AQUAMAN & THE LOST KINGDOM Reportedly Test-Screened - And There Was No Sign Of Ben Affleck's Batman

Despite Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom star Jason Momoa confirming that Ben Affleck would reprise the role of Batman for James Wan's sequel, it seems the character did not appear in a recent test-screening.

Reports are coming in that another test-screening of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was held last night, and according to several online scoopers, the cut of the movie that screened did not include an appearance from Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne/Batman.

"Batfleck" was heavily rumored to return for James Wan's sequel during production, and star Jason Momoa actually confirmed his Justice League co-star's involvement in an Instagram post earlier this year. This obviously suggests that Affleck did shoot scenes for the film, but, for whatever reason, Warner Bros. has seemingly made the decision to remove the character from this version of the DCU movie.

In some respects, this isn't entirely surprising. Both Affleck and Michael Keaton's takes on the Dark Knight were reportedly set to feature, which studio execs were said to be concerned about since it could potentially confuse audiences. It sounds like they haven't settled on which iteration of Batman they want the "New DCU" to focus on moving forward, which is likely something James Gunn and Peter Safran will come to a decision on down the line.

Of course, even if this is accurate and Affleck didn't appear, it doesn't mean he won't show up in the final cut. Test-screenings are used to gauge audience reaction/interest, and are often significantly different to the finished film that ultimately hits theaters.

Specific Aquaman 2 plot details are still under wraps, but it's assumed that a vengeful Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) will be the main villain this time. There's also a good chance that The Trench will feature more prominently, given Wan's fondness for the deep-sea terrors.

The director has also suggested that he'd be returning to his horror roots for the sequel, drawing influence from, of all things, campy '60s Italian horror film Planet of the Vampires.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is set to swin into theaters next December.

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