With all of the other drama going on at DC—not to mention Warner Bros. as a whole—it’s easy to forget that Aquaman 2 is coming out in a few months. It certainly doesn’t help that the Warner Bros. promotional campaign for the movie has been all but nonexistent. To say that no one is super excited for the movie to drop is an understatement, and now it looks like even director James Wan is over the whole “Aquaman 2” thing.
A recent X—formally Twitter—post from industry scooper MyTimeToShineHello shows two screenshots from Wan’s Instagram account accompanied with the caption, “He’s so done with this sh*t.”
Aquaman 2 director James Wan replied to comments seemingly mocking the teaser trailer for the upcoming film.
The first screenshot is Wan making an announcement that Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will finally get a trailer this Thursday, accompanied by a seconds-long teaser for said trailer. The second picture—the one that shows even Wan may have given up on Aquaman 2—sees a frustrated fan asking if the director really just posted a trailer for a trailer. The question—accentuated with the sweariest of swears—prompted Wan to respond with, “Haha. I know, it’s hilarious.”
The first trailers for the first film in the soon-to-be-defunct DCEU, 2013’s Man of Steel, were released in July of 2012—almost an entire year before the movie’s release.
To be clear, James Wan’s response doesn’t necessarily mean that he doesn’t have faith in the movie he made—his 15th time in the director’s chair, according to IMDb—but rather that he’s probably sick of the way Warner Bros. is treating the promotion for Aquaman 2 and all of the drama surrounding the end of the DCEU and the beginning of James Gunns new DC cinematic universe.
With DC’s lackluster support for the sequel, along with Warner Bros.’s overall mishandling of their most popular characters, it wouldn’t be surprising if Wan now hates the idea of Aquaman 2 and just wants this whole ordeal to be over.
A reduction in promotion for Aquaman 2 is to be expected in light of the SAG-AFTRA strike, preventing actors and other crew from promoting any work from struck companies like Warner Bros. Discovery but not even releasing a trailer with barely three months to go before the movie’s December 20 release is inexcusable.
For context, the first trailers for the first film in the soon-to-be-defunct DCEU, 2013’s Man of Steel, were released in July of 2012—almost an entire year before the movie’s release. The difference between Man of Steel and Aquaman 2—besides the fact that they represent the beginning and the end of the DCEU, respectively—is that Man of Steel wasn’t the sequel to a movie that made over a billion dollars at the global box office.
That’s right, even though fans still don’t understand quite how it happened, the first Aquaman made a whopping $1,148,528,393 in the theater, making it DC’s highest-grossing movie of all time, not just in the DCEU but out of all DC properties ever.
To be clear, James Wan’s response doesn’t necessarily mean that he doesn’t have faith in the movie he made but rather that he’s probably sick of the way Warner Bros. is treating the promotion for Aquaman 2.
For Warner Bros. and DC studios to take the sequel to their most successful movie of all time and not market it is crazy. It almost lends credence to fan theories that Warner Bros. Discovery is trying to purposely destroy itself in some diabolical Producers-esque scheme that only they understand.
It’s also possible that DC decided not to push Aquaman 2 after all the negative press the movie received as a result of the Amber Heard/Johnny Depp trial. Judging by the way they stuck by The Flash following the much worse press generated by Ezra Miller’s behavior, however, it’s highly unlikely.
Whatever the reason, DC’s lack of promotion points to the company’s lack of confidence in Aquaman 2, which is bound to affect what little enthusiasm the public already had for an Aquaman sequel to begin with. As for James Wan, Aquaman 2 —as well as the circumstances surrounding its production and promotion—has become a bad joke, one he has no choice but to laugh at.