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Arhtur Curry in front of tidal wave in Aquaman

Anyone who's remotely familiar with Aquaman is likely not surprised that to learn there are tidal waves in the character's upcoming movie. However, there's one tidal wave in particular that's been highlighted in the Aquaman trailers, as it's shown crashing into the coastline while Jason Momoa's Arthur Curry is nearby. After clarifying which tidal wave he was being asked about, director James Wan explained why this tidal wave is important in Aquaman, saying:

The context of that photo is basically the Atlantic coastline is being hit by tidal waves and it's not actually an attack from Atlantis but a warning sign of what's to come. It's basically a message from King Orm [Patrick Wilson] and he's throwing our warships and waste back onto the land.

Although we got a taste of the DC Extended Universe's Atlantis last year in Justice League, Aquaman marks our first full exploration of the underwater civilization and its culture, and just like in the comics, it does not have a good relationship with the surface. Leading Atlantis at this point is Patrick Wilson's Orm, better known to comic book fans as Ocean Master, who has had enough of surface dwellers polluting the oceans. He's preparing to declare war, and this tidal wave is an opening show of force.

For those of you who think that might spoil too much of Aquaman's plot, James Wan added in his interview with EW that this is just a taste of what's to come, and there's plenty that still hasn't been shown in the movie's previews. As Wan put it:

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The trailer and images don't really do it justice. The crazy part is there's so much movie, what's out there has barely scratched the surface.

James Wan didn't comment further on the Aquaman story, but working off of the footage released so far, we can piece together some of what to expect. In the first Aquaman trailer, Amber Heard's Mera tells Arthur Curry that he needs to step up and take his rightful place as Atlantis' king so that Orm can't start a war with the surface. Arthur's initially not on board with sitting on the Atlantean throne, but I'm guessing those tidal waves hitting the Atlantic coastline are what causes him to change his tune.

We've also seen Arthur and Orm locked in combat for the honor of being Atlantis' king. It hasn't been revealed yet who wins that fight, but even if Arthur comes out victorious, it doesn't look like that will do much to stop Orm from carrying out his mission of vengeance against his humanity. It's harder to piece together the sequence of events from there, but between Aquaman and Mera tangling with Black Manta and his goons in Italy, and factions of the seven kingdoms of the sea battling each other, there certainly won't be any lack of excitement.

Aquaman dives into theaters on December 21, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for continuing coverage. For now, you can find out when this year's other remaining movies are coming out by looking through our 2018 release schedule, or look through our DC movies guide to discover what else the DCEU has in development.