In 2018, James Wan did the unexpected in delivering an all-around delightful Aquaman. The sixth entrant into the DC Extended Universe was an exciting change of pace for the franchise, with a very charming Jason Momoa front and center as the titular King of Atlantis. In addition to subverting expectations, Aquaman also delivered at the box office, earning over $1 billion and a place as the top-grossing DC Comics film to date. So it’s no surprise whatsoever that a sequel is currently in the works. DC Comics and Warner Bros. are clearly hoping to strike lightning twice as Aquaman 2 is just around the corner, with many key players returning for more.
Here’s everything we know about the DCEU’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
In June 2021, director James Wan shared the title for his upcoming Aquaman sequel:
As you can see, the title is Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. That designation usually refers to the underwater realm of Atlantis. Of course, Atlantis was front and center in the first Aquaman movie, so it’s hard to say exactly what the title refers to this time around.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom‘s Plot
Warner Bros. has yet to confirm plot details, although Abdul-Matteen reprising his role is a major indicator. Still, we have some thoughts about where Aquaman 2 picks up after the very fun first film. In an interview with Total Film, Wan revealed that the story will be largely inspired by the 1960s cult horror film Planet of the Vampires. And he also hints at leaning into his horror DNA with the new film.
Director James Wan and star Jason Momoa shared the above behind-the-scenes look at Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom at DC FanDome. They gave some loose hints about the story too. Black Manta is still very much trying to exact vengeance upon Aquaman. Orm is back. Wan said the sequel is a more mature movie that will still retain the fun. He also noted it’s a globe-trotting movie with fantasy and magic. We can’t wait.
Additionally, as part of several release date changes Warner Bros. is making to their slate of movies, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will now release on December 25, 2023. Deadline shares the reason for this Aquaman 2 release date delay is because more time in post is needed. To help hold us over, James Wan took the opportunity to share a trove of new concept images.
Behind the Scenes
James Wan is returning to direct; he’ll also produce alongside Peter Safran. David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, who co-wrote the first film, is also back and will be writing the sequel’s script. While many faces in front of and behind the camera are back, Arthur Curry is returning with something new—a brand new suit. Momoa took to Instagram, sharing a picture of Aquaman’s classic look, also slipping in a sleek new suit.
But Momoa’s not the only one sharing new lewks. Wan took to Instagram to show off a new pic of Patrick Wilson on set. And let’s just say Orm’s looking a little different this time around.
Most recently, Wan also shared images of Black Manta, played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, from the film. Wan noted, “Months and months of meticulous detailing were spent on costume and production designs.”
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom‘s Cast
Naturally, Jason Momoa will reprise his role as Aquaman/Arthur Curry in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Other cast members returning include Amber Heard as Mera, and Patrick Wilson as Arthur’s half-brother Orm Marius. Yahya Abdul-Matteen II has also confirmed he’s appearing in the sequel as David Kane/Black Manta. In the mid-credit scene, Dr. Stephen Shin (Randall Park) rescued Kane, confirming his survival and teasing his return. And now, his presence in the movie has been confirmed in a report by The Hollywood Reporter. The report also shared that Jani Zhao, Indya Moore, and Vincent Regan have joined the cast.
Zhao will be playing a character named Stingray, whose background is unknown. Stingray is an original character created for the movie. Moore, meanwhile, is set to appear as Karshon. This character comes from the DC comics. According to the report, Karshon first appeared as a villain in 1963’s Green Lantern #24. Karshon began life as a shark but gained intelligence and powers after an encounter with radiation. Finally, Regan will appear as Atlan. Atlan was the ruler who caused Atlantis to sink into the ocean. Aquaman searched for Atlan’s trident in the first film.
Meanwhile, Game of Thrones alum Pilou Asbæk has reportedly joined the cast in a currently unknown role.
On July 28, 2022, Jason Momoa revealed that Ben Affleck would also appear in the film, reprising his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman from the previous DCEU films. Affleck will, of course, also take part in the upcoming Flash movie. Evidently the intention was to keep it a secret but, of all things, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour happened to catch both actors coming out of the soundstage. Awhoops.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’s Release Date
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was originally set to release on March 17, 2023, but the film has been delayed to December 25, 2023.
Originally published on April 27, 2021