Rumor: DC Worried “Aquaman Isn’t Guaranteed Money,” Could See Jason Momoa Recast If Film Flops
A relatively recent rumor claims that the head honchos over at DC are worried that the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom might flop at the box office similar to The Flash, Shazam: Fury of the Gods, and Blue Beetle.
This new rumor comes from scooper ThwipT over on X who reported at the beginning of October, “Aquaman being in the DCU is fully dependent on the film’s box office.”
The scooper added, “Earlier this year he was in the plans for DCU but as each DC film flopped they’re worried that Aquaman isn’t guaranteed money anymore and if flops he’ll be recast.”
There appears to be some validity to this rumor as Momoa appeared confident he would remain as Aquaman in the new DCU that James Gunn and Peter Safran are crafting.
He told Deadline in January, “I love [James] Gunn and so there’s gonna be some really cool things, what they’re doing with DC, and I definitely will be in more than just one.”
“There’s room for me to play a couple different [roles]… I’ve seen other actors do it. Yeah. I want a shot,” Momoa added. “I’ve seen other actors do it. Yeah. I want a shot.”
He would reiterate this to Variety informing the outlet, “I’ll always be Aquaman. Ain’t anyone coming in there and taking s**t. There might be some other characters, too. I can play other things, too. I can be funny and savage and charming once in a while.”
— Variety (@Variety) January 20, 2023
DC Studios CEO James Gunn did leave it open for actors to reprise the characters they’ve played in the past. In a recent post on Threads he wrote, “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.”
Interestingly, Gunn went on to confirm that Xolo Maridueña would return as Blue Beetle, Viola Davis would reprise her role as Amanda Waller, and John CEna would also return as Peacemaker.
He did not mention Momoa as Aquaman.
Maybe throwing a wrench into the rumor is that Blue Beetle did not perform well at the box office, but Gunn plans to keep Maridueña in the role anyways.
The movie only grossed $128.4 million at the global box office despite having an estimated production budget anywhere from $105 million to $125 million.
Nevertheless, following Gunn’s comments confirming the return of Maridueña, Davis, and Cena, a report from Variety in early October 2023 indicated that Momoa had already lost the role as Aquaman.
Variety’s Tatiana Siegel claimed, “None of the stars cast by Zack Snyder for 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and 2017’s Justice League — including Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller and Momoa — will reprise their roles in the new DC universe in character.”
She did add the caveat for Momoa, “Momoa may return, just not as Aquaman. Sources say the actor has engaged in talks to play Lobo, either in the 2025 reboot Superman: Legacy, written and directed by Gunn, or in a standalone film.”
On top of this, a rumor from scooper Jeff Sneider from February also indicated that Momoa would be leaving the role of Aquaman because Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is a “terrible film.” Instead, he would find a home at DC as Lobo.
Sneider wrote, “I hear it’s terrible and that’s why Momoa is gonna be Lobo going forward. But they can’t say that yet because then it would be a lame duck… and DC is hoping to wring another billion out of the box office. First one was awful too, so not a huge surprise.”
What do you make of this latest rumor regarding Jason Momoa, Aquaman, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom?