Ben Affleck’s Batman replaced Michael Keaton in Aquaman 2 after “confusing” scene

Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck as BatmanWarner Bros.

Aquaman 2 originally included Michael Keaton’s Batman, but he was replaced by Ben Affleck after test audiences found it too “confusing,” according to a new report.

It’s been 30 years since Batman Returns, and Keaton is returning to the world of DC. Decades after his first appearance in 1989’s Batman, he’s due to appear in Ezra Miller’s The Flash alongside Batfleck, which will be a loose adaptation of the Flashpoint story.

How Keaton’s Batman will slot into the convoluted world of the DCEU remains to be seen. He was also meant to star alongside Leslie Grace in Batgirl, but the film was recently axed by Warner Bros. amid budgetary and quality concerns.

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The studio also attributed the move to the “leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max.” Now, it seems Batgirl’s cancelation is rippling into other movies.

Michael Keaton’s Batman replaced by Ben Affleck in Aquaman 2

A new article from The Hollywood Reporter digging into the cancelation of Batgirl claims the film’s death “hints at a diminished role for Keaton going forward.”

Keaton’s Batman was reportedly set to play the DCEU’s equivalent of Nick Fury, appearing as “an elder statesman who could pop up in multiple films and offer guidance.”

Multiple sources told the outlet that Keaton filmed a scene for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Jason Momoa’s upcoming sequel. However, test audiences found it “confusing”, the report stated, “as it was unclear what Keaton’s Batman was doing in this universe.”

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Momoa recently shared a photo of himself and Affleck behind the scenes on Aquaman 2, seemingly confirming Keaton’s version of the character has been replaced.

Aquaman 2 may be delayed following Batgirl cancelation

While it’s highly unlikely Aquaman 2 will be canceled, it may be delayed as part of the Warner Bros. Discovery shakeup.

Both The Lost Kingdom and Shazam! Fury of the Gods could be moved to new release dates, the report added, although this has yet to be confirmed.

Warner Bros. also revealed the release date of Joker: Folie a Deux, a sequel to Joaquin Phoenix’s R-rated, billion-dollar hit.