The Big Picture
- Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will feature a bromance between Arthur and Orm, with the two reluctantly teaming up to face the powerful supervillain Black Manta.
- Director James Wan wanted the second film to focus on the growth of Arthur’s character, as he goes from a wanderer to someone with a clear path in life.
- The next Aquaman movie should prioritize the development of the characters, building upon the foundations set in the first film.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has been long in the making, and it’s very obvious what the cast has been up to in the time since we last visited Atlantis — hitting the gym and upping their protein, as these new images released by Entertainment Weekly show, with Jason Momoa (Arthur Curry/Aquaman), Patrick Wilson (Orm) and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Black Manta) looking to be in fine fettle.
At the conclusion of Aquaman, Arthur emerged victorious over his conniving half-brother, Orm, securing his reign as the King of Atlantis. Meanwhile, Wilson’s character found himself escorted to prison. But the pair are forced into an uncertain and reluctant alliance when they’re faced with another of the first film’s antagonists, in the shape of Black Manta, an embittered and now immensely formidable supervillain who possesses the Black Trident. This artifact grants him the power to control an ancient malevolent force, setting the stage for an epic clash.
The relationship between Arthur and Orm was always designed to be the heart of the movie, according to director James Wan, in a conversation with EW. While Arthur spent the majority of the first movie with Amber Heard‘s Mera, Wan intended for the film to diverge in a different direction, regardless of anything going on outside of Atlantis.
“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.”
A Continuing Evolution for Jason Momoa’s Aquaman
The chance to see Arthur evolve as a character was the major selling point for Wan to continue his work on the film, having begun the series as something of a nomad before figuring out the direction he wanted to take his life. If there is another Aquaman film, Wan would like to see characters content with the paths they’ve been put on and growing into those roles on-screen.
“What I like between this one and the first one is, you really do see the growth of Arthur,” said Wan. “He starts off as this kind of wanderer, and in the second one, he finally has more of a direction of what he wants to do with his life. If and when there is a third one, that’s what it should be; it should be growing these characters because I think we’ve set up certain things in a good place in the second movie that you can definitely draw upon in a third. I don’t have any stories, but growing the characters is the biggest thing that I think the next Aquaman movie should be about.”
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will be released in theaters on December 20. Watch the first teaser trailer now, and stay tuned at Collider for the full trailer dropping on September 14.