Warner Bros. has unveiled the exciting first full-length trailer for “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” offering a sneak peek into the return of Jason Momoa’s iconic underwater hero. This sequel to the 2018 blockbuster “Aquaman” sees Arthur Curry, played by Momoa, grappling with his newfound role as the king of Atlantis while confronting a familiar adversary.
Director James Wan recently delved into the trailer’s details during a discussion with journalists, shedding light on some secrets and teasing Arthur’s journey. Similar to his previous work, this movie also emphasizes the theme of family. Wan humorously credits the “Fast & Furious” franchise for teaching him the importance of family dynamics in storytelling, as he directed “Furious 7” in 2015.
As the film commences, we find Arthur navigating the challenges of parenthood, having become a father to a young child. Balancing fatherhood with his underwater royal responsibilities, he reflects on his transformation from a wanderer to a husband and father.
However, Arthur’s kingdom faces imminent peril as the formidable Black Manta, portrayed by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, reemerges armed with the deadly Black Trident. To combat this threat, Arthur reluctantly seeks help from his half-brother Orm, played by a robust Patrick Wilson, despite their tumultuous history.
Black Manta is determined to exact revenge, vowing to obliterate everything dear to Aquaman, including his family and kingdom. The stakes are high, and Atlanna (Nicole Kidman), Aquaman’s queen mother, warns that global catastrophe looms unless they stop Black Manta’s rampage.
Wan emphasizes the film’s environmental message as it explores the encroaching disaster. He aims to maintain the first film’s sense of adventure, color, and fun while infusing a deeper message into the sequel.
The trailer briefly showcases Amber Heard’s character, Mera, Arthur’s wife and mother of their child. Wan previously mentioned his intention to shift the focus away from Arthur and Mera and onto Arthur’s complex relationship with Orm, transforming the sequel into a “bromance action-adventure movie.”
The movie also marks the return of Temuera Morrison as Arthur’s father, Tom, who was last seen in a cameo for “The Flash” earlier in the year. Additionally, audiences can anticipate a plethora of fantastical sea creatures, including Storm, a bioluminescent seahorse from the comics, and the beloved drum-playing octopus, Topo, from the first film.
Wan’s goal was to push the boundaries of the sequel by introducing even weirder elements, featuring strange monsters inspired by the works of Jules Verne, Ray Harryhausen, and H.P. Lovecraft.
“I’ve never been shy of leaning into the weird,” Wan admits, expressing his enthusiasm for embracing the film’s quirkiness and oddity. He credits the positive reception of the first film for bolstering his confidence to explore the weird and wonderful.
“Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” is set to hit theaters on December 20, promising audiences an exhilarating dive into Arthur Curry’s enigmatic underwater realm. For an in-depth look at the film, you can explore EW’s exclusive set report.