Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is an upcoming American superhero film based on the DC Comics character Aquaman. Produced by DC Films, The Safran Company, and Atomic Monster Productions, and set for distribution by Warner Bros. Pictures, it is intended to be the sequel to Aquaman (2018) and the thirteenth film in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). The film will be directed by James Wan from a screenplay written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, and stars Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry / Aquaman alongside Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom logo.jpg
Official logo
Directed byJames Wan
Screenplay byDavid Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick
Story by
Based onCharacters
from DC Comics
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyDon Burgess
Music byRupert Gregson-Williams
Production
companies
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • December 16, 2022 (2022-12-16)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Momoa pitched a story for an Aquaman sequel during production of the first film, but Wan did not want to rush the next film. He agreed to oversee development of the sequel in January 2019, with Johnson-McGoldrick signed to write the screenplay a month later. Wan was confirmed to be directing the film in August 2020, and said it would expand on the worldbuilding of the first Aquaman. He announced the title for the sequel in June 2021, with filming beginning later that month in London.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is scheduled to be released on December 16, 2022.

CastEdit

Also appearing are Randall Park as Dr. Stephen Shin, a marine biologist obsessed with finding Atlantis; Vincent Regan as Atlan, the first king of Atlantis; Jani Zhao as Stingray; Indya Moore as Karshon;[8] and Pilou Asbæk in an undisclosed role.[9]

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

During the making of Aquaman (2018), star Jason Momoa developed a story pitch for a sequel that he gave to Warner Bros. Entertainment chairman Toby Emmerich and producer Peter Safran. In October 2018, before the film's release, Momoa said he would be more involved in the development of a potential sequel and expected filming to begin in 2019. Director James Wan said there were several storylines that could spin out from Aquaman, with that film introducing seven underwater kingdoms that had yet to be explored fully.[1][10] By early December, Emmerich had enough confidence in box office projections for the film to begin discussing a sequel,[11] and by the end of January, when Aquaman was set to become the highest-grossing film based on a single DC Comics character, Warner Bros. was in negotiations with Wan to oversee the development and writing of a sequel with the potential to return as director. Geoff Boucher of Deadline Hollywood noted that Wan had been very protective of sequels to his previous films Insidious (2010) and The Conjuring (2013), and was "deeply invested" in the worldbuilding of Aquaman, which he had compared to Middle-earth, the Star Wars galaxy, and the Wizarding World.[12]

Warner Bros. hired Noah Gardner and Aidan Fitzgerald in early February 2019 to write the script for an Aquaman spin-off film titled The Trench, based on one of the kingdoms introduced in the first film. The film was expected to have a smaller budget and not feature the main cast of Aquaman, with Wan and Safran producing. Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter reported then that there had not yet been serious discussions about a direct sequel to Aquaman between the studio, Wan, and Momoa, due to them wanting to have a "breather" first,[13] but several days later he reported that active development on a sequel was getting underway with the first film's co-writer, and frequent Wan collaborator, David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick signing on to write the screenplay. Wan and Safran were set to produce the sequel, though it was still unclear if Wan would direct it.[14] At the end of February, Warner Bros. scheduled Aquaman 2 for release on December 16, 2022.[15] In March, Safran explained that he and Wan did not want to rush a sequel, and Warner Bros. had been supportive of that which is why the film's release was scheduled for four years after the first film. He added that they were approaching the Aquaman franchise in a similar way to the Conjuring Universe, with spin-offs like The Trench exploring stories about the underwater kingdoms alongside the "mothership" films starring Aquaman. Safran noted that Wan knew "the architecture, the armory, the military, the look, the feel, the general vibe" of each of the seven kingdoms and wanted to explore them all in future projects.[16]

In July 2019, Wan was set to direct the film Malignant (2021) before beginning work on Aquaman 2.[17] Patrick Wilson said in November that he had discussed plans for the sequel with Wan and indicated that he would be reprising his role as Orm Marius / Ocean Master from the first film.[3] A month later, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II confirmed that he was returning as David Kane / Black Manta, and was looking to flesh out the character's personality and journey.[5] Johnson-McGoldrick stated in March 2020 that the sequel would not be based on a specific comic book, but was taking inspiration from the Aquaman stories of the Silver Age of Comic Books that featured Black Manta as the villain.[18] Wan was confirmed to be directing the sequel at the virtual DC FanDome event in August, when he said it would be more serious than the first film and feature themes that were more relevant to the real world. He added that it would include more worldbuilding and exploration of the underwater kingdoms,[19] and would feature some horror elements similar to the Trench sequence in the first film.[20] Being able to expand on the worldbuilding of the first film was one of the key reasons that Wan chose to direct the sequel, along with Johnson-McGoldrick's script which Wan felt had a "really cool story to bring all these characters back, and then growing them in a big way, and taking them to the next level or the next chapter of their lives."[21]

Amber Heard debunked rumors in November that she would not be reprising her role as Mera from the first film following allegations of domestic abuse made against her by her ex-husband Johnny Depp. That month, a petition to have Heard fired from the franchise received more than 1.5 million signatures, and came after Warner Bros. decided to remove Depp from Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022) when allegations of abuse made by The Sun were ruled to be "substantially true".[2][22] Safran said Heard's return was right for the film and they never considered making it without her. He added that they would not react to the "pure fan pressure" of the petition and other social media conversations.[23]

Pre-productionEdit

Dolph Lundgren said in February 2021 that he was reprising his role as King Nereus in the sequel, with filming expected to begin later that year in London.[4] A month later, the planned start date for filming was revealed to be in June, though there was potential for this to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.[24] In April, Warner Bros. and DC announced that development on The Trench was no longer moving forward, with the studios not having room for the spin-off on their slate of films and believing Aquaman 2 to be enough of an expansion of the franchise for the time being.[25] Later that month, Pilou Asbæk entered talks to join the film's cast.[26] Momoa said in May that he would begin filming in July,[27] and Wan announced a month later that the sequel was titled Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,[28] with Temuera Morrison confirming his return as Aquaman's father Thomas Curry.[7]

FilmingEdit

Principal photography began on June 28, 2021,[29] in London[4] under the working title Necrus.[24] Don Burgess returned as cinematographer from the first film.[30][better source needed] In August, Wan said the sequel was strongly influenced by the film Planet of the Vampires (1965).[31] Filming took place at Saunton Sands beach, Devon, in early September.[32] Later that month, Asbæk's casting was confirmed;[9] Randall Park was revealed to be returning from the first film as Dr. Stephen Shin; Vincent Regan had been cast as the ancient king Atlan, replacing Graham McTavish who briefly portrayed the character in the first film; Jani Zhao was set to portray Stingray, an original character for the film, in her first English-language feature role; and Indya Moore was revealed to be portraying Karshon in the sequel.[8]

MusicEdit

Rupert Gregson-Williams revealed in August 2021 that he was returning to compose the score for the sequel after doing so for the first film.[33]

MarketingEdit

Wan and Wilson teased plans for the film in a panel at the virtual DC FanDome event in August 2020.[19] A year later, at DC FanDome 2021, concept art and behind-the-scenes footage from filming was revealed.[6]

ReleaseEdit

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is scheduled to be released in the United States on December 16, 2022.[15]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Syme, Rachel (October 16, 2019). "Jason Momoa Is King of the Wild Things". Esquire. Archived from the original on October 17, 2019. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Hibberd, James (November 12, 2020). "Amber Heard shoots down rumors, says she'll return for 'Aquaman 2'". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on November 13, 2020. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Davids, Brian (November 13, 2019). "'Midway' Star Patrick Wilson on HBO's 'Watchmen,' 'Aquaman 2' and 'Conjuring 3'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on November 13, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Hussain, Humza (February 1, 2021). "Aquaman 2 Filming In London This Summer, Says Dolph Lundgren". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on February 1, 2021. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  5. ^ a b Hibberd, James (December 8, 2019). "'Watchmen' Dr. Manhattan actor on his big twist, epic romance, and nude scene". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on December 21, 2019. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Couch, Aaron (October 16, 2021). "'The Batman' Trailer Closes Out DC FanDome Following Looks at 'The Flash,' 'Aquaman 2'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on October 16, 2021. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  7. ^ a b Crumlish, Callum (June 13, 2021). "Aquaman 2: Temuera Morrison on returning to DC Comics series in The Lost Kingdom". Daily Express. Archived from the original on July 3, 2021. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  8. ^ a b Kit, Borys (September 24, 2021). "'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom' Casts Indya Moore, Jani Zhao and Vincent Regan (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on September 25, 2021. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  9. ^ a b Kit, Borys (September 24, 2021). "'Game of Thrones' Actor Pilou Asbæk Joins New Line's 'Salem's Lot' in Key Role (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on September 25, 2021. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  10. ^ Oller, Jacob (October 19, 2018). "Jason Momoa has already pitched his plan for Aquaman 2 to Warner Bros". Syfy Wire. Archived from the original on October 19, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  11. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (December 6, 2018). "Amber Heard on Her Secret Passion, Elon Musk and a Splashy New Role". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 6, 2018. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  12. ^ Boucher, Geoff (January 25, 2019). "'Aquaman' Sequel: James Wan Seeking Seaworthy Script As First Film Makes DC History". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 26, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
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  17. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (July 31, 2019). "James Wan Directing Untitled Horror Project Before Aquaman 2, New Line Will Distribute". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 1, 2019. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  18. ^ Ridlehoover, John (March 23, 2020). "Aquaman 2 Is Looking to DC's Silver Age Comics for Inspiration". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on March 24, 2020. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  19. ^ a b Choe, Brandon (August 23, 2020). "James Wan: 'Aquaman 2' Is More Serious and Relevant – DC Fandome". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 23, 2020. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  20. ^ Ridlehoover, John (August 16, 2020). "Aquaman 2: James Wan Says He Will Add Some Horror Elements". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on August 16, 2020. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  21. ^ Vejvoda, Jim (July 20, 2021). "Why James Wan, Who Doesn't Like to Repeat Himself, Returned for Aquaman 2". IGN. Archived from the original on July 20, 2021. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  22. ^ Del Rosario, Alexandra (November 29, 2020). "Petition To Ax Amber Heard From 'Aquaman 2' Receives Upwards 1.5M Signatures Following Johnny Depp's 'Fantastic Beasts' Departure". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 29, 2020. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  23. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony; Patten, Dominic (July 30, 2021). "Johnny Depp Fans' Efforts To Have Amber Heard Axed From 'Aquaman 2' Carried No Water, Says Producer". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 30, 2021. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  24. ^ a b Fisher, Jacob (March 12, 2021). "'Aquaman 2' Eyes June 2021 Filming Start In UK (Exclusive)". DiscussingFilm. Archived from the original on March 12, 2021. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  25. ^ Couch, Aaron; Kit, Borys (April 1, 2021). "Ava DuVernay's 'New Gods,' James Wan's 'The Trench' DC Movies Not Moving Forward at Warner Bros. (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 7, 2021. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  26. ^ Kroll, Justin (April 15, 2021). "'Aquaman 2': 'Game Of Thrones' Alum Pilou Asbaek Joins Jason Momoa In Sequel". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 15, 2021. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
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  29. ^ Ferme, Antonio (June 28, 2021). "'Aquaman 2', 'John Wick 4' and More Major Blockbusters Begin Filming, Signaling Production Revival". Variety. Archived from the original on June 28, 2021. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
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External linksEdit