During an interview with Empire (via ComicBookMovie.com), Wan stated that Affleck would most likely not appear in the final DC Extended Universe film. “Probably not,” the director said. “All I’ll say is that those scenes were just to have something in the bank in case we needed to explain time continuity if we came out first.”
In July 2022, Aquaman star Jason Momoa appeared to confirm that Lost Kingdom would feature one last appearance by Affleck’s Caped Crusader. But with the behind-the-scenes shakeup at DC Studios affecting multiple DCEU releases, it seems as though the cameo may very well be left on the cutting room floor.
The story behind Ben Affleck’s scrapped Aquaman 2 cameo
Initially, Wan filmed a Batman cameo with Michael Keaton‘s Bruce Wayne to follow up on the multiverse-altering events of The Flash. When the change in leadership at DC Studios happened, however, the plans for Keaton appearing in future DC projects were scrapped in favor of bringing back Affleck following his initial exit from the franchise after 2017’s Justice League. But then newly installed DC Studios co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran reportedly requested Wan to remove Affleck’s cameo as the duo plan to hard reboot the DC brand with new stars after the release of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
As Wan stated in September, the plan was always for the Aquaman sequel to be a stand-alone story with minimal connections to other DCEU movies. “The tricky thing early on was not knowing whether Aquaman would come out first or come out after [The Flash]. So, we just had to be prepared,” Wan explained. “At the end of the day, the best thing I would say about this movie is that it is not connected in any way to any of those films. That’s the bottom line.”
“Having failed to defeat Aquaman the first time, Black Manta, still driven by the need to avenge his father’s death, will stop at nothing to take Aquaman down once and for all,” reads the official synopsis. “This time Black Manta is more formidable than ever before, wielding the power of the mythic Black Trident, which unleashes an ancient and malevolent force. To defeat him, Aquaman will turn to his imprisoned brother Orm, the former King of Atlantis, to forge an unlikely alliance. Together, they must set aside their differences in order to protect their kingdom and save Aquaman’s family, and the world, from irreversible destruction.“
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom arrives in theaters on December 20.