After a five-year wait, Aquaman is finally surfing into theaters once again. Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” heralding the return of Jason Momoa’s aquatic DC hero.
“Lost Kingdom” follows Momoa’s Arthur Curry, better known as the half human, half Atlantean hero Aquaman, now sitting on the throne of Atlantis. The sequel sees him team up with his half-brother Orm (Patrick Wilson) to fight ruthless pirate Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II).
Here’s the logline: “Having failed to defeat Aquaman the first time, Black Manta, still driven by the need to avenge his father’s death, will stop at nothing to take Aquaman down once and for all. This time Black Manta is more formidable than ever before, wielding the power of the mythic Black Trident, which unleashes an ancient and malevolent force. To defeat him, Aquaman will turn to his imprisoned brother Orm, the former King of Atlantis, to forge an unlikely alliance. Together, they must set aside their differences in order to protect their kingdom and save Aquaman’s family, and the world, from irreversible destruction.”
In addition to Momoa, Wilson and Abdul-Mateen, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Temuera Morrison, Willem Dafoe and Dolph Lundgren will also reprise their roles from the original film, with Randall Park appearing as Dr. Stephen Shin after making a cameo in the first movie. Vincent Regan, Indya Moore and Pilou Asbæk also join the cast. James Wan returns to helm the sequel, with David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick penning the script.
The movie has attracted attention for being the first major project featuring Heard after last year’s highly publicized defamation trial between the actress and her ex-husband Johnny Depp. During the trial, Heard claimed that her role was cut down by the studio following the fallout from her divorce from Depp, which caused her to receive significant online harassment. She said she made $1 million for the first “Aquaman” and $2 million for the seque, though the role was “a very pared-down version.”
However, Wan told Entertainment Weekly that the “Aquaman” sequel was always envisioned to focus on Arthur and Orm’s relationship: “I always pitched this to everyone from the get-go. The first ‘Aquaman’ was Arthur and Mera’s journey. The second movie was always going to be Arthur and Orm. So, the first was a romance action-adventure movie, the second one is a bromance action-adventure movie.”
The “Aquaman” sequel is the fourth DC movie to release this year, following lackluster launches for “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” “The Flash” and “Blue Beetle.” New DC Studios co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran are in the midst of rebooting the DC Universe, but no decision has been announced regarding Aquaman or Momoa’s involvement in the upcoming slate.
“Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” is set to hit theaters on Dec. 20, 2023. Watch the trailer below.