Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is creating waves in the superhero film realm as it emerges as the highly anticipated sequel to the 2018 blockbuster Aquaman. Produced by DC Studios, Atomic Monster, and The Safran Company, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, the film is the 15th and final installment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Directed by James Wan and featuring an ensemble cast led by Jason Momoa, the film is set to hit theaters in the United States on December 22, 2023.
Several years after the events of the first film, the half-Atlantean, half-human king of Atlantis, Arthur Curry, also known as Aquaman, finds himself compelled to protect his underwater kingdom and loved ones from an ancient power unleashed by the notorious Black Manta. David Kane, played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, obtains the cursed Black Trident, setting off a chain of events that forces Aquaman to seek an unlikely ally in his brother Orm, played by Patrick Wilson.
Directed by: James Wan
Screenplay by: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick
Story by: James Wan, David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, Jason Momoa, Thomas Pa’a Sibbett
Based on: Characters from DC
Produced by: Peter Safran, James Wan, Rob Cowan
Starring: Jason Momoa, Patrick Wilson, Amber Heard, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nicole Kidman
Cinematography: Don Burgess
Edited by: Kirk Morri
Music by: Rupert Gregson-Williams
Production Companies: DC Studios, Atomic Monster, The Safran Company
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: December 22, 2023
Country: United States
Budget: $205 million
- Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry / Aquaman
- Patrick Wilson as Orm Marius / Ocean Master
- Amber Heard as Mera
- Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as David Kane / Black Manta
- Nicole Kidman as Atlanna
Reprising their roles from the first film are Dolph Lundgren as Nereus, Randall Park as Dr. Stephen Shin, and Temuera Morrison as Tom Curry, among others. New additions to the cast include Pilou Asbæk and Indya Moore in undisclosed roles.
- Development: Jason Momoa pitched a story for the sequel during the production of the first film. Director James Wan, known for his meticulous approach, agreed to oversee development in January 2019. The film explores the expansive underwater world introduced in the first installment.
- Casting Controversy: The film faced challenges related to casting controversies, particularly surrounding Amber Heard. Despite fan pressure and social media conversations, the studio retained Heard in her role as Mera.
- Filming: Principal photography commenced in June 2021, spanning locations in the United Kingdom, Hawaii, Los Angeles, New Jersey, and New Zealand. The extensive shoot concluded in January 2022 after 95% of the film was shot in the UK.
- Post-production: The film underwent multiple reshoots and adjustments to its release schedule, with Warner Bros. adapting to the evolving landscape and fan expectations. The final release date settled on December 22, 2023.
Rupert Gregson-Williams returned to compose the score for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, maintaining continuity with the musical themes established in the first film.
The film’s marketing strategy included teaser releases, behind-the-scenes footage, and trailers unveiled at events like DC FanDome. The promotional material highlighted the dynamic between Arthur Curry and his brother Orm.
Release and Future:
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is scheduled for release on December 22, 2023, after undergoing several date changes. The future of the Aquaman film series remains uncertain, with discussions about potential recasting and the exploration of other characters in the DC Extended Universe.
As fans eagerly await the next aquatic adventure, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom promises to plunge audiences into a visually stunning and action-packed journey beneath the ocean’s surface.
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