And given the faltering box office takings of recent fellow DCEU holdovers such as ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ and ‘The Flash’, the studio is really hoping for a win from ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom‘, which just adds extra pressure on director James Wan and star Jason Momoa to deliver a successful send-off to that regime before new DC Studios boss James Gunn’s output starts to appear.
Wan has recently been doing the rounds to address rumors of multiple re-shoots and confusion over which, if any version of Batman will appear, but the movie will need to stand on its own come the release date, and the first trailer for it promises a lot.
What’s the story of ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’?
Written once more by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, the sequel finds Arthur “Aquaman” Curry (Momoa) once more dealing with a serious threat to his undersea world of Atlantis.
Having failed to defeat Aquaman the first time, Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), still driven by the need to avenge his father’s death, will stop at nothing to take Aquaman down once and for all.
This time Black Manta is more formidable than ever before, wielding the power of the mythic Black Trident, which unleashes an ancient and malevolent force.
To defeat him, Aquaman will turn to his imprisoned brother Orm (Patrick Wilson), the former King of Atlantis, to forge an unlikely alliance. Together, they must set aside their differences in order to protect their kingdom and save Aquaman’s family, and the world, from irreversible destruction…
Johnson-McGoldrick was working from a story he created alongside Wan, Momoa and Thomas Pa’a Sibbett, the actor’s producing and creative partner.
Who else appears in ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’?
This new trailer certainly features a lot of action and the promise that we’ll be seeing more of certain elements people enjoyed from the first film. Such as the drumming octopus, who we’ll learn is named Topo, and has a character arc this time.
And the story is dives deeper into the titular Lost Kingdom, the seventh underwater principality that formed from the sunken remains of Atlantis but had mysteriously vanished (as mentioned in the first ‘Aquaman’).
There is also plenty of humor to be found –– including Arthur balancing his responsibilities to Atlantis with being a dad, and his banter with Orm.
Producer Peter Safran on the tone of ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’
Despite the heavy stakes of the new movie, producer Peter Safran assures fans that it’ll also have the humor that audiences enjoyed in the original.
Here’s what he had to say about Arthur and Orm’s relationship this time around:
“They’re forced to work together, but they have no interest in being together. There is a humor in this movie that is far greater than even existed in the first.”
James Wan on James Gunn’s involvement in ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’
According to Wan, incoming DC Studios boss James Gunn has –– as has been reported –– weighed in on the movie. But it’s more of a collaboration than has been portrayed:
“I’ve known James since way back, right? We’re horror guys, and so I’m definitely open to ideas. But, at the end of the day, this is my movie.”
‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ will dive into theaters on December 20th.
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‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ is produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, Atomic Monster, The Safran Company, and DC Films. The movie is scheduled to release in theaters on December 20th, 2023.