Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom started filming over the summer and Warner Bros. is finally starting to lift the lid on the sequel. It’s no secret that director James Wan and star Jason Momoa’s second superhero offering has some pretty big expectations behind it after the original brought in the DCEU’s first billion-dollar take at the global box office. There’s no doubt the studio will want to recapture that magic in this new chapter of Arthur Curry’s story.
While much of the focus will likely be on nailing the formula that made Aquaman the highest-grossing DC movie of all-time back in 2018, Wan has also teased an interesting inspiration for the sequel that could suggest a slightly different direction than the original action flick.
“Aquaman 2 is very heavily inspired by Planet of the Vampires,” Wan told Total Film in August. “You can take the boy out of horror but you can never take the horror out the boy.”
The cult-classic science fiction movie from Italian horror master Mario Bava, and Wan’s impressive horror credentials, will likely see Arthur dive into darker territory than the original, all while revisiting plot threads left dangling in the first movie. Like what’s been going on with former king Orm, aka Ocean Master, since his imprisonment at the end of Aquaman.
While the first movie’s post-credits scene teased that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s Black Manta had some big plans for the sequel, it didn’t really address what was next for Patrick Wilson’s misguided deposed regent of the sea. Luckily, Wan’s given us our first clue in a new set photo released on his Instagram. It shows Wilson back as Orm but in a very different state than we saw him when he was on the throne.
Check out the image below:
Ocean Master has clearly been through a few things since his brother, Mera (Amber Heard), and friends stopped him from uniting the seven underwater kingdoms and declaring war on the surface world. His long hair and beard show that some time has passed since he was imprisoned, his golden hair now more of a grungy, dirty brown. But there was clearly a gym in that Atlantean prison because Orm is still in great shape. Wilson was clearly told to bulk up so he could walk around shirtless on the beach.
So what exactly is happening here…and is it actually anything more than just a quick snap with the director? Well, it would be a waste of Wilson’s talents if he were to sit in a cell, Hannibal Lecter style, for the entire movie. It’s probably safe to assume he’ll find his way out of his prison and back to the surface in the sequel. To do what exactly? Another team-up with Black Manta perhaps!
Whatever Ocean Master is up to in the sequel, we’ll find out when Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom hits theaters on Dec. 16, 2022.