Most comic-book movie enthusiasts regard Aquaman as the pivotal saviour of the DCEU. Honestly, it's difficult to disagree; not only is it the highest grossing, but it arrived at a time when general audiences had grown tired of the cinematic universe's direction. Sure, we'd had Wonder Woman, but right after that, we saw her fall victim to 2017's Justice League.
It all began with Man of Steel, which introduced Zack Snyder's rather divisive take on Superman. Many assumed that this was a satisfying launching point, and while subsequent efforts proved more ambitious, they were far less well-received than the aforementioned entrance-point. Subsequent features like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad and Justice League - fans still demand the extended Snyder Cut - were pretty much shrugged off, and future plans to expand the universe looked dead in the water from an anticipatory perspective. However, it's in the water that the franchise found life.
Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman appeared to be a rare one-off until James Wan's Aquaman arrived. Although Justice League was a considerable failure, some felt that the most enjoyable aspect of it was Jason Momoa's portrayal of the famous DC Comics hero.
Fortunately, his solo movie subverted expectations by going against the established trends of previous DCEU entries; defying the dark and dreary elements recurrent in preceding efforts, Wan's approach was colourful, heartfelt and comical. Things looked to be back on track, and in wake of Shazam! we may finally be in the clear. However, recent news has surfaced which highlights a severely missed opportunity.
As featured above, the Aquaverse - a creative community of Aquaman fans on Twitter - recently tweeted some early concept art which teases an Atlantean invasion of Sydney; who would've shown up? Batman! Looking at the art, it does seem a shame that the caped crusader's inclusion wasn't followed through.
Although Ben Affleck is no longer portraying the popular hero, at the point it would have been him donning the costume to accompany Aquaman in this extraordinary battle. This also would've been the last time we saw Affleck in the role, and what a farewell it could have been in retrospect. Rather than being remembered for Justice League, Affleck's presence in a spectacular action sequence slotted into Aquaman could have delivered fans a spectacular DCEU moment before the next actor took over. Sadly, our imaginations will have to work with the imagery offered by the concept art; it's perhaps too easy to envision what could have been.
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