Aquaman 2 will be “more serious, more relevant” says director James Wan

The over-the-top underwater superhero franchise is heading uptown.

Jason Momoa in Aquaman (Warner Bros, HF)

Aquaman 2 director James Wan says the sequel to his 2018 blockbuster will be “a little bit more serious, a little bit more relevant”, as befits a film that is striving to achieve the record-breaking box office of the original.

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Aquaman has made $1.1 billion (£840 million), making it the biggest movie ever based on a DC Comics character, eclipsing the $1.08bn made by The Dark Knight Rises.

That’s a massive splash by any measure and, according to Deadline, Wan explained at the DC Fandome virtual panel over the weekend how they were approaching the sequel.

“I think the second one is a little bit more serious, a little bit more relevant in the world we are living in today. I think that’s where it wants to go,” he said.

Anyone who saw the original Aquaman (trailer below) will understand that taking things more seriously will not be a big challenge. The preposterous narrative and extreme action were alternately silly and stunning. Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian called it a “letdown… Despite some engagingly surreal moments, heartfelt environmentalist gestures, big-name supporting roles and occasional flourishes of marine camp”.

Empire magazine said Aquaman was “passably entertaining… There’s entertainment in watching something so outrageously over-the-top, exploding in such strange ways.”

Patrick Wilson returns to role of villain Orm Marius in Aquaman 2 and issued a plea to Wan to explore new worlds in the sequel.

Wilson said: “I know [Wan] loves world-building and I’d like to see some of that. I know you’re going to push that ocean. There’s a lot of unexplored ocean!”

Wan replied: “I can definitely guarantee you new worlds in this next one and I think you’re going to be very excited as an actor.”

King Orm was last seen being defeated by Aquaman/Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) and carted off to an underwater prison. Quite how he escapes and who he aligns with will be interesting to see develop.

Aquaman writer David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick will return to write the sequel for Warner Bros and the movie is currently scheduled for release in December 2022.

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