‘Aquaman 2’ Director Distances From Increasingly Disastrous DC, Says It’s “Standalone”

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angry aquaman jason momoa

Credit: Warner Bros

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom does not want to get dragged down by the monumental failure of recent DC Extended Universe flops like The Flash (2023) and Black Adam (2022).

The first Aquaman (2018) movie, led by Jason Momoa as the superpowered marine superhero Arthur Curry, was an unexpected success at both the box office and critics, particularly as the character had largely been viewed as a joke for decades.

Aquaman 2; Actor Jason Momoa as Aquaman
Credit: Inside the Magic

But under the stewardship of director James Wan and with the charisma and frequently shiny naked muscles of Jason Momoa, Aquaman became the highest-grossing DCEU film to date, as well as the highest-grossing movie based on a DC Comics property. However, it appears that Wan does not want his new movie to be associated with those days.

Related: DC Abandons Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, Turns Hero Into a Joke

The DCEU Has Become a Liability for Aquaman

The glory days of Zack Snyder’s DCEU are now definitively behind them and are soon to be replaced by James Gunn’s new framing of the franchise as the DC Universe. That leaves Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom in a bit of a weird place.

It still stars Jason Momoa, the now-controversial Amber Heard, and was at one point said to feature roles for either Ben Affleck or Michael Keaton as one version of Batman or another, giving it a lot of connections to the old DCEU.

The Flash Ezra Miller
Credit: DC Studios

As the recent historic box office disaster of the Ezra Miller-led The Flash shows us, whatever goodwill these remaining scraps of the DCEU has evaporated.

James Wan Says ‘Aquaman 2’ Is “In Its Own World”

In a recent interview with ComicBook.com, director James Wan said that he did not really consider the Aquaman movies to be in the same world as the rest of the DCEU and were primarily “standalone” films.

“Well, Aquaman – even the first film – has always been a very standalone film. That was always our approach: that it kind of lives in its own world, and that’s kind of how we’ve approached The Lost Kingdom as well,” James Wan said. “You know, people love Jason Momoa; people love him playing this role; and people love the action visuals of this space and this world. And that’s what we’re doing: we’re taking it to the next level and we are still expanding – and just any fans of Aquaman the character, that love Black Manta, this is the next level and I’m very excited to finally put out there to show them what we’ve been working on all these years.”

Amber Heard as Mera (left) gazing at Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry (right) in 'Aquaman'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Further Association With the DCEU Could Doom ‘Aquaman 2’

James Wan is correct in that the first Aquaman was not narratively connected with the events of Man of Steel (2013) or Justice League (2017) in the way that Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) or The Flash were, and mostly had a distinct, separate plot without a lot of other characters involved. Being underwater for most of your runtime will do that.

However, Jason Momoa has shown more willingness than most DCEU actors to appear around the shared universe in cameos, having popped up in the final episode of the HBO Max series Peacemaker (2022) season 1 and most recently for a drunken post-credits sequence in The Flash.

Related: Jason Momoa’s New Shark Week Is a Musical

At the very least, that makes it a little difficult to argue Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry is all that separate from the rest of the crumbling ruins of the DCEU. James Wan can just hope not to get dragged down by all the other DC Studios flops.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will feature almost the entire cast of the first movie, including Amber Heard as Mera, Patrick Wilson as the Atlantean villain Orm, Willem Dafoe as Aquaman’s mentor Vulko, Dolph Lundgren as King Nereus, Mera’s father, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as David Kane, AKA Black Manta, Temuera Morrison as Aquaman’s father Tom Curry (who also popped up in The Flash), and Nicole Kidman as Atlanna.

Will Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom flop like The Flash? Use underwater sonic powers to reply in the comments below!

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