DC's live-action universe has had plenty of peaks and valleys, although the massive property seems to be on the upswing lately. Warner Bros. is currently surfing on the massive success of James Wan's Aquaman, which cleaned up at the box office, on top of being a critical success. We'll have to wait a few years for the film's sequel to arrive in 2022, but there's another underwater adventure in development by the studio: the spinoff The Trench.
The Trench sequence was one of the most visually fascinating aspects of Aquaman, as James Wan's horror roots briefly reached the surface of the aquatic blockbuster. So fans were delightfully surprised when Warner Bros. green-lit a spinoff for the dark sea setting. Producer Peter Safran recently spoke to the decision to dive deeper into into The Trench with a spinoff, revealing:
We always, even from the early concept art days, loved the idea of a Trench movie. Then, when audiences embraced it in the movie itself the way they did, particularly that ant farm shot where the camera follows the Trench [creatures] following Arthur and Mera down into the deep, we just knew that we had something very special there and we knew what that movie should be. And consequently, I suspect that that’s one that will come out significantly before Aquaman 2.
Audiences may have been surprised, but it seems like the the groundwork for The Trench movie was being laid during the release of Aquaman. It ended up being audience engagement that made the spinoff truly become a reality. And as a reward to the fandom, they'll get another movie set in Aquaman's world before the film's actual sequel arrives in theaters.
Peter Safran's comments to THR illuminate the thought process going on at Warner Bros. regarding the future of the DC live-action universe. DC seems to be taking a much different approach than the competition over at Marvel Studios. Rather than revealing entire slates of movie scheduling, Warner Bros. can adjust its programming based on fan reception and box office performance. It feels like there's an exciting momentum in the shared universe, in stark juxtaposition to its state after the disappointing performance of Justice League.
The Trench is a mysterious part of the lore established in Aquaman. They're amphibious monsters who separated from the Atlantean Kingdom years ago. They attacked Mera and Arthur on their journey, before eventually joining their cause in an epic underwater battle against King Orm. It should be interesting to see how The Trench is expanded, and where in the overall timeline the spinoff will be set.
Aquaman is available for digital download now, and you can purchase a physical copy on March 26th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.