Aquaman 2 Director James Wan Confirms One Star Not Returning for Sequel

Willem Dafoe's Vulko will not be appearing in the long-awaited sequel.

The first trailer for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom arrived on Thursday, previewing the long-awaited DC sequel. The trailer previews the new set of stakes for Arthur Curry / Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and his friends and family — but in the process, it confirms one Aquaman character who will not be returning. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, director James Wan confirmed that Willem Dafoe, who had played Arthur's Atlantean advisor Vulko in the first film, does not return in The Lost Kingdom due to scheduling conflicts.

"Willem is not in this one, no," Wan revealed. "Part of the reason was because his schedule did not work out for us. But what that allowed me to do was expand on Atlanna's role. Atlanna in this one ultimately becomes Arthur's advisor. Because Arthur's not from this world, she helps him better understand the world and the politics of how things work."

Will There Be an Aquaman 3?

At the moment, a third Aquaman film has yet to be greenlit by DC, especially amid the DC Studios changes led by James Gunn and Peter Safran. Still, Wan has indicated that The Lost Kingdom functions as a standalone story, regardless of whatever canon it falls into at the end of the day.

"Well, Aquaman – even the first film – has always been a very standalone film," Wan told earlier this year. "That was always our approach: that it kind of lives in its own world, and that's kind of how we've approached The Lost Kingdom as well. You know, people love Jason Momoa; people love him playing this role; and people love the action visuals of this space and this world. And that's what we're doing: we're taking it to the next level and we are still expanding – and just any fans of Aquaman the character, that love Black Manta, this is the next level and I'm very excited to finally put out there to show them what we've been working on all these years."

What Is Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom About?

In Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which arrives in theaters on December 20th, 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. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will see the return of Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Patrick Wilson as Orm, Amber Heard as MeraYahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta, and Randall Park as Stephen Shin. Jani Zhao will play new character Stingray, Indya Moore will play Karshon, and Vincent Regan will play Atlan, who was previously portrayed by Graham McTavish in AquamanPilou Asbaek has also joined the cast in a mystery role.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is directed by James Wan, with a script from David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick. Producers include Wan and DC Studios co-CEO Peter Safran.

What do you think of the first trailer for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom? How do you feel about Willem Dafoe not appearing in the movie? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!