You’ll have to wait just a smidge longer to lust over Jason Momoa’s charming handsome buffness in DC standalone hero form. James Wan’s Aquaman is getting bumped back and it’s taking over some previously coveted real estate in the process.
Variety reports that the waterproof adventure is changing course from an initial October 5th debut to a holiday-friendly December 21st release. It’s a date on the calendar that was previously earmarked for the effects-heavy curiosity that is Avatar 2, but that’s been abandoned so James Cameron can continue to fine-tune the sequel. Aquaman has now swooped into that spot and will look to reap the seasonal benefits.
One scheduling note worth unpacking with this move is that Aquaman is now scheduled to go head-to-head with 2018’s Spider-Man animated offering. Could DC be trying to sink a rival Marvel movie or is something near Christmas too sexy of a landing spot to pass up? In the Zack Snyder era, DC’s cinematic fare hasn’t been as warmly received as Marvel’s Cinematic Universe or Fox’s collection of Marvel releases. It’s not unreasonable to suggest that if Aquaman fires on all cylinders, it would be a major win for the company and outshining a Marvel feature would inspire even more confidence.
Aquaman has a tendency to be clowned on, but it’s hard to bet against James Wan who has been racking up monster hits helming things like Furious 7 and the Conjuring franchise. If DC’s is going to properly land one on Marvel’s chin for more than just a week’s gross, this might be their best shot. Or it could be a shipwreck. No big deal. Only billions of dollars at stake.