James Gunn Kills ‘Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom’ In Its Cradle By Declaring: “Nothing Is Canon Until ‘Creature Commandos'”

Director James Gunn attends the Seoul Fan Event for Marvel Studios' GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 in Seoul, South Korea on April 19, 2023. Photo by Ho Chang.

DC Studios CEO James Gunn decided to abort James Wan’s upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom film by declaring that no DC properties until Creature Commandos will be canon.

Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023), Warner Bros. Pictures

Gunn recently made his declaration in a response to a confused Threads user who asked him, “You said ‘DC studios movies (and cannon) start with Superman Legacy.’ I and many others are still confused. Are the returning actors playing new versions of the same characters? Is this a J.K Simmons as J Jonah situation?”

The Superman: Legacy director responded, “Nothing is canon until Creature Commandos next year – a sort of aperitif to the DCU – & then a deeper dive into the universe with Superman: Legacy after that.”

He added, “It’s a very human drive to want to understand everything all the time, but I think its okay to be confused on what’s happening in the DCU since no one has seen anything from the DCU yet.”

James Gunn Threads

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He elaborated in a follow-up post, “And, yes, some actors will be playing characters they’ve played in other stories & some plot points might be consistent with plot points from the dozens of films, shows & animated projects that have come from DC in the past. But nothing is canon until CC and Legacy.”

James Gunn Threads

Gunn would also provide clarity regarding Blue Beetle. A user asked, “I’m wondering, how does the Blue Beetle movie factor in at this point in time? In the past you had said it was included in the new DCU, but some statements are conflicting. Will it have any relation to future projects (ie: the Booster Gold show… wink?)”

The CEO replied, “Xolo Maridueña will continue playing Blue Beetle in the DCU, as Viola Davis will Amanda Waller, and John Cena will Peacemaker.”

James Gunn Threads

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He would also address another user who balked at the idea of resetting the previous DCEU that began with Man of Steel. The user stated, “Seriously though, why should we invest time and effort in yet another shared universe? Just build on what’s already there with slight course corrections as needed.”

Gunn replied, “If you think of anything as ‘investing time and effort’, no matter what shared universe, you definitely shouldn’t be! Every story should be enjoyed and worth partaking in, in an of itself, without its attachment to an outside world.

“If it feels like homework, screw it. ‘Shared universes’ should add fun to the individual stories, not the other way around. The individual stories and characters are much more important to me than the connections between them,” he concluded.


James Gunn Threads

That response opens up a whole other can of worms, namely why even create a shared universe, but let’s leave that for another day. What we do get is confirmation that Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is not pertinent to any future stories from the Gunn and Safran helmed DC Universe that begins with Creature Commandos and Superman: Legacy.

Many moviegoers appeared to have already picked up on this idea as every single DC film has lost tens of millions of dollars since Gunn announced that The Flash would reset the DC film universe back at the end of January.

Jason Momoa as Aquaman in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023), Warner Bros. Pictures

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If you recall, Gunn stated, “First, we have Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Shazam has always been off kind of in his own part of the DCU so he connects very well. That moves directly into The Flash, a fantastic movie that I really love, that resets the entire DCU universe.”

“And then to move into Blue Beetle, a fantastic film about a kid who is a marvelous part of the DCU and then into Aquaman 2, which leads directly into our next few projects,” he stated.

Since this announcement, Shazam! Fury of the Gods only grossed $132.1 million at the global box office. The movie had a $125 million production budget, which means the film lost around $108 million if you factor in marketing costs and the revenue the theaters take.

The Flash only grossed $267.9 million at the global box office based off an estimated $200 million production budget albeit there are credible reports that the production budget was much higher with CBC reporting the film costs $220 million. There are rumors the film cost around $300 million as well.

Looking at the most charitable production budget of $200 million the movie lost around $139 million. At the $220 million production mark it lost around $169 million. As for the $300 million mark, if those rumors are true it lost around $289 million.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023), Warner Bros. Pictures

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Blue Beetle, the most recent release, has only grossed $125.1 million at the global box office so far. The movie reportedly had a production budget of $120 million according to The-Numbers. That means the film has lost around $105 million.

However, there are other reports claiming the budget was only $104. If that’s the case the movie has only lost around $81 million.

Looking at the most charitable losses for each of these three films, the losses total $328 million.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was already going to have a hard time of it based on this pattern, but James Gunn clearly decided to ensure that it will die in its cradle by definitively declaring that the movie is not connected whatsoever to his future plans for the DC Universe.

Something spooks Arthur-Aquaman 2

Jason Momoa in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023)

What do you make of Gunn’s comments and how they will effect Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom?

NEXT: Report: ‘Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom’ Underwent Third Set Of Reshoots Due To Issues With “Story Clarity”