When the DC Universe began, Warner Brothers focused mainly on the superheroes fans knew best: Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. But as the pantheon has extended, the franchise discovered other more obscure characters could garner just as much of a fanbase. Aquaman, for instance, has brought in the highest box office returns so far. Naturally, a sequel was greenlit, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is now in production for 2022.
The first Aquaman film reimagined the character from the famously soft-looking blonde-and-blue-eyed prince to a more rough and tumble, long-haired wildman of the sea. Played by Jason Momoa, Arthur was a man torn between worlds, neither accepted by his mother’s underwater people nor by his father’s folks on land. But with the help of Mera, he went up against his half-brother Orm, who claimed to be the kingdom’s rightful heir. Arthur was victorious and won the title of Ocean Master.
But even though Arthur’s story seemed complete, the film’s mid-credits sequence hinted otherwise. A marine scientist and Atlantis conspiracy theorist, Dr. Stephen Shin, rescued David, the son of a pirate Arthur killed in self-defense. Together, the two decided to work to find Atlantis so David can have his revenge.
So, how will this tie into the new film? Here’s what we know so far.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Teaser
Aquaman’s sequel was floated before the first film came out at the end of 2018. A script was reportedly commissioned in February of 2019 for a planned 2022 release. But the coronavirus pandemic put the breaks on that. Filming only finally commenced on June 28, 2021.
But the first image from filming brought an interesting twist to the proceedings. Initially, there was talk of this second Aquaman filming being more of a horror film, with rumors of the story being based on The Trench, one of the kingdoms mentioned in the first film.
But, as the photo reveals, the clapper for Aquaman 2 reads “Necrus.” That’s a different kingdom than “The Trench” and a bit of a deeper cut. Don’t get me wrong, Necrus still has horror-esque elements. Introduced in the comics in 1966, it was conceived as a dark mirror-world version of Atlantis. But unlike Atlantis’ residents, who are happy to let land folk live on land while they dwell in the oceans, Necrus’ people are more warlike, determined to take out their land-lubber foes.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Cast
Most of the core cast from the first movie is expected to return. Momoa will reprise his role as the titular Aquaman, with Amber Heard as his queen, Mera. Patrick Wilson is also expected to return as Orm and Dolph Lundgren as Mera’s father, King Nereus. The film will also have Yahya Abdul-Mateen II return as the pirate David, aka Black Manta, to continue his quest to kill Aquaman.
As for new faces, Pilou Asbaek, best known for his Game of Thrones role as the seafaring pirate Euron, has reportedly joined the sequel in a new, villainous role, according to Deadline.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Plot
With so much in flux over the last two years since Aquaman 2 was greenlit, it’s hard to say what the new film’s plot will be. What fans do know is that this is a passion project, not just for director James Wan, who brought the first one to life, but also for Momoa himself.
It was Momoa who originally pitched a potential sequel before the first film even landed and he is credited as co-writer on the script.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Release Date
Despite the delays, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is still considered on track for its slated Dec. 16, 2022, release.