A lot has changed since the sequel was confirmed shortly after the record-breaking success of the first movie, alongside a spin-off that has now been canned. Aquaman is definitely returning though and he's going to be joined by one major DC hero.
As with the first movie, the sequel is directed by James Wan and written by the first movie's co-writer David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick. Wan and Peter Safran – who has now become co-head of DC Studios – have produced.
We may still have a while to wait, but at least there's plenty of information to keep us ticking over, so here's everything you need to know about Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
Aquaman 2 release date: When is Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom out in cinemas?
Long story short, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will be released in cinemas on December 20, 2023, both in the US and in the UK.
It was originally set for December 16, 2022, before its date was pushed back to March 17, 2023 to allow time for VFX to be finished. Warner Bros Discovery then shifted it back to its current date to spread out marketing costs for 2023.
The sequel filmed from June 2021-January 2022 and underwent some reshoots in July 2022. Hopefully that means the December 2023 date will be met.
Aquaman 2 cast: Who will be back in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom?
Jason Momoa will, of course, be back as Arthur Curry, aka Aquaman, and he'll be joined by Amber Heard as Mera.
Patrick Wilson has confirmed he's back as Orm and has been "slightly briefed" on what's next for the deposed King of Atlantis, teasing: "I can tell you that even [Wan's] concepts for Aquaman 2 are pushing it even further."
And after the set-up for Black Manta to be the main villain of the sequel, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has also confirmed he's returning. "Black Manta will be back, and hopefully, he'll be causing a lot more trouble than he did in the first one," he teased.
Other returning cast members include Willem Dafoe as Nuidius Vulko, Temuera Morrison as Tom Curry, Nicole Kidman as Atlanna and Dolph Lundgren as King Nereus, while newcomers include Indya Moore as DC villain Karshon and Pilou Asbæk in a mystery role.
Perhaps the most exciting news for DC fans though is that the sequel will feature Ben Affleck as Batman. It's also been reported that Michael Keaton might show up as his Batman after his return in The Flash.
Who knows, maybe Julie Andrews will return as Karathen as well...
Aquaman 2 plot: What's Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom about?
We might not have loads of information about Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom's plot just yet, but we do have an official (brief) synopsis:
"When an ancient power is unleashed, Aquaman must forge an uneasy alliance with an unlikely ally to protect Atlantis, and the world, from irreversible devastation," it reads.
It's unclear who the "unlikely ally" is, but perhaps it's Orm who was defeated by Aquaman at the end of the first movie, leading to Aquaman usurping Orm as the rightful king of Atlantis.
So, the sequel is likely to pick up in the early days of the reign of the new King Aquaman, probably dealing with the first threat that he faces as lord of Atlantis. Whatever it ends up being, Momoa said way back in October 2019 that the whole thing was "mapped out".
Other than that, we don't know too much about what to expect in the sequel, but the writer has hinted where we should look for some teasers.
"We're not taking any one particular comic book story and adapting it, but if you want to know the vibe we're going for, pick up pretty much any Silver Age story featuring Black Manta," Johnson-McGoldrick told a fan on Twitter.
Hmm... Good question. We're not taking any one particular comic book story and adapting it, but if you want to know the vibe we're going for, pick up pretty much any Silver Age story featuring Black Manta.
— David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (@bravecarrot) March 21, 2020
Talking at DC FanDome in August 2020, Wan gave a hint at how the sequel will be different, with Wilson getting him to confirm that it will visit "new worlds".
"The second one is a little bit more serious, a little bit more relevant in the world we are living in today. That's where it wants to go," Wan explained.
That sounds intriguing, and things got even more interesting in early 2023 when, in an interview with Variety, Jason Momoa revealed he co-wrote his own treatment for the movie with producing pal Brian Mendoza.
"The beautiful thing [about Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom] is me and my partner wrote the first treatment for it and it was about a 55-page treatment, and a lot of it has to deal with me talking to the UN about what's happening with the melting ice caps," he said.
"There's no far-off galaxy coming to destroy us or aliens from another place. It's us ruining our planet. We need to get it together and save our home."
However, in an April 2023 interview, Momoa said that Warner Bros didn't follow their treatment in its entirety. We'll have to wait and see how many of their ideas make it into the final movie.
Aquaman 2 trailer: Any Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom footage yet?
We've been waiting almost as long as Arthur had to reunite with his mother Atlanna for a trailer, but the waiting is over: here's the first official trailer for Aquaman 2.
— Aquaman Movie (@aquamanmovie) September 14, 2023
Before that, we got a very brief snippet from the sequel in this teaser of DC's 2022 slate (when Aquaman 2 was set for release in 2022).
— DC (@DCOfficial) February 11, 2022
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is set for release on December 20, 2023 in the US and the UK.
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