When announcing that their 2021 slate of feature films would be released both in theaters and on HBO Max at no additional charge, many worried that WarnerMedia was setting a dangerous precedent. It was surely possible that after a year of watching the biggest movies, including the likes of Mortal Kombat, Godzilla vs Kong, and more, in the comfort of their own homes that people wouldn't budge back to the theaters in 2022 when the plan was seemingly reversed. Well if you ask the people making the movies for the studio that are scheduled for next year they don't think there will be a change of heart. Aquaman 2 director James Wan has seemingly confirmed his sequel won't be a day and date release.
"This movie has to be played on the biggest screen around the world, and the studio gets that as well," Wan told The LA Times in a new write-up about Warner Bros. The outlet's write-up on the studio and its interactions with HBO Max includes some other interesting quotes about their business including the revelation from Warner Bros. Pictures Group Chairman Toby Emmerich that while it had previously been theorized that new movies on streaming services weren't a primary driver for gaining new subscriptions, WB's day and date strategy has proved that to be incorrect.
"When streamers were starting ... the common wisdom was, 'series drive subscription; movies reduce churn,'" Emmerich said. "Movies weren't really the drivers of getting people to sign on. And I think now, the perception with film on these streaming services is that they're punching above their weight in sign-ups."
"These films have been very helpful in acquisition and more helpful in retention than we ever could have seen or hoped," Andy Forssell, head of HBO Max added.
Those quotes in mind, it's certainly possible WB could consider a change in their 2022 plans, but with the schedule already including major blockbusters like The Batman, Black Adam, The Flash, the third Fantastic Beasts film, and the previously mentioned Aquaman 2.
The sequel, currently scheduled to arrive in theaters in December of next year (opposite James Cameron's Avatar sequel) with production scheduled to begin in July of this year. Momoa will return and previously shared that he loves the story "so much" he even helped write it.
"After we ended the first one I went in with my writing partner and we dreamed up the second one and we went in and pitched the idea," Momoa said on The Drew Barrymore Show. "The best thing I can give you is that I love it so much that I participated in the writing of it. And so, we did the first treatment and then James and our original writer David finished it off. And all of our hearts are in it. Instead of just like getting a script and doing that, you are 100% being encouraged by your director and co-writers. So that's exciting for me and I'm excited to go over there. I leave in July and we start filming."
Do you think Aquaman 2 will be a theatrical exclusive? Sound off in the comments below!