After showing up in Justice League to help Batman and Superman fight Steppenwolf, Aquaman got a solo movie n 2018. It pulled in huge numbers, crossing the $1.1 billion in revenue mark putting Aquaman on track for a sequel. While we are not sure if any of the Justice League will make an appearance, we know a lot about what’s happening in Aquaman 2.
AQUAMAN 2 FOCUSING ON AQUAWOMEN?
With all of the controversy surround Amber Heard’s involvement in Aquaman 2, it might be surprising to hear that a new rumor says Aquaman 2 will be focusing more on its female cast members. That would include Mera as well as a handful of other female characters that have been rumored to step up into the spotlight for the sequel. One has to assume that would include Nicole Kidman’s Atlanna and possibly another female character that has yet to be revealed. It would make a lot of sense to give Atlanna some focus since she could be getting her own HBO Max series in the future.
AQUAMAN 2’S WORKING TITLE
Sometimes, a film’s working title means nothing at all. In the case of the Aquaman sequel, it’s actually giving us a peek at the possible plot. Previously, the working title was Aquaman: Necrus.
Like Atlantis, Necrus is an underground city. The domed city has no exact location, in fact, it’s said to move. In the comic books, Necrus is considered unstable. This working title suggests that at least part of the movie should be taking place there. Subsequently, the official title was announced and the movie will be Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. This is still likely a reference to Necrus with just a little more intrigue about that city.
THE FIRST AQUAMAN
The first Aquaman solo movie was an unexpected hit. It followed the underwhelming Justice League movie and was focused on a character who never had a movie before and, frankly, wasn’t as well-known as some of the other DC characters. But Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman pulled it off with a fun, crazy story and great special effects. Aquaman went on to become the highest-grossing DC film in their history. Aquaman 2 has big fins to fill.
WHO’S BACK FOR AQUAMAN 2
It’s a lock that Jason Momoa will be back in Aquaman 2 as Arthur Curry. He has been gung-ho about the prospects of Aquaman 2 even since before the release of the first one.
Talking to TotalFilm he explained that the first film was set up nicely to bring storylines in for the sequel and he’d already pitched his ideas for the sequel to Warner Brothers. “I definitely have an opinion,” Momoa said. “Even when we were shooting Aquaman, I have the opening of Aquaman 2 ready. I went in and pitched it to [producer Peter] Safran, and I pitched it to [Warner Bros chairman] Toby Emmerich. They loved it. It’s awesome. But yeah, I have plans for Aquaman 2.”
Amber Heard is set to reprise her role as Mera (though that wasn’t always assured). Mera is the Queen to Aquaman’s King of Atlantis. She fights alongside him as she protects both Atlantis and the Earth’s surface.
Will we see King Orm/Ocean Master in the sequel? All signs point to Patrick Wilson returning as a half-brother to Aquaman. In the first he unsuccessfully tried to take over Atlantis, so we are curious as to his next move.
This one seems to be a shoo-in: Black Manta coming back as one of the main villains. Last we saw Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as the Black Manta was the end credit scene in the first movie. He is, in DC comic lore, Aquaman’s greatest enemy for what he feels is a good reason. So with the set up at the end of Aquaman, it’d be a big surprise if Black Manta wasn’t the main antagonist in Aquaman 2. And that’s going to be the case with Mateen set to reprise his role.
Along with Black Manta, it’d be difficult to not see Randall Park as Dr. Stephen Shin coming back in some capacity. Shin is obsessed with finding Atlantis and in that end credit scene he rescues Black Manta and upon healing him, they forge a partnership. If Manta can help Shin prove Atlantis is real, Shin will help Manta in his quest to destroy Aquaman.
Might we also see Willem Defoe return as Vulko in Aquaman 2? He proved his loyalty to both Aquaman and the people of Atlantis so his presence is a strong possibility in the sequel.
Depending on where Aquaman 2 is set (we can expect much of it to be in Atlantis) we may also see the return of Dolph Lundgren as King Nereus and Nicole Kidman as Atlanna.
At a Wizard World panel in January 2021, Dolph Lundgren said he “may” be filming Aquaman 2 in London “this summer”. It sounds like he wasn’t quite sure whether he would be part of the cast, but it’s definitely on his radar.
WHO IS IN CHARGE OF AQUAMAN 2?
James Wan didn’t confirm he was signed on for Aquaman 2 for a while. James Wan sat in the director’s chair for the first Aquaman and would be returning to the sequel in some capacity, producer for one. Wan said he would first be directing to direct an untitled horror movie before moving on to Aquaman 2.
At DC Fandome in 2020, James Wan confirmed he’d be in the director’s chair for the sequel. He has done a few panels online talking about the upcoming movie. While he didn’t reveal much, he has said that there will be elements of horror in the sequel.
In other good news, Aquaman’s co-writer, David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (The Conjuring 2, Wrath of the Titans) has been hired to write the script for the sequel.
WHAT’S THE SEQUEL ABOUT?
With Aquaman 2 not even in pre-production yet details on the plot are thin. We can guess as to where the story might lead with Black Manta, Dr. Stephen Shin and Ocean Master, but it would just be speculation.
Patrick Wilson was pushed for any details he could share, which weren’t much, but he did tell the Hollywood Reporter, “I’m slightly briefed [on Orm-related matters]. I just throw a little dart here and there. I’ll say, ‘So, what about this?’ and [James Wan will] say, ‘Well, this is what I’m thinking.’ I can tell you that even his concepts for Aquaman 2 are pushing it even further.”
Wilson did add, “Of course, I want to know everything, but I also have a great respect for him and the process to know that I’m OK staying out of it until it’s late in the game. Sometimes, there’s so much information that I don’t ask because I don’t want to know, and I don’t want him to go, ‘I can’t tell you that yet.’ I have a few ideas of where Orm fits in, but I’m not gonna talk about them.”
And as we said, much of the action could revolve around the aforementioned Necrus with the Atlantians at odds with this mysterious city.
AQUAMAN’S NEW LOOK
Most superhero movies change up their costumes at least a little between movies and it’s safe to assume Aquaman 2 will do something similar. We don’t know what direction they’re going yet, but we do know they considered alternate looks for Jason Momoa and Amber Heard the first time around.
Below is an example of one of the first attempts to come up with Aquaman’s look for the first movie…
Maybe Momoa will consider ditching his trademark long hair for something different in Aquaman 2.
AMBER HEARD CONTROVERSY
Early on, rumors started to swirl, suggesting that Amber Heard may have already been fired from Aquaman 2 due to the controversy around her (which we outline below). It had never been officially announced, but fans were speculating on who might replace her. One of the leading candidates to be the new Mera in Aquaman 2 was Blake Lively.
Below is what Blake Lively would look like as Aquaman 2’s new Mera…
Another of the leading candidates to be the new Mera in Aquaman 2 was Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke.
Here’s what Emilia Clarke would look like as the new Mera…
It works. But for now we don’t know for sure whether Amber Heard is out of Aquaman 2 or not. Heard has been surrounded by rumors of domestic abuse against her partners for years and a petition to have her fired from the franchise has been gaining steam online.
“As Amber Heard is a known and proven domestic abuser, Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment should and must remove Heard from their Aquaman 2 film project. They must not ignore the suffering of Heard’s victims, and must not glamorize a domestic abuser. “– –Petition to remove Amber Heard from Aquaman 2
The petition has now topped 1,800,000 signatures and it’s pushing to reach 2 million. Initially, the controversy around Heard did not prompt Warner Brothers to remove her from the film. However, as the outrage over the accusations against her continues growing, rumors are starting to swirl suggesting she’s about to be fired.
The latest comes from this gossip source where they, along with several other sources, claim Amber Heard is indeed being fired from Aquaman 2.
Adding more fuel to the Amber Heard was fired was a report from Cosmic Book News where they claim that Amber Heard is now uninsurable. That means Warner Bros. can’t get an insurance company to cover her, so they can’t use her even if they want to. As a result, they claimed Warner Bros. was buying out her contract, in essence paying her to go away.
Warner Bros. recently signed up Johnny Depp to appear in some of their other movies, so it would be odd of them to take sides with Depp and fire Heard. You’d expect them to play the middle here and just ignore everything.
Publicly at least, WB has ignored the cries from people demanding that they fire Heard from Aquaman 2. In fact they seem to have voiced support for her, when the studio used the official Aquaman movie twitter account to do this…
Meanwhile, WB is reportedly considering firing Ezra Miller from The Flash for a similar controversy. They didn’t end up changing their mind on either piece of casting and both are set to star in their respective films.
- Go in-depth with Amber Heard: How Accusations Of Abuses Prompted A Growing Internet Campaign To End Her Career
AQUAMAN 2’s RELEASE DATE
Though Aquaman 2 has faced a few different delays over the years, including a big one recently with star Jason Momoa testing positive for Covid, it looks like things are on track now.
Aquaman 2 began filming this year and the release date is already set for December 16, 2022, a full four years after the first movie. At this point, the date doesn’t look like it will change, but with everything movie-related, especially big tent pole movies, these things can and have been fluid. Things are still looking very much on track with filming having recently wrapped up. You can see some of the cast, including Momoa celebrating.
THE FUTURE OF AQUAMAN
The first Aquaman was a huge, huge box office smash for Warner Bros. pictures so they’re planning things out well beyond Aquaman 2. Aquaman 3 is a near certainty at this point and after that, they want things to keep going. Only, they may want things to keep going without Jason Momoa.
Word is that WB is already setting up a replacement for Momoa as Aquaman. Their rumored plan is to have Momoa’s Arthur Curry settled in as the King of Atlantis by the end of Aquaman 3. At that point he’ll realize he can’t rule his kingdom and also play superhero, so he’ll want to pass the mantle on to someone else.
Who will that someone else be? Rumor claims it will be a character called Kaldur, who is actually the son of his mortal enemy Black Manta. That follows the comics since in DC lore Aquaman mentors him and Kaldur eventually becomes a superhero in his own right.
As for why DC would want to replace Momoa after three, it could be just that he’s getting older. It could also be that they’re feeling the pressure of outcries for diversity in their superhero characters. All of the biggest DC movie superhero movie characters currently active (Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman) and coming soon (The Flash) are all white (or in the case of Momoa Hawaiian and German) and the new Aquaman definitely would be a person of color.
FAN REACTION TO AQUAMAN 2
Aquaman has officially attained epic meme status, as people around the internet have started using him as a way to get people washing their hands. Hand-washing has become particularly important in 2020, with governments around the world keen to get people washing as a way to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.
So, to help fight Corona, the internet has started spreading hand-washing as this meme…
Stay safe and wash like you mean it, America!