The DCEU's Final Movie Gets Worrying News from Test Screenings

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Wonder Woman, Batman, Aquaman, DC logo

Concerns surrounding the DCEU's final movie may be valid after a new report indicated that it received disappointing test screening scores.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is set to be the final DCEU movie before DC Studios co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran begin a new era of DCU projects. 

However, in the past months, there were negative rumblings surrounding the Jason Momoa-led DC sequel. 

In February 2023, entertainment insider ViewerAnon claimed that the consensus for Aquaman 2 is not good, with the scooper describing the sequel as "boring, not as good as the first, and potentially one of the worst DCEU movies" after half a dozen test screenings.

This is on top of the controversy surrounding Mera actress Amber Heard due to the public defamation lawsuit between herself and her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, which she lost.

Aquaman 2 Gets Test Screening Update

Aquaman Jason Momoa

Variety shared that Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom "continued to test in the 60s" (out of 100) in its test screenings even after a re-edit of the film was done during Summer 2022. 

According to an insider who spoke with Variety, Aquaman 2 is described as the "last remnant of the SnyderVerse," and "no one really wants to take ownership" of the sequel: 

“The movie is like this echo of regimes. It’s the last remnant of the SnyderVerse, and no one really wants to take ownership of it.” 

The outlet also noted that reshoots for the sequel happened up until the writers' strike in May 2023. 

Variety's on-set source refuted claims that Aquaman 2 suffered from troublesome production, pointing out that the sequel was "on time, under budget, and needed only about a week of reshoots."

Will Aquaman 2's Test Screening Score Affect Its Release?

The latest update about Aquaman 2 essentially derailed the sequel’s momentum ahead of its release this Christmas.

The fact that it still received a low score despite being recut may suggest that the test screening audience wasn’t pleased about the sequel. 

It is unknown if they weren’t satisfied with the story or some other aspects of the film, such as the controversies that are attached to it.

Time is already running out for Warner Bros. to improve Aquaman 2 as it slowly approaches its release date.

While it’s possible that director James Wan and the movie’s editors could tweak certain elements before its theatrical premiere, it remains to be seen if it will be enough to drive audiences to movie theaters.

Still, the studio could maximize its efforts on Aquaman 2's marketing instead to build anticipation for its upcoming release. 

It's also possible that its main cast led by Jason Momoa will clear the air regarding the sequel's issues once the Hollywood actors' strike is resolved.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is set to premiere in theaters on December 20.

- In This Article: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
Release Date
December 22, 2023
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.