Does 'Aquaman' Have a Big 'Justice League' Plot Hole?

Aquaman has officially made its big-screen debut, and it's making some ask very specific questions about the film's place in the DC Extended Universe.

Spoilers for Aquaman below!

The film sees Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) coming to terms with his Atlantean and human heritage, as he grows to take his rightful place as the King of the Seven Seas. This involves Arthur and Mera (Amber Heard) trying to locate the lost trident of Atlan, a task that first involved Mera taking Arthur to Atlantis.

As Arthur mentions several times throughout the film, he had never been in Atlantis before, in part because of his emotions about how the kingdom treated his mother Atlanna (Nicole Kidman). When Mera transports him through Atlantis, it's clear that he's experiencing everything for the first time, including the dome and armored guards that protect the kingdom's entrance.

Some, including CBR, have suggested that this is a pretty major plot-hole for the film when you consider the underwater scene that was featured in Justice League. In that sequence, Arthur swims directly down to what appears to be Atlantis, where Steppenwolf (Ciran Hinds) is capturing the Mother Box that is hidden under the sea. Arthur and Mera fail in fighting off Steppenwolf, and have a brief conversation about Arthur's duty to help save the world after the villain gets away with the Mother Box. As the theories suggest, there would've been no way for Arthur to get in and out of Atlantis that easily, and he clearly wouldn't have gone there for the first time in Aquaman.

The only problem? Nothing in that Justice League scene suggests that the underwater sequence is actually set in Atlantis. While it's never mentioned outright in one way or another, the scene appears to be set in some sort of outpost outside of Atlantis, which would explain both the armored guards and the drastically different aesthetic from the kingdom itself.

The dialogue of Justice League supports this outright, with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) explaining that the Mother Box was entrusted "to the Atlanteans", who kept it "sealed and guarded in a secure stronghold". Nowhere is it mentioned that the Mother Box is kept actually in Atlantis itself. (Which makes sense, because they probably wouldn't want a potentially-volatile intergalactic weapon in the heart of their city, similarly to how the Amazons kept their Mother Box separate from the main city on Themyscira.)

As it turns out, the intention was always to set that Justice League scene outside of Atlantis itself, based off of comments by Aquaman director James Wan.

“Early on when I was designing the story and the script, I reached out to DC." Wan explained to Fandango (via We Got This Covered) earlier this year. "I reached out to Zack Snyder as well. I said, ‘Could you guys do me a big favor? Please don’t go to Atlantis. I really wanted my character to go to Atlantis for the first time.’ It was such a big part of the story that I was writing that if they had him go to Atlantis in Justice League, it would unravel my story that I wanted to tell.”

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So, no. If you're looking for some sort of plot-hole between Justice League and Aquaman, this probably isn't one of them.

Aquaman is in theaters now. Upcoming DC films include Shazam on April 5, 2019, Joker on October 10, 2019, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, and Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020.