The DC Extended Universe has been a roller coaster of highs and lows, a journey as unpredictable as a trident duel in the heart of Atlantis. Aquaman, directed by James Wan and starring Jason Momoa, made a massive splash in 2018, becoming the crown jewel of DC’s cinematic offerings. However, DC’s cinematic ship has been in turbulent waters since Walter Hamada’s departure in 2022, with several box office disappointments including Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash, and Blue Beetle.
But hope floats. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, the sequel to the blockbuster Aquaman, is set to premiere on December 20th. Directed again by James Wan, the movie is anticipated to be a game-changer for DC. This is particularly significant given that this sequel could be the swan song for the current iteration of the DCEU, before DC Studios — now helmed by James Gunn and Peter Safran — unfurls the sails for the unified DC Universe.
Aquaman: A Universe of Its Own
Interestingly, James Wan has a particular vision for Aquaman that seems immune to the surrounding chaos at DC. He views Aquaman as its own universe, quite separate from the larger DC narrative. “We are our own separate universe. If we could spin off a Seven Kingdoms universe, that would be my ideal dream,” he said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
Wan also clarified recent reports about multiple reshoots for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. According to him, there weren’t multiple reshoots but rather a broken-up shooting schedule to accommodate the film’s star-studded cast. He even acknowledged that James Gunn offered some creative input, though Wan maintains, “At the end of the day, this is my movie.”
Sequel Focus: A Family Affair
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom shifts the focus from the romantic subplot between Arthur Curry and Mera to the complicated relationship between Arthur and his brother Orm. Together, they seek to thwart the villainous Black Manta. Wan mentions that this thematic shift signifies the growth of Arthur as a character, hinting that a third movie could further this character development.
The Big Question: Will Wan Return for Aquaman 3?
Though the director has created ample room for a third installment, he remains noncommittal about returning for Aquaman 3. “All I can think about now is taking a long break,” he revealed.
James Gunn and Peter Safran have clarified that while they aim to create a unified DC Universe, they are also open to ‘Elseworlds’ titles, adding a layer of complexity to the future roadmap of DC films. In such a multi-layered landscape, will there be a place for Wan’s vision for Aquaman? That’s a question even a trip to Atlantis might not answer.
So, will James Wan be steering the ship for Aquaman 3? For now, the seas remain as mysterious as ever. As fans eagerly await Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, the possibility of Wan’s return for a third voyage hangs in the balance, leaving us all wondering just how deep this ocean of possibilities goes.