Jason Momoa first appeared in the DCEU as Aquaman back in 2016’s Batman v Superman film. A year later, audiences got to know the character a bit better in 2017’s Justice League. Momoa’s Aquaman provided some much-needed comic relief and casualness to the DCEU’s characteristic dark look and feel.
In 2018, Aquaman finally got his own film, which apart from Momoa featured Australian director James Wan. As Deadline recalls, Aquaman grossed $1.1 billion worldwide, making it the highest earning DCEU movie to date. In short, the franchise has definitely been profitable for Warner Bros. and DC, which means that we’re bound to see a follow up in the coming years.
Indeed, Warner Bros. has announced that the much-awaited Aquaman 2 is slated for release on December 16, 2022. As for the rumored Aquaman spin-off film featuring the savage Atlantean fish-men from the Trench, it won’t be pushing through anytime soon as the studio is focused on making the sequel. Although, Warner Bros. did say that they would be more than willing to let director Wan have a crack at a spin-off later down the line. Apart from the potential blockbuster earnings of either Aquaman 2 or said spin-off, this speaks to the adaptability of the film’s themes as well as the growing public interest in the Atlantean mythos.
In fact, the mainstream popularity of this mythos can be observed in other mediums as well. It’s apparent in the world of online gaming and casinos among many others. Teaming up with online sandbox game Roblox, Warner Bros. launched an Aquaman-inspired game that mimicked the movie’s puzzle-solving elements. Meanwhile, the various Atlantean-inspired slots on Gala Casino such as Mighty Atlantis, Lord of the Ocean, and Hoard of Poseidon are a testament to the theme’s popularity across different generations of players. These games provide a glimpse into the potential success that studio execs expect from Aquaman 2. Given the franchise and mythos’ popularity across film and gaming media, it wouldn’t be surprising if Aquaman 2 surpasses the first film’s box office earnings and sheer cultural impact.
Furthermore, Patrick Wilson who played Aquaman’s half-brother, the former King Orm, has confirmed that he’s onboard for Aquaman 2. And in an interview with ET, Wilson teased at things to come. “With James, when he comes back for a sequel, it becomes bigger and better and broader and more funny, more action, more character work.” In addition, apart from reprising his role as the titular Justice League member, Momoa will also be co-writing the sequel with director James Wan.
Considering how the first film ended, we’re also bound to see Nicole Kidman (Queen Atlanna), Temuera Morrison (Tom Curry), and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Black Manta) reprising their respective roles in the sequel. As for whether Momoa’s fellow Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke will replace Amber Heard as Mera, there’s been no confirmed news regarding the role. In any case, it seems that DC’s best hope against the Marvel movie blockbuster machine is being fleshed-out well as its own franchise. And given the success of the aforementioned online games, Aquaman 2 could also spawn its own gaming tie-in on time for the film’s release. With Momoa taking on co-writing duties and Wan getting more support from the studio, anything could happen.