It’s going to be a wet winter holiday season for fans of Warner Bros. Pictures’ superhero universe next year.
The studio announced plans to push back the release of its upcoming Aquaman movie two months, from its original October 2018 premiere date to a December 21 arrival in theaters that year. There was no official reason provided for the scheduling shift.
Set to be directed by Furious 7 and The Conjuring director James Wan, Aquaman will bring Jason Momoa back as DC Comics’ famous water-borne superhero after the character’s brief debut in Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice and what’s expected to be a more prominent role in the upcoming Justice League team-up movie.
Along with Momoa as the titular hero, Aquaman will also feature Amber Heard as Mera, the Queen of Atlantis (who’s also expected to make her debut in Justice League), along with Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman (The Hours) as Aquaman’s mother, Temuera Morrison (Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones) as Aquaman’s father, Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring) as Aquaman’s half-brother, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (The Get Down) as Black Manta, and Willem Dafoe (Platoon) as Vulko.
The calendar shift for Aquaman is the latest in a long line of unexpected change-ups for WB’s line of live-action superhero movies, which has also seen The Batman change directors, The Flash slide into limbo after losing two directors and undergoing multiple rewrites, and various other films waver in the development cycle after being announced.
It’s unknown at this point whether the decision to move Aquaman had to do with competition for the original release date (Sony Pictures announced that its Venom movie would premiere the same October weekend shortly after Aquaman was moved), behind-the-scenes troubles, or a decision to capitalize on a pre-holiday weekend. Currently, the only other movies scheduled around the new Aquaman opening weekend are Sony’s animated Spider-Man movie and Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, which will debut four days later on Christmas.
Aquaman is expected to begin shooting next month.