Aquaman Director James Wan on Fun, "More Mature" Sequel The Lost Kingdom

Aquaman director James Wan is going back under the sea for fun but "more mature" sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Inspired in part by filmmaker Mario Bava's pulpy 1965 sci-fi horror Planet of the Vampires, Wan's return to the DC Extended Universe sees Atlantean king Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) further explore the trenches of his aquatic domain. Studio Warner Bros. may have canceled The Trench — a planned horror-tinged spinoff movie secretly about Aquaman nemesis Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) — but The Conjuring and Malignant director Wan will take a deeper dive into underwater horrors in Aquaman 2

In the latest print issue of Total Film Magazine, Wan promises the just-wrapped sequel is "a movie that's more mature [than Aquaman] but yet still retains its fun." Adds Aquaman and The Suicide Squad producer Peter Safran of the sequel, "We have turned the dials up to 11." 

After the fright-filled Trench sequence of 2018's Aquaman, Wan teased another return to his horror roots in the new movie surfacing in theaters next December. 

"Well, the first movie took a lot of people by surprise, right? And that's partially because they were not familiar with the comic book, which deals in this very lurid, strange world," he previously told Total Film. "People were taken aback that I didn't throw all that stuff away and make a dark, heavy film. But I didn't feel that would have been right for it. So with the second film, I feel it will be easier for people to accept where we go because I've already laid the foundation."

Revealing a behind-the-scenes look at Aquaman 2 during DC FanDome in October, Wan described the sequel as another "globe-trotting story" taking Aquaman and Mera (Amber Heard) above and below the surface with stakes as high as Justice League

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"It's epic, it's huge, it's colorful. The world is at stake," Safran said in the FanDome sizzle. Coming off of the sci-fi epic Dune, Momoa added: "I think fans are going to be very happy. I think James is really excited to go all-out. It's gonna be a fun adventure like it was the first time — just better." 

Starring Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Temuera Morrison, and Randall Park, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom opens in theaters on December 16, 2022.