Today during DC FanDome, Warner Bros. gave fans the first foamy taste of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, director James Wan‘s follow-up to the billion-dollar blockbuster Aquaman. Jason Momoa is, of course, back as Arthur Curry, a.ka. Aquaman, a.ka. the King of Atlantis and master of actually making Aquaman’s costume look cool — as well as riding a seahorse? The sequel splashes into theaters on December 16, 2022.
As promised, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is aiming for a slightly different vibe than its predecessor. Where Aquaman went for a vibrant, Star–Wars-under-the-sea throwback adventure aesthetic, Wan has mentioned a surprising—but very exciting—inspiration for this film: Mario Bava‘s Planet of the Vampires. The 1965 sci-fi horror flick is a gorgeous mix of genuine dread and campy technicolor madness, and a modern homage built around Momoa‘s Aquaman is a pitch-perfect template for combining Wan‘s horror sensibilities and knack for big blockbusters. Here’s what the filmmaker said back in August:
“Well, the first movie took a lot of people by surprise, right? And that’s partially because they were not familiar with the comic book, which deals in this very lurid, strange world. … People were taken aback that I didn’t throw all that stuff away and make a dark, heavy film. But I didn’t feel that would have been right for it. So with the second film, I feel it will be easier for people to accept where we go because I’ve already laid the foundation.”
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will also see the return of Patrick Wilson as Arthur’s Atlantean brother Orm, as well as Amber Heard as Mera, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta (sporting a new costume this time around too), Randall Park as Dr. Stephen Shin, and Dolph Lundgren as King Nereus. Newcomers to the cast include Jani Zhao (Pilgrimage), Indya Moore (Queen & Slim), and Vincent Regan (Before We Die).
Check out the new behind-the-scenes images as well as the footage shown on the panel below. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is set to hit theaters on December 16, 2022.