The Flash was supposed to end with Michael Keaton as the DCEU's new Batman. After concluding work on that movie, the actor shot a supporting role in Batgirl and a cameo appearance for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Eventually, he would have also starred in a Batman Beyond movie and Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Those plans were in flux even before the launch of DC Studios, and Batgirl was scrapped around the same time Ben Affleck was enlisted to replace Keaton as the Aquaman sequel's Caped Crusader. Needless to say, we're confused by what the studio was up to, but James Gunn and Peter Safran are clearly cutting all these hints about projects that won't be part of their DCU.
As you can see below, a trusted insider has shared word from recent test screenings that neither Affleck nor Keaton are part of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
We shouldn't be surprised as the DCU is starting from scratch with a new Batman, meaning there's no place for either actor. As a result, The Flash will mark the final time we'll see either of them don the cape and cowl.
That movie is now expected to lay the groundwork for the DCU, and has itself ditched a number of cameos, including one that was meant to establish Henry Cavill's Superman as being part of the DCEU alongside Supergirl. The likelihood of us ever seeing these scenes is slim, though we're sure someone will eventually ask about what was planned for Keaton and Affleck!
Going back to the Aquaman sequel, though, and it doesn't sound like test audiences are responding remotely well to the movie. It's undergone countless changes amid different regimes and release date delays, and there are already rumblings Jason Momoa is looking to swap the King of Atlantis for Lobo.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is set to be released in theaters on December 25, 2023.