As the highly awaited sequel prepares to begin filming in summer 2021, we take a look at the information that has already emerged – everything from the Aquaman 2 release date and cast to what it all means for the plot. Whatever happens, Aquaman 2 is sure to be a hit.
Aquaman 2 Release Date
Aquaman 2 will begin in the UK later this year according to Dolph Lundgren (who plays King Nereus) of the Wizard World Virtual Experience (via ScreenRant), production on. “I might be doing Aquaman 2 this summer, shooting in London,” the Rocky IV, He-Man, and Punisher star told the audience.
The first Aquaman arrived in theaters in December 2018, beating out Mary Poppins Returns, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and Bumblebee. It’s no wonder, then, that Warner Bros. has set the release date for Aquaman 2 for December 16, 2022, almost exactly four years after the first film’s release date.
The first film was shot on Australia’s Gold Coast, so the move to the UK will be significant – but given that all of the underwater scenes were shot “dry-for-wet” in a studio with actors wearing sophisticated harnesses, it shouldn’t affect the overall look of the film.
Unlike Warner Bros.’ upcoming releases in 2021, it appears that Aquaman 2 will not be available on HBO Max at the same time as it is released in theaters.
According to Deadline, Warner has reached an agreement with cinema distributors to unleash its 2022 release slate exclusively on the big screen – but the window of theatrical exclusivity will be reduced to just 45 days, meaning you won’t have to wait nearly as long to see the film on your TV at home.
Who’s in the movie?
Here are the Aquaman 2 cast members who have been confirmed based on what we know so far, though this list will undoubtedly expand as we learn more about the film:
- Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman
- Amber Heard as Mera
- Patrick Wilson as Orm
- Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta
- Pilou Asbæk as an unannounced character
Jason Momoa is returning to reprise his role as Arthur Curry/Aquaman for the fourth time (after Aquaman, Justice League and a very brief cameo in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice).
Despite (apparently unfounded) rumors that Amber Heard would not be reprising her role as Xebelian princess (and daughter of Nereus) Mera, the actress shared a photo of herself reading a book on Instagram, along with the hashtag #gettingakindleforaquaman2.
With Arthur Curry showing mercy to his scheming half-brother Orm (aka the self-styled Ocean Master) at the end of the first film, James Wan regular Patrick Wilson has ostensibly confirmed he’ll be in Aquaman 2 in an Instagram post about his training routine.
Nicole Kidman is rumored (via We Got This Covered) to be reprising her role as Atlantis’ Queen Atlanna, and it appears that someone will be on hand to keep the squabbling siblings in line.
While it hasn’t been confirmed officially, we expect Temuera Morrison (who will soon play the title character in The Book of Boba Fett) to reprise his role as Arthur’s father, Thomas Curry – after all, with Atlanna and Thomas reunited after decades apart, it would be cruel not to allow them to rekindle a romance that brought two worlds together.
Willem Dafoe as Arthur’s Atlantean mentor, Vulko, has yet to be verified, but it seems a safe bet, if only to keep the new king of Atlantis on the straight and narrow.
Meanwhile, Watchmen star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II reported to Uproxx that he’ll be returning to represent the surface dwellers as the owner of one of comic books’ most famous helmets, the vengeful Black Manta.
Since the two joined forces during Aquaman’s end credits sting, we’re likely to see more of Randall Park (recently seen as Jimmy Woo in Marvel’s WandaVision) as marine biologist-turned-Atlantis expert Dr Stephen Shin.
And, given Pilou Asbk’s past as a bad guy on Game of Thrones, we believe his position in Aquaman 2 (as confirmed by Deadline) will be more dark than light.
The Plot: What lies ahead for Atlantis?
Now that DC is less concerned than it once was with building an interconnected, MCU-style shared world for its superheroes, the only thing we know for sure about Aquaman 2 is that David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick is writing the screenplay. Previously, the writer collaborated with director James Wan on two Conjuring films and the first Aquaman.
When Patrick Wilson mentioned that he’d prefer to see Aquaman 2 explore uncharted waters, he grew a little wider. “I can definitely guarantee you new worlds in this next one,” Wan responded, “and I think are going to be very excited as an actor.”
What does this mean for Arthur Curry now that he’s donned Aquaman’s iconic gold and green armor, wielded the Trident of Atlan, and ascended to the throne of Atlantis?
Though he and the water-controlling Mera seemed to be dating by the end of the first film, Hollywood tradition and the needs of the plot dictate that it won’t be easy this time.
Indeed, Orm’s track record indicates he won’t make it easy for his half-brother – but Wilson’s enigmatic #brothersdontshakehandsbrothersgottahug Instagram post may have added to the confusion. Is it possible that a family reunion is on the cards?
Black Manta’s David Hyde seems to be in line for a promotion to lead villain in Aquaman 2. After blaming Arthur Curry for his father’s death during a submarine battle in the first film, Black Manta has become obsessed with exacting vengeance on the Aquaman.
And, after surviving their previous encounter by the skin of his teeth – despite being armed with superhuman Atlantean weapons – he’s not about to give up until Arthur Curry is dead.
Dr Shin, a character who made his way to the screen from DC Comics’ New 52 Aquaman reboot, is likely to assist Black Manta in his quest.
The duo made a deal in the Aquaman end credits sequence: if Shin helps Black Manta locate Aquaman, Black Manta would give him clear proof of Atlantis’ presence.
Unfortunately for Thomas Curry, Black Manta’s mission to exact vengeance will backfire if he decides that the best way to serve justice is to murder the father of the man he believes murdered his own father.
Lastly, don’t be shocked if Aquaman 2 returns to the Trench, the dark, scary ocean area whose monstrous inhabitants held Atlanna captive in Aquaman – particularly now that Warner Bros. has canceled the planned The Trench movie spin-off.