Aquaman: James Wan and Patrick Wilson Reveal Franchise Updates at DC FanDome

By Pierre Chanliau Updated:
Aquaman poster, Aquaman

One of the more surprising aspects of the DCEU has been the popularity and success of Aquaman. A superhero who had been mocked and looked down upon for decades for his corny fish-talking superpowers, Aquaman is now a fan-favorite largely due to Jason Momoa's take on the character. Momoa altered the public's perception of the character from a lameo to a beast after his three portrayals of Aquaman in Batman v. Superman, Justice League, and Aquaman , the latter of which grossed over $1 billion worldwide.

Warner Bros. is taking full advantage of its undersea success and has dated a sequel to the 2018 solo film for December 16, 2022. Additionally, a spin-off movie focusing on The Trench location and characters from the first film is currently in development. James Wan, who directed the first movie, will be returning to direct the sequel as well as produce the spin-off. Little has been revealed so far about both projects, though we know Yahya Abdul-Mateen II will be reprising his role as Black Manta in the currenrly-untitled Aquaman 2 and that The Trench spin-off film will be "horror-tinged."


Beginning with Aquaman director James Wan and actor Patrick Wilson discuss about their history together with Aquaman being the fifth project they worked on together. They move onto how Wan reeled Wilson into Aquaman in the role of the Aquaman villain, Ocean Master. When he was planning on casting for the villain, Wan had met with the recently cast Aquaman, Jason Momoa, and decided to write Ocean Master for Patrick Wilson like how this version of Aquaman had been written for Momoa.

Moving onto the filming itself and how the majority of sets where giant empty soundtages on a bluescreen. Patrick Wilson actually says that it helped him concentrate on the relationship between other characters and actors, while waiting on cues from James Wan.

Wilson also hopes that in Aquaman 2 explores more worlds, which James Wan says "I can definitely guarantee you new worlds in this one!" The director goes further by describing that the sequel is "...a little bit more serious. A little bit more relevant to the world that we're living in today" with Patrick Wilson and James Wan also confirms his role in the sequel while joking whether or not he'd be stuck in handcuffs the whole time, refering to his arrest the last time fans saw his character.


It's fairly obvious how the sequel will be a "bit more relevant" to today's world, since it was touched on in Aquaman and was one of Orm's primary motivations in despising humanity. While it made more of a reference to pollution and ofhanded comment to climate change, it felt more like window-dressing than actually being meaningfully addressed in the movie itself.

But, climate change is affecting both the land and especially the seas with fish and sweeps of coral reefs dying due to the warming of the oceans. It would actually be quite amazing if a huge blockbuster movie actually made it a point to address this growing crisis that concerns everyone on the planet.

What makes this more promising is the return of Orm for the sequel, so perheaps fans might see his opinion of this brought back, but in far more detail. However, there is a fear that the movie could be painting Orm as an extremist again , like he was in the last movie. What is detremental about this is that these movies bring up a legitimate concern that humanity is currently facing, but making the solution the death of all humanity without heroes actually proposing or pushing for any deeper change for the crisis the villains use as shallow motivation for their irredemible actions.

- In This Article: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
Release Date
December 22, 2023
- About The Author: Pierre Chanliau
Pierre Chanliau began as a news & feature writer for The Direct at the site's launch in 2020. As a longtime reader of superhero comic books, Pierre's knowledge of Marvel and DC is extensive, informing his reporting and editorial pieces regarding the MCU and DCU.