Earlier this year, reliable scooper @MyTimeToShineH claimed that Michael Keaton's Batman had been cut from Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. The reason given was the release date changes that saw The Flash pushed to next June, three months after James Wan's Aquaman sequel will now splash into theaters.
The story made headlines at the time, and we weren't overly surprised to learn that the original big screen Batman might be left on the cutting room floor. While it's a tremendous waste in many ways, it wouldn't make any sense for Keaton to show up anywhere before The Flash rewrites reality and replaces Ben Affleck's Caped Crusader with his Bruce Wayne.
The Flash's delay is believed to be a result of Warner Bros. looking to put as much space as possible between Ezra Miller's ongoing legal issues and the Fastest Man Alive's arrival in theaters. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom may suffer because of that, while Batgirl's planned release on HBO Max this Christmas now appears to be off the table.
However, there may now be some good news for the upcoming Aquaman follow-up.
Leaker Undercover Audience has claimed that a recent test screening featured two scenes with Keaton's Dark Knight. "Once in the first act to suggest [Arthur] Curry that there is something wrong with the Earth's core and probably the [Atlantians] are behind it. Second, in the epilogue during Curry's speech."
It's going to be pretty confusing for regular moviegoers for Keaton to just show up as Batman, but the questions his appearance pose could help increase interest in The Flash. This was just a test screening, of course, and presumably, the same one that included Amber Heard's Mera for as much as 25 minutes.
When an ancient power is unleashed, Aquaman must forge an uneasy alliance with an unlikely ally to protect Atlantis, and the world, from irreversible devastation.
In addition to Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry, the sequel will also include the return of Patrick Wilson (Ocean Master), Amber Heard (Mera), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Black Manta), Randall Park (Dr. Stephen Shin), and Temuera Morrison (Tom Curry). New additions to the cast include Jani Zhao (Sentimentos), Indya Moore (Pose), and Vincent Regan (300)
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is set to be released on March 17, 2023.