Why Aquaman 2 Director James Wan Chose To Return For The Jason Momoa-Led Sequel

Aquaman talking to Vulko

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When the DC Extended Universe was still finding its footing, James Wan’s Aquaman helped prove that the comic book property was capable of. While the Trench spinoff was scrapped by WB, the highly anticipated sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is currently in production. And Wan recently explained why he chose to return for the Jason Momoa-led sequel.

Filmmaker James Wan has had a celebrated film career, particularly thanks to his prolific work within the horror genre. Aquaman saw the filmmaker using cutting-edge wire work and visual effects to give the cast a feeling of weightlessness, and it’ll be interesting to see what he brings to the table for The Lost Kingdom. Wan explained his return to the DCEU, saying:

I would say the thing that really got me excited to come back to it is finding a story that I think is worthy and if not better than the first movie. And also, for me, really, when I come back to a sequel, whether it was for Insidious 2 or The Conjuring 2, and now Aquaman 2 is I helped shape and create these characters that I eventually fall in love with, and I feel like I'm not done with them yet. So I feel like I owe them one more story from me.

There you have it. It seems James Wan is back for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom largely because he wants to continue the underwater story, and catch up with characters like Arthur, Vulko, and Mera. We’ll just have to wait and see what this new story entails, and how the Atlantean ensemble changes.

James Wan’s comments to IGN help to show where his head is at regarding the return to DC with Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Wan mentions a few of his previous sequels, which saw him return to horror franchises like Insidious and The Conjuring. Eventually Wan let other directors take on the mantle, but his motivation with sequels is clear.

DC fans can re-watch the original Aquaman movie on HBO Max. You can use this link to sign up from the streaming service.

But while Aquaman 2 won’t be James Wan’s first sequel, he also presumably turned down a few of these opportunities throughout his long career. Case in point: Wan brought the Saw franchise to life back in 2004, but never directed any sequels. In his same interview, the director explains his interest in Aquaman lore, saying:

The first movie introduced the audience to such a big world that was only scratching the surface. And I feel like I can now dig deep into that and expand on that more. It's when I feel like I no longer have anything else to say, that's what I back away. But right now that's not the case with The Lost Kingdom.

That makes a great deal of sense. Being at the head of a major blockbuster no doubt comes with a ton of pressure. Still, James Wan couldn’t help but continue the story of Aquaman in The Lost Kingdom. Not much is known about the project, which only recently began filming. But with Wan feeling so passionate, smart money says moviegoers will be happy.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is currently set to arrive in theaters on December 16th, 2022. In the meantime, check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.