Casting Jason Momoa as Aquaman was one of the best decisions that Zack Snyder made while he was in charge of DC‘s big screen universe. The first solo movie featuring Aquaman, directed by James Wan, is one of the most entertaining movies to come out of the modern DC movie era, and now the sequel is almost here.
AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM develops some of the family conflicts from the original movie even as Arthur Curry (Momoa) forges an uneasy alliance in order to defeat a returning foe. The new trailer shows off some new family dynamics and helps explain some of the power lining up to knock Aquaman off his throne. Here's everything you need to know about AQUAMAN 2.
When Can You See Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom?
The AQUAMAN sequel will open exclusively in movie theatres on December 22.
Watch the Latest Aquaman 2 Trailer
Things have progressed in Arthur Curry's life since we last saw him, and not all the changes are for the better. A very good change is that Aquaman now has a son, and it seems like the boy has inherited some of his father's abilities. One of the problems is that Black Manta is still swimming around, and he's got a powerful new benefactor. In order to draw Aquaman out, Black Manta kidnaps the child — and you know that's not going to end well for someone.
What Is Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom About?
This sequel will follow Aquaman as he cautiously works together with his estranged brother, Orm (Patrick Wilson), in a battle against Black Manta. The movie was designed as a buddy comedy starring Momoa and Wilson.
With a new ship and seemingly some new powers, Black Manta might have someone else on his side, too, but we don't know who that could be at this point.
Who's In The Cast of Aquaman 2?
Jason Momoa, Patrick Wilson and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II play the major roles in AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM. Amber Heard will appear as Princess Mera, and Willem Dafoe will return as Nuidis Vulko. Dolph Lundgren, Randall Park, Temuera Morrison, and Nicole Kidman all appear as well, with Kidman featuring prominently in trailers for the movie.
Additionally, Randall Park plays Dr. Stephen Shin, who is desperate to find Atlantis and seemingly aids Black Manta. Vincent Regan plays Atlan, the first king of Atlantis, while Jani Zhao appears as Stingray and Indya Moore is Karshon. Finally, Pilou Asbæk has a so-far undisclosed role, which suggests he could play Black Manta's powerful ally.
Is Batman in Aquaman 2?
Here's where things might get confusing. Michael Keaton returned as Batman in THE FLASH, where he plays an alternate version of his classic movie Batman. Furthermore, there was a plan to have Keaton appear in other DC movies, potentially as a sort of Nick Fury character for DC. He was going to show up in the now-canceled BATGIRL movie, too, for example.
In fact, AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM reportedly had at least one Michael Keaton scene — but with Affleck shooting at least one scene for the movie, there's now reason to wonder if Keaton's scene is being cut, with Affleck's version of Batman showing up instead. That's in part because the events of THE FLASH suggest that Keaton's Batman era is now over for good.
At one point, Ben Affleck was set to appear in AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM. Jason Momoa posted the news to Instagram, along with a photo of Affleck wearing a suit that very much looks like something his version of Bruce Wayne would wear.
Affleck appears in THE FLASH, but now his AQUAMAN 2 appearance is in question. In fact, after filming scenes with two different Batman actors it seems like Batman might not appear in AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM at all. A report from mid-July 2023 said the character has been cut from the current version of the movie, in part because new DC heads James Gunn and Pater Safran don't want to suggest that either actor will be part of DC's lineup going forward. As with Superman, Gunn is casting a new Batman for his upcoming run of movies, while Robert Pattinson's version of the character remains a separate deal altogether.
Is The Trench Spinoff Movie Still Happening?
THE TRENCH is no longer being made. At one point, there were plans for an AQUAMAN spinoff based on the visually arresting "Trench" sequence from the first movie. As it turns out, that movie was going to be a "secret" Black Manta solo movie. But it was canceled… perhaps some of the ideas from THE TRENCH ended up in AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM?
The Filmmakers Behind Aquaman 2
We don't know all of the details, but early reports say that the AQUAMAN 2 story was originally pitched to director James Wan by star Jason Momoa. Perhaps that makes the "buddy comedy with Aquaman and Orm" angle more understandable — after spending a movie at one another's throats, maybe Momoa and Patrick Wilson wanted to work together?
Regardless, the story passed to AQUAMAN writer David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, who also worked with Wan on some of the CONJURING movies, and he has credit for the script. While Wan wasn't originally confirmed to return he could not say no in the end, and has been working feverishly on AQUAMAN 2 ever since.
AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM opens on December 22.
All images courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.