It's claimed big changes are in store for Aquaman 2 which now includes the addition of the Michael Keaton Batman as part of what appears to be a DCEU reboot, and as reported earlier, more of Amber Heard as Mera.
The info comes via what is said to be the latest test screenings for Aquaman 2, which may also mean Aquaman 2 and The Flash will switch release dates, as presently, The Flash is set to get released after Aquaman 2, but since the Michael Keaton Batman is said to debut in The Flash, that must mean The Flash has to get released before Aquaman 2.
As things stand right now, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom gets released March 17, 2023, with The Flash on June 23, 2023, so it could be possible for the release dates to swap, and Keaton is also confirmed to be appearing in Batgirl, which doesn't have a release date, but again, since Michael Keaton is first appearing in The Flash due to Barry breaking open the DC Multiverse, The Flash must come first.
Michael Keaton Batman now a part of Aquaman 2
Regarding the latest test screening, a Twitter user is claiming the Michael Keaton Batman showed up twice in the cut shown, once in the first act to talk to Jason Momoa's Arthur Curry suggesting to him that something is wrong with the Earth's core, where it's guessed the Atlanteans are behind it, and the second time in the epilogue during a speech Aquaman says.
The Twitter user also guesses it means the Michael Keaton Batman replaces the Ben Affleck Batman in the DCEU, which of course is no surprise as it appears WB is moving away from all the Zack Snyder stuff and Affleck has said numerous times he is done with the Batman role.
The Flash rebooting the DCEU
It's been speculated The Flash movie will reboot the DCEU where the Michael Keaton Batman is being brought in to mentor other characters and eventually a new DC films universe will be born. The new CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav, has made it no secret he wants a DC film universe more like Marvel with a revitalized Superman. Back in 2019, I was told a DCEU reboot would involve J.J. Abrams, Matt Reeves, and James Gunn, but that may have changed with Discover taking over Warner Bros.
And regarding Amber Heard, while it seems a lot of fans have been hoping she has been cut completely from the film, an Aquaman 2 test screening showed her screentime as Mera has actually been doubled from around ten minutes or so to possibly 25 minutes. If that is the case, we are guessing WB is hoping all the controversy surrounding the actress and Johnny Depp will have died down by the time the sequel gets released next year as Heard did test well as Mera in the first film.
The current head of the DC films, Walter Hamada, has described Aquaman 2 as a buddy film between Jason Momoa and Patrick Wilson's Orm, but things seem to be changing with the addition of the Michael Keaton Batman, Amber Heard getting double the screentime, the film being a part of a DCEU reboot set after The Flash, and don't forget Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is a part of the movie as Black Manta (where oddly enough nothing has been said).
Of course, things could always change since these are only test screenings, but it appears as if they are moving Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom to something closer to a change in guard.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is directed by James Wan and gets released on March 17, 2023.