After months of delays and production woes due to the global pandemic, Warner Bros. roared back in a big way with Matt Reeves' The Batman starring Robert Pattinson. With the film's box office numbers still on the climb, DC fans were optimistic about Warner Bros. packed 2022 slate, which included Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam, even more Batman in The Flash, and the return of Jason Momoa's Arthur Curry in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
In addition to its busy year in theaters, Warner Bros. has also been focused on DC storytelling on HBO Max, including the made-for-streaming film Batgirl, which stars Leslie Grace in the titular role.
But now, it appears that the jam-packed 2022 theatrical slate is no more. On the heels of The Batman, Warner Bros. has announced multiple delays for many of its upcoming 2022 and 2023 DC films.
Warner Bros. Delays Aquaman 2 & The Flash
Following news that Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam has been unexpectedly delayed, Warner Bros. has announced additional shifts in its release schedule for the remainder of 2022.
As tweeted by The Hollywood Reporter's Aaron Couch, DC's new release schedule now has Shazam: Fury of the Gods releasing on December 16, 2022, consequently bumping Jason Momoa's Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom to March 17, 2023. Ezra Miller's The Flash has been moved nearly seven months, as it is now slated for a June 23, 2023 theatrical release.
Before today's announcement, The Flash, which will feature both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck's versions of Batman, was set to release on November 4, 2022. This film then would've been followed by Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.
The long-awaited sequel to 2019's Shazam! has actually moved up by almost half a year, having been originally slated for a June 2, 2023 release.
In addition, The Meg 2 has been rescheduled to August 4, 2023, while Timothée Chalamet's Wonka has been moved to December 15, 2023.
Good News & Bad News for DC Fans
It's a tough day to be a DC fan, especially in the wake of delays that became commonplace in the pandemic era of films. However, due to Black Adam's new October release, it wouldn't have been smart on Warner Bros' part to then release The Flash the following month, followed by both Aquaman 2 and Batgirl in December.
So many projects releasing within weeks of one another would only cannibalize viewership and box office numbers. In addition, December 16 is also when James Cameron's Avatar 2 is set to release, which may have factored into the studio's decision.
Still, there is some good news. In addition to Shazam 2 having an earlier release date, Warner Bros. has also announced an additional spin-off series based on The Batman's world featuring Colin Farrel's Penguin.
Also, for now, Batgirl's HBO Max release window remains the same, meaning DC fans will have plenty to look forward to this December.
Warner Bros' latest DC project, The Batman, is now playing in theaters.