DC has just released the first full-length trailer for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, the second chapter of its Aquaman franchise.
The nearly three-minute clip has already racked up an impressive five million views in the first 24 hours after its release.
In the clip, Jason Momoa’s character Arthur Curry is spending time on land looking after his new baby, but is required to step up once again as Aquaman, King of Atlantis, and join a cast including Nicole Kidman, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Patrick Wilson to shut down dark forces that are threatening peace in the underwater kingdom of Atlantis.
The sequel has been a long time in the works: in March 2022 Aquaman was one of a number of films pushed back by Warner Bros. because of delays in production caused by the pandemic and its knock-on effects.
The future of the film also became murky for some time when one of its leading cast members, Amber Heard – who plays Mera, Queen of Atlantis – became entangled in two extremely high-profile defamation cases against her ex-husband Johnny Depp. There was even a Change.org petition which argued that Heard scenes should be removed from the film, which reached 4.5 million signatures in June 2022.
In the end, director James Wan (who directed The Conjuring 2 and Aquaman), DC and Warner Bros. decided to go ahead and include some of Heard’s scenes in the film.
However, judging by the trailer, in which Heard hardly features, the Queen of Atlantis actor may have a less prominent role in part two than she did in the first film.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly in an article published on Wednesday (September 13) director Wan addressed the change of focus in the film away from Mera: “I always pitched this to everyone from the get-go,” said Wan. “The first Aquaman was Arthur and Mera’s journey. The second movie was always going to be Arthur and Orm.”
“So, the first was a romance action-adventure movie, the second one is a bromance action-adventure movie. We’ll leave it at that.”
Orm is Aquaman’s half-brother and will be played, as he was in the first film, by Fargo star Wilson.
Momoa, who has recently starred in Fast X (2023), Slumberland (2022) and Dune (2021), spoke to A List about his connection with his Aquaman character in 2018. “It’s definitely the closest thing I’ve ever played to myself,” he explained. “Being born in Hawaii and raised in Iowa, two very different worlds much like Atlantis and the surface world.”
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will be released in the UK on December 20, 2023