If you've been wondering why The Conjuring director James Wan was tapped to direct DC and Warner Bros.' Aquaman movie, here's one good explanation of wy: because the ocean is full of more terrors than your average horror film. Case in point: the monsters of The Trench, which we can now see in full, thanks to this new Aquaman magazine cover:
As you can see in the lower right corner, this will be Wan's design for the monsters of The Trench, which is pretty faithful to their designs in the comics. In the books, the Trench are thin and wiry with spindly webbed fingers, big translucent bulbous eyes, and nail-like teeth. Wan has clearly kept a lot of that design, but has seemingly reduced the size of the eyes - which makes sense. A lot of deep-sea marine life (Angler Fish) have small translucent eyes like Wan's design for the Trench; they don't need sight in the deep, dark, depths, instead relying on incredible senses of smell. The Trench are known to mark prey with saliva, which allows them to track and swarm them - again keeping with real maritime biology.
If you don't know, The Trench appeared in DC Comics' 2011 "New 52" reboot of Aquaman. As the mythos goes, when the kingdom of Atlantis first sank into the ocean, it was broken up into seven pieces; four of the pieces were destroyed, while three would go on to be the underwater kingdoms. The main city of Atlantis is where Aquaman resides, but there is also the penal colony of Xebel, which is located in the Bermuda Triangle and run by King Neerus (Dolph Lundgren in the film). However, the final surviving part of Atlantis sank deep beneath the Ocean floor and was seemingly lost. In reality, however, some of the people in that sector of the kingdom survived. Whereas other Atlanteans evolved to survive underwater, The Trench were mutated into monsters that adept at surviving in the deepest, darkest part of the sea. They eventually find their way out of the depths and up to the surface, where they attack people on or near the see, consuming all they find like a swarm of locusts. Aquaman eventually defeats them, but The Trench remain lurking around, becoming a destructive chess piece in an ensuing conflict between Atlantis and Xebel.1comments
In this Aquaman movie, the Trench could easily be a secret piece of Atlantean history that are known to the current king, Orm (Patrick Wilson), but secret from his half-brother, Arthur Curry / Aquaman. It's not hard to imagine The Trench being a doomsday weapon that Orm or his cohorts unleash, in order stop Arthur's claim of Atlantis, or to threaten the surface world he loves.
We'll see when the film hits theaters - but be on the lookout for the first Aquaman trailer during Comic-Con 2018 this week.
Upcoming DC Extended Universe films include Aquaman on December 21st, Shazam on April 5, 2019, and Wonder Woman 2 on November 1, 2019.