Aquaman aided Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Flash and Cyborg in defeating Steppenwolf last month in Justice League, but his troubles are far from over. In a year's time, we'll reunite with Jason Momoa's iteration of the water-based DC Comics superhero in the Aquaman movie, where he'll protect Atlantis from threats both close to home and from the surface world. However, don't think that Aquaman will throw too many threats at Arthur Curry. In fact, director James Wan has gone on record saying that he's had enough of the rumor that Aquaman will feature three villains. When questioned about this claim, Wan responded:
This is what I'll say: I don't have three villains. I think that's ridiculous! I would never go into an origin movie with three villains. We don't even know the main character let alone the world and its antagonist. I believe in taking baby steps.
For those unfamiliar of with Aquaman's villain situation, here's what we've learned over the last year. Patrick Wilson, the onetime Nite Owl who vocally cameoed in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as the President of the United States, will play Orm, Aquaman's half-brother who is better known in the comics as Ocean Master. A month after that casting was announced, it was revealed that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II had been brought aboard as Black Manta. Finally, Dolph Lundgren was added as King Nereus back in April, and considering how adversarial his relationship is with Aquaman in the comics, many assumed that he would serve as the Aquaman movie's third villain. However, James Wan quickly debunked that idea, and reaffirmed this recently to EW. It's one thing to throw a couple primary villains at a hero during their first standalone movie, but in Wan's mind, three is too much.
Non-ensemble superhero movies don't have the greatest track record with using three villains, with Spider-Man 3 and Batman & Robin among the notable offenders. So for Aquaman, using Ocean Master and Black Manta as the adversaries is a wise choice, not just because of how important they are to the Aquaman mythology, but because of the different ways they threaten Arthur Curry. For Ocean Master, he is determined to seize the Atlantean throne from his half-brother, and will do whatever nefarious deed is necessary to make that happen. For Black Manta, he is a ruthless human treasure hunter who despises Aquaman for foiling his operations, although their conflict became more personal during The New 52. As for Nereus, even though he isn't being classified as a villain, that doesn't necessarily mean that he and Aquaman will get along splendidly. I imagine their dynamic will be similar to the one T'Challa and M'Baku will have in the upcoming Black Panther movie.
Aquaman dives into theaters on December 21, 2018. To find out what other DCEU projects are in the works, head to our DC movies guide.