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Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Promises Bigger, Bolder Sequel To DC’s Most Successful Film

Bring on the drum-playing octopus!

2018’s Aquaman was surprising in so many ways. Formerly a superhero punchline, Aquaman shocked audiences with an ambitious, balls to the wall action adventure. The film had everything: deep sea monsters? Check. Octopus playing drums? Check. Julie Andrews voicing an ancient sea creature? Check. After Nolan’s self-serious Batman trilogy and Snyder’s humorless time helming the DC universe, Aquaman was a breath of fresh air. A colorful, silly romp that never took itself too seriously and provided enough CGI dazzle and actor charisma for a genuinely entertaining family-friendly time at the movies.

aquaman 2 concept art

‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ concept art. image: screencap/WB

And audiences agreed, propelling the film to a worldwide gross of $1.148 billion, making it the highest-grossing DCEU film of all time. Director James Wan returns for the sequel, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, as does the Aquaman himself Jason Momoa, Patrick Wilson (Ocean Master), Amber Heard (Mera), and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Black Manta). Momoa and Wan introduced a behind the scenes look at the highly anticipated sequel at DC FanDome, where they shared their enthusiasm and excitement for the film.

aquaman 2 concept art

‘Aquaman 2’ concept art via screencap/WB

While we didn’t get to see any footage from the film, there was some exciting concept art that featured the vast underwater worlds. We even see Aquaman riding a seahorse, as he traditionally does in the comics. We also see glimpses of filming across the world, with the characters exploring a variety of different terrains out of the ocean. “Black Manta is still seeking his vengeance to try to kill Aquaman. That’s going to be something that’s exciting for the audience,” said Wan. “It’s a globe-trotting story, we visit so many different worlds,” said Wan. “This movie isn’t afraid to embrace its fantasy and go on this magical journey.”

aquaman and the lost kingdom concept art

‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ concept art. image: screencap/WB

Wan has spent his downtime between Aquaman movies directing the bonkers horror film Malignant, and previously told audiences that his penchant for horror would be present in the sequel. “I think it’s something that’s a big part of who I am, and it just naturally comes out in these kinds of films,” he said. “And especially a movie like Aquaman, where the story takes place in these underwater worlds that can be very scary.”

Wan had originally planned a horror spinoff titled The Trench, about the deep sea monsters we met in the first Aquaman film, but Warner Bros. ended up canceling the project. Perhaps the trench monsters will make an appearance in the sequel.

“Aloha DC Fandome I apologize for the four year wait,” said Momoa. “But I’m very proud of the sequel because it’s tackling a lot of issues environmentally, stakes are higher and I’m just excited because I had a big part of it with my boy James.” Momoa added, “I have so much invested into it. I love this character. I love what it represents.”

Aquaman 2 concept art

‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ concept art. image: screencap/WB

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom hits theaters on Dec. 16, 2022.

(image: Warner Bros.)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.