Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom Director Teases Major Horror Elements

Aquaman 2 director James Wan teases more about the horror elements and monsters that were teased in the first trailer.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom director James Wan is teasing that indeed Aquaman 2 will have some big horror elements to it. Wan is speaking up on behalf of the film (during the Writers' and Actors' Strikes) as the first trailer for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was just revealed by DC and Warner Bros. got to speak with Wan during the Aquaman 2 Trailer premiere event, and the filmmaker addressed just how dark the sequel is, compared to the first film: 

"It is a little bit darker than the first movie as second movies tend to be," Wan said, referencing the zombie-looking creatures shown in Aquaman 2's first trailer. "We'll be introduced to a lot of creepy, scary Lovecraftian-looking characters. And ultimately that's what our heroes have to work together to stop this Lovecraftian universe from breaking through into our main world."

James Wan achieved breakout success as the horror filmmaker behind The Insidious and The Conjuring franchises in the 2010s. In fact, both of those horror IPs have established a strong, enduring legacy, with Insidious 4 and the eighth Conjuring Universe movie (The Nun II) both hitting theaters this year. More specifically, Wan took the big superhero movie elements of the first Aquaman and infused them with some of the darkest horror moments we've seen in the genre. The sequence of Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Mera (Amber Heard) trying to outrun the savage devolved Atlanteans known as "The Trench" was definitely the stuff of nightmares. Now Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom seems to be introducing an entire other dimension of freaky monsters connected to Atlantis. 

(Photo: Warner Bros./DC)

"I just naturally, I just naturally lean into that dark stuff," Wan continued. "Dark, but without it not being fun. And I felt like the Aquaman films allow me to play in my love for that genre, for the horror genre, but still make them fun and not necessarily too scary that young kids that may like these films and not be able to watch it too frightening."

It seems Wan has one clear inspiration for his balance of fun and horror in Aquaman: the old-school Amblin Entertainment films: 

"...That's that fine line to try and capture that early Spielberg spirit, that Zemekis spirit of like, 'Yeah, we can kind lean dark, but it can also be fun as well.' And there definitely is sort of shades of that in this world with just leaning into the monsters of it all – but for me, it really is just scratching the surface. It makes me want to do more, put it that way."

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will be in theaters on December 20th.