James Wan salutes “Fast & Furious” with the family focus of “Aquaman 2 ”trailer

James Wan salutes “Fast & Furious” with the family focus of “Aquaman 2 ”trailer

Aquaman is heading back out to sea.

Warner Bros. has shared the first full-length trailer for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, teasing the return of Jason Momoa's muscular maritime hero. The sequel to 2018's Aquaman finds Arthur Curry grappling with his responsibilities as the newly crowned king of Atlantis, while facing off against a familiar threat.

Earlier this week, director James Wan spoke to a group of journalists for a, um, deep dive into the trailer, sharing secrets and teasing a few new details about Arthur's return. Just like a previous movie he worked on, this one is also about family. "I learned about family from Fast & Furious," jokes Wan, who also directed 2015's Furious 7. "The family aspect in this film was very important for me, and you can have Vin [Diesel] to thank for that."

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Warner Bros. Pictures Jason Momoa in 'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom'

When the film begins, Arthur has become a father to a young child, and he's juggling parenthood with his duties as an underwater royal. "Four years ago, I was basically unemployed, a wanderer with no home," Momoa's voiceover intones over scenes of domesticity. "But, now, I'm a husband and a father, and I wouldn't have it any other way."

But his kingdom is soon threatened by the return of Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), who's gained a powerful new weapon called the Black Trident. To help defeat Black Manta, Arthur turns to his half-brother Orm (an absolutely jacked Patrick Wilson), who's reluctant to work with the brother he previously tried to overthrow. "I'm going to kill Aquaman and destroy everything he holds dear," Black Manta declares. "I'm going to murder his family and burn his kingdom to ash."

"He must be stopped or global meltdown is imminent," warns Aquaman's regal queen mother Atlanna (Nicole Kidman), whom Wan describes as a wise political adviser and the "right-hand to the king."

"We wanted to lean into the environmental aspect with this movie," Wan explains of the encroaching disaster. "We wanted the second film to still be fun, adventurous, and colorful like the first film, but we wanted to have a little bit more to say."

Jason Momoa is back and Patrick Wilson is jacked in first Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom teaser. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Comics.
Jason Momoa is back and Patrick Wilson is jacked in first Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom teaser. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Comics.

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Comics Arthur rides a giant seahorse in 'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom'

The trailer also gives a brief glimpse of Amber Heard's Mera, Arthur's wife and the mother of his young child. Wan had exclusively told EW that he intended from the beginning for the second film to focus less on Arthur and Mera and more on Arthur's relationship with Orm. "I always pitched this to everyone from the get-go," he said. "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."

The film, too, reintroduces Temuera Morrison as Arthur's lighthouse keeper father Tom, last seen in a cameo for this year's The Flash. Plus, there are all sorts of bonkers sea creatures, including a bioluminescent seahorse named Storm (from the comics) that Arthur rides into battle and the return of everyone's favorite drum-playing octopus Topo from the first film.

In fact, Wan tells reporters, his goal was to get even weirder with the sequel, populating Arthur's world with strange monsters inspired by the work of Jules Verne, Ray Harryhausen, and H.P. Lovecraft.

"I've never been shy of leaning into the weird," Wan says with a smile. "Every movie I've made has been pretty weird. You guys have seen Malignant. But very early on, when I was given a few [DC] properties to look at, I picked this particular one because I felt like I could really lean into that world of quirkiness and weirdness and just have fun with it. Definitely seeing how much people enjoyed that in the first film meant that it gave me more confidence to lean into it."

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will hit theaters Dec. 20. For more, read EW's exclusive report from the set.

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