Jason Momoa as Aquaman in the Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom teaser

The ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ Trailer Is Here!

Warner Bros. hasn’t forgotten about its Aquaman sequel. Despite rumors that the studio had supposedly given up on the film and wouldn’t be marketing for it, the first trailer for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has finally arrived. The film is a sequel to the highly successful 2018 film Aquaman, which became the DC Universe’s highest-grossing movie. Aquaman follows Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry (a.k.a. Aquaman) as he is forced to confront his Atlantean past and stop his half-brother from uniting the underwater kingdoms to destroy the surface world.

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Fans have been concerned for the sequel, as it remained in development amid several corporate shake-ups. In early 2022, David Zaslav became the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery and later instated James Gunn and Peter Safran as the new co-CEOs of DC Studios. These changes led to the cancellation of Batgirl, the recasting of Henry Cavill’s Superman and Ben Affleck’s Batman, and an uncertain future for Wonder Woman 3.

Fortunately, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom survived the corporate shake-up to become the final film of the old DCU. After this film, the franchise will transition into the first chapter of Gunn’s new DCU, leaving us uncertain about the old DCU actors/characters who have yet to be officially retired. Perhaps Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will shed some light on the DCU’s future. Here’s what we know about the Aquaman sequel so far.

When will Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom hit theaters?

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will premiere in theaters on December 20. While some releases have been delayed due to the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes, Warner Bros. has shown no indication of delaying the film again. The sequel was initially supposed to be released in December of 2022 but was postponed until March 2023 and then to December 2023 due to the corporate shake-up and director James Wan needing more time to perfect his worldbuilding.

Is there a trailer for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom?

Warner Bros. dropped the first official Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom trailer on September 14.

The trailer catches up with Aquaman’s life since the first film occurred, confirming that he is now a husband, father, and the King of Atlantis. Unfortunately, his kingdom faces a threat from an old villain who wishes to burn Aquaman’s kingdom to ash. This puts him on the course for a dazzling underwater adventure that sees him reuniting with family, rallying the Seven Kingdoms, and delving into the legend of the first King of Atlantis. Wan has seemingly created an expansive underwater universe that promises breathtaking visuals, a slew of new sea creatures, and the perfect setting for both new and returning characters.

Four days before releasing the trailer, Warner Bros. dropped a short teaser to announce the trailer’s imminent arrival.

Aside from concept art, the teaser was the first actual look viewers got at the film. It sees Momoa’s return as Aquaman and confirms the primary villain in the sequel. It also brings some understanding to the multiple delays, as even just 30 seconds are enough to showcase the film’s grand visuals and breathtaking underwater universe.

Who’s new and who’s returning in the Aquaman sequel?

Leading the cast of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is Momoa as the titular hero. While his character’s future beyond Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is uncertain, Momoa has built up quite the career outside of DC with his parts in Dune, Slumberland, and Fast X. Starring opposite Momoa is Amber Heard reprising her role as Queen Mera. Despite being the victim of a vicious smear campaign orchestrated by Johnny Depp fans after she accused Depp of abuse, Heard will still appear in the film. Depp’s fans have persistently circulated the rumor that she was cut from the film, but there’s no evidence to confirm this claim.

Meanwhile, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II will also reprise his role as David Kane (a.k.a. Black Manta) for the sequel. Black Manta was the secondary antagonist in Aquaman, but this time he’s the main supervillain. In addition to starring in the DCU, Abdul-Mateen II will soon make his MCU debut as Wonder Man. The Aquaman sequel sees the return of another villain, with Patrick Wilson reprising his role as Aquaman’s half-brother, Orm Marius. Aquaman’s parents are also returning, with Temuera Morrison reprising his role as Tom Curry and Nicole Kidman reprising her role as Atlanna. Dolph Lundgren will return as Mera’s father, King Nereus. Rounding out the returning cast members is Randall Park reprising his role as Dr. Stephen Shin, a human marine biologist looking for Atlantis.

Making their DCU debut is Pose star Indya Adrianna Moore as Karshon. In the comics, Karshon is a mutated tiger shark who once was able to take on the form of an Atlantean to oppose Aquaman. Vincent Regan, who most recently played Monkey D. Garp in the One Piece live-action series, has also joined the cast of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom as Atlan, the first ruler of Atlantis. Meanwhile, Jani Zhao will star in the film as Stingray, an original character. Rounding out the newcomers is Pilou Asbæk (Game of Thrones) in an undisclosed role.

Ben Affleck was also initially confirmed to be returning in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom as Batman. However, rumors suggest his scenes in the film may have been cut.

What is Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom about?

Yahya Abdul Manteen II as Black Manta in Aquaman
(Warner Bros.)

In Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Black Manta returns to fulfill his vow of vengeance against Aquaman, whom he blames for his father’s death in the first film. While Black Manta was defeated in Aquaman, he’s back to finish the job in the sequel. There’s a chilling moment in the teaser when Black Manta says, “I’m going to kill Aquaman and destroy everything he holds dear.” Meanwhile, it seems he’s responsible for setting Aquaman’s childhood home on fire and plans to bring the battle to the underwater world.

Wan has confirmed that Aquaman forms a shaky alliance with his brother, Orm, to confront Black Manta. While Orm was the main villain in the first film, he was defeated and imprisoned. However, Aquaman now has no choice but to seek his brother’s help. We’ll reportedly see some brotherly bonding between the half-brothers, as Wan described the film as a “romance story at its heart between the two brothers, between Arthur and Orm.”

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom in the DCU timeline

The Justice League of the DCEU.
(Warner Bros.)

One major question about Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is when it occurs. Given how often Warner Bros. switched up the release dates for the recent run of DCU movies, it has been challenging to get the overall timeline straight. Since Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is self-contained, the only really important question about its timeline is whether it occurs before or after The Flash. This is because The Flash ends with Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) seemingly leaving the DCU in an alternate reality due to changing the past—which makes us wonder if Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is set in the new timeline The Flash created or in the original timeline.

Wan confirmed that he made “adjustments all along the way” to be “mindful” of what was going on in the wider DCU. Plus, the post-credits scene in The Flash could be interpreted as a prelude to Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. It has yet to be officially confirmed which timeline the film takes place in, though.

Meanwhile, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom‘s trailer confirms that four years have passed in-universe since the events of the first film.

(featured image: Warner Bros.)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.