While a sequel to 2018’s hit Aquaman has long been announced, the condition of DC Films has recently shifted considerably. The first film was released at a period when the DCEU was doing well at the box office and had some type of direction. The sequel will now be released in three months and has only recently received its first trailer.
The trailer looks excellent, presenting the stunning realm of Atlantis and continuing the story established in the first film. Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) is now King of Atlantis and married with a kid, but he is being pursued by the ruthless Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II). Because of the impending confrontation, Arthur will join forces with his brother Orm/Oceanmaster (Patrick Wilson).
Although Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has a direct connection to the first film, which was the sixth entry in the DCEU, its place in the narrative is a little skewed. This is due in part to the release of The Flash.
How does Aquaman 2 relate to the DC Extended Universe?
The Flash film reset various aspects of the DCEU, following the announcement of a soft reboot of the DC Universe termed DCU by the new co-chairmen of DC Studios, James Gunn and Peter Safran. The Aquaman sequel’s place in the new cinematic world is further complicated by the new cinematic universe. While characters like Superman and Batman are being recast, other characters may return in the new realm.
In an interview with Deadline, Safran highlighted Aquaman as one of the DCEU films he loved, along with four others, and stated that there is nothing blocking those characters from becoming a part of the DCU. Despite the fact that the film Blue Beetle is set in its own reality, characters such as Xolo Mariduea’s Blue Beetle have already been proven to be in the DCU.
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, director James Wan discussed the film’s connection to the DCEU. Wan spoke about the expected Batman cameo, with rumors spreading that the Ben Affleck cameo had been swapped to Michael Keaton due to the release of The Flash:
“At first, it was difficult to tell whether Aquaman would appear first or after [The Flash].” So all we had to do was be ready. At the end of the day, the best thing I can say about this picture is that it is unrelated to any of those films. That is the end result.”
Wan also stated that fans will have to “wait for the movie to come out” to find out if the Caped Crusader will make an appearance in the flick. However, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom appears to be a solo picture rather than another part in the DCEU (much like Blue Beetle).
While this does not preclude it from being a part of the DCEU, Wan is avoiding exploiting links from the larger series by making this picture exclusively connect to the 2018 film. This allows the film to stand on its own without needing to make links or develop towards other films.
It’s unclear whether Jason Momoa will reprise his role as Aquaman for the DCU under Gunn and Safran. It’s certainly feasible that Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom won’t be the actor’s final turn as the King of Atlantis.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is scheduled to hit theaters on December 20, 2023.