Aquaman 2 Director Reveals 'Secret' Plans for Cancelled Spin-off Movie

By Klein Felt Posted:
James Wan Trench Secret Black Manta Movie

It's only been a number of weeks since the world got its first look at the upcoming Aquaman 2Aquaman and the Lost Kingdomdirected again by James Wan, will offer a look into other parts of the marine world including the frozen north. 

While some fans are excited about the upcoming submariner sequel, others are mourning the loss of a spin-off that was set to dive deeper (pun intended) into the mythos of the ecosystem beneath the high tides.

Earlier this year, The Trench was canceled by DC, along with a couple of other projects. The Aquaman in-betweenquel was set to be a horror movie supposedly focusing on The Trench, a race that made a brief appearance in Jason Mamoa's first solo DC outing. 

However, not all that may be true, if a new Instagram comment is to be believed. 

A Secret Black Manta Movie

Aquaman, Trench

According to director James Wan, the canceled Trench DC movie was actually going to focus on Aquaman villain Black Manta. 

When replying to a recent Instagram comment asking if Wan would be working on a Manta streaming series, the director revealed that The Trench was "really going to be a secret Black Manta movie:"

"I'll let you in on a secret, the canceled Trench spin-off movie was really going to be a Black Manta movie."

"I'll Let You In On A Secret"

While Black Manta proved to be a formidable foe for Jason Momoa's Atlantean, it is probably a good thing that a movie focusing solely on the villain was abandoned by Warner Bros. and DC. Manta has some exciting moments in Aquaman, but some may say that he does not - at least yet - have what it takes to carry his own film. 

The former pirate portrayed by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has already been revealed to be returning for the Aquaman sequel, and he even showed up in the recent DC FanDome featurette looking at the film. So fans will be getting their Black Manta fix. 

One thing to note from Wan's quote here though is the fact that he never mentioned the horror story that was rumored to be at the center of The Trench film.

Was that just a veil meant to throw fans off the scent? Or was this actually going to be something spectacularly spooky in the DCEU? Something about the Black Manta look doesn't exactly scream horror movie, but one can be sure Wan would have made it work. 

Surely some will be upset that The Trench was ultimately canceled, but it will be interesting to see if anything from the canned project makes its way into Aquaman 2. Could audiences be treated to a story that focuses a little more on David Kane (a.k.a. Black Manta)? Could it perhaps be darker than its predecessor

To find out, fans will have to wait until Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom hits theaters on December 16, 2022.

- In This Article: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
Release Date
December 22, 2023
- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.