Affleck Dilemma
The upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom presents a complex scenario regarding Batman’s involvement. Initially, rumors swirled around Michael Keaton reprising his role, aligning with the expansion of The Flash into the multiverse. However, in a surprising turn of events, Jason Momoa disclosed in August 2022 that Ben Affleck had contributed to the film and was slated for a role in the underwater sequel. This revelation added an extra layer of anticipation for fans of the Dark Knight.
The Disconnect: Aquaman 2's Standalone Narrative
Despite these tantalizing prospects, director James Wan made it clear that Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom would not be tethered to the broader DC Extended Universe. This statement effectively shattered hopes of a seamless integration of characters and storylines, emphasizing the standalone nature of this sequel. As the final installment in this era of the DC Universe, it leaves audiences wondering when the Caped Crusader will resurface in the cinematic spotlight.
The revelation of Batman’s deleted cameo in 2018’s Aquaman offers fans a tantalizing look into an alternate narrative where the Justice League played a more significant role in Aquaman’s solo debut. The juxtaposition of Batman’s Knightcrawler against the backdrop of chaos provides a visual spectacle that could have added a new dimension to the film. As Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom approaches its release, it remains to be seen how this underwater saga will unfold, leaving fans eagerly awaiting the next chapter in the DC Universe.
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