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Recently, fans haven’t been very pleased with DC and the changes that they have made by firing Henry Cavil and scraping Black Adam, and we’re certain that there is much more to come. However, DC seems to be on its way to trying to make up for the errors, which brings us to Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. The Aquaman franchise is one of the more popular sub-franchises in the DCEU, and it is time to head back to Atlantis.
The first Aquaman movie which was released in 2018, was the first DCEU movie to hit that sweet $1 billion spot, so needless to say, there is a lot of pressure on Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. However, we are more than certain it will deliver, and here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming movie, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, from the plot to the cast to the release date and more:
'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom' will now release December 25, 2023 🔱 pic.twitter.com/e7QrdL5wqt— Culture Crave 🍿 (@CultureCrave) August 24, 2022
The first Aquaman film left off with Arthur, better known as Aquaman, reclaiming the Trident of Atlan. The Trident grants him control over the seven seas, but Orm (Arthur’s younger half-brother) leads an army to declare himself, Ocean Master. Orm’s attack fails as his followers embrace Arthur as their king. Arthur spares Orm’s life and ascends to the throne.
The film’s star, Jason Momoa, developed a story for a potential sequel during the production of the first film. James Wan, director of both films, was involved heavily in the writing and development of the sequel, as he has been with the sequels to his other films, including Insidious and The Conjuring. He hinted that there were several storylines in mind, given the seven underwater kingdoms that have yet to be explored.
In March 2020, screenwriter David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick shared on Twitter that the sequel would be inspired by the Aquaman stories featuring Black Manta as the villain, published during DC’s Silver Age of Comic Books, rather than by a specific issue or book. The tone of the film is a bit of a mystery. At DC Fandom in August 2020, Wan confirmed that the sequel will be more serious than the first film and also will include worldbuilding and exploration of the seven kingdoms. However, in May 2022, DC Films began to receive some criticism for allegedly reducing actress Amber Heard’s role as Mera, Arthur’s love interest. Executive Walter Hamada stated that this was not the case, and Mera’s role already was made smaller in the sequel as it was meant to be a buddy comedy, focusing on the brotherhood between Aquaman and Orm.
Warner Bros.’s official synopsis of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is as follows: “When an ancient power is unleashed, Aquaman must forge an uneasy alliance with an unlikely ally to protect Atlantis, and the world, from irreversible devastation.” So hopefully, that gives fans a clearer idea of what to expect from the upcoming movie!
Much of the cast from Aquaman will return for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Obviously, and most importantly, Jason Momoa will reprise his role as Arthur Curry, better known as the titular character, Aquaman. Momoa is a Hawaiian actor who made his debut on Baywatch: Hawaii as Jason Ioane. He is best known for his roles as Ronon Dex on Syfy’s Stargate Atlantis and Khal Drogo on the first two seasons of HBO’s Game of Thrones.
Willem Dafoe will return as Nuidius Vulko, Arthur’s mentor, who also serves as the vizier of Atlantis. Dafoe has played a part in bringing a Marvel character to the silver screen, as well, having portrayed the supervillain the Green Goblin, formerly Norman Osborn, in four separate films. Most recently, he portrayed the character in 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Patrick Wilson’s role in the Aquaman franchise is his third role within the DC Comics universe, having appeared in 2009’s Watchmen as Dan Dreiberg / Nite Owl II and having voiced the President of the United States of America in the DC Extended Universe film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016. Wilson will reprise the role of Orm Marius, who currently is imprisoned for his crimes against Atlantis in the first film. Wilson has an extensive filmography, but he is most recognized for his roles in horror films like those of the Insidious franchise and The Conjuring universe.
Amber Heard and award-winning actress Nicole Kidman will reprise their roles as Mera and Atlanna, respectively, but the importance and extent of their roles are unknown. There have been a lot of controversies regarding Amber Heard’s appearance in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and there have been rumors that she might have been re-cast, however, nothing has been confirmed officially.
Last but certainly not least, Ben Affleck will return as Bruce Wayne, better known as Batman. Affleck made his first appearance as Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016. He made a cameo appearance in Suicide Squad in the same year, and he was featured in Justice League in 2017. In 2023, he also will appear as Batman in The Flash. Affleck has long been considered a leading man in Hollywood, He is also the youngest writer ever to win the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, as he was only 25 when he won Good Will Hunting in 1997.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom initially was scheduled for a release date of December 16, 2022. Production began on June 28, 2021, and Momoa did not begin filming until July 2022. About 95 percent of filming was completed in the United Kingdom, namely at Saunton Sands Beach in Devon. The remainder of the film was shot on location in Jersey City, New Jersey, both Malibu and Los Angeles, California, and several locations in Hawaii, finally wrapping in January 2022. Because of the scheduling impacts of COVID-19, Warner Bros. pushed the release date of the film to March 17, 2023. The release date was postponed once again, hopefully for the final time, when Warner Bros. merged with Discovery, Inc. in August 2022. As of now, the film is set to open in theatres worldwide on December 25, 2023.
As of the writing of this article, there is no trailer or teaser yet for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Fans had expected to see a first look at New York Comic-Con in October 2022, but they were sadly disappointed. On a positive note, though, Aquaman himself, Jason Momoa, has shared a lot of updates and behind-the-scenes looks on his personal Instagram page, @prideofgypsies.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom should be one of DCEU’s biggest releases this year, and the success of this movie depends on the plot, and most importantly, the loyalty of the fans who are currently not very thrilled with the creators! Do let us know in the comments whether or not you will be watching Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom when it releases!