Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom: Release Date, Cast, And More We Know About The DC Movie

Jason Momoa in Aquaman and the lost kingdom suit
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

In 2018, James Wan’s Aquaman became a remarkably surprising smash hit. Nobody really knew what to expect from it given that it was following the disappointing release of Justice League, centered on a character who had never had his own live-action solo movie, and was facing stiff competition at the box office in the form of Mary Poppins Returns, Bumblebee, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. To everyone’s shock, however, the film not only became a billion dollar hit, but now stands as the biggest worldwide earner in the history of DC Comics adaptations.

Naturally, the excitement that the project generated immediately led Warner Bros. to solidify a future for the franchise, and within a few weeks of Aquaman’s release we learned about their plans to develop an Aquaman 2. But what will the project be about? Who will be making it? When will we actually get to see it? These are all major questions that we’re here to discuss. We’re going to break down all of the information that’s currently available about Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and provide you with all of the most recent news that we’ve heard about the project. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

What Is The Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Release Date?

Jason Momoa in Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

It’s typical for Hollywood studios to try and produce sequels as quickly as they possibly can. After all, they don’t want to let the heat of a burgeoning franchise die down, and the more time that passes means there’s more opportunities for audiences to be distracted by other big properties. That being said, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom – like a few other upcoming DC movies – is taking an extra minute to find its way to theaters and, according to Deadline, is currently scheduled to be released on December 20, 2023.

So, why is the Aquaman sequel coming out so long after its predecessor? For starters, producer Peter Safran has noted that the filmmakers behind the movie did not feel the need to rush the project and there were already a number of exciting films in the pipeline for the larger DC brand at the time. The release date actually jumped back and forth for a while, initially set for more than a year earlier before being moved to March 2023, followed by a delay to Christmas Day before it was pushed up just five days.  

Jason Momoa Reprises The Role Of Aquaman

Jason Momoa shirtless in Zack Snyder's The Snyder Cut as Aquaman.

(Image credit: HBO Max)

After first winning a lot of people over with his charismatic turn as Arthur Curry in Justice League, Jason Momoa got to be the star of his own DC movie and is now returning to the title role for its sequel. He will also be joined by most of the original Aquaman cast, including Amber Heard as Mera (despite rumors of the contrary, as reported by EW), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as David “Black Manta” Kane (which he confirmed to Uproxx), and Patrick Wilson, who previously hinted that Orm is not the “big bad” this time.

Returning members of the Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom cast also include Dolph Lundgren (who confirmed his reprisal of King Nereus on Instagram) and Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe as Vulko, who was listed among the cast in a report by Collider. That same Collider article confirmed Nicole Kidman and Temeura Morrison are also set to play Arthur Curry’s biological mother and father once again and we know from a different Collider piece that Marvel star Randall Park is coming back to play Atlantis-obsessed marine biologist, Dr. Stephen Shin, supposedly to team up with Black Manta as the last film’s post-credits scene teased.

Ben Affleck Joins The Aquaman 2 Cast As Batman

Ben Affleck as Batman in Suicide Squad

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

We can expect to see a number of new faces in the Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom cast, including one who is not new to the DC Extended Universe canon, but is new to the individual Aquaman movies. Following his appearance alongside Michael Keaton in the same role in The Flash, Ben Affleck is coming back to play Batman for the sequel – which Momoa revealed in an Instagram post – and, supposedly, for the last time.

Among the newcomers to the DCEU also appearing in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Vincent Regan joined the cast as a younger version of the Atlantean king, Atlan, who was previously played by Graham McTavish. The THR same piece also reports that Indya Moore is starring as the shark-like DC villain, Karshon, and Jani Zhao is playing an original role known as Stingray. A different THR article mentions that Game of Thrones star Pilou Asbæk will also appear in an undisclosed role.

The Sequel Will Pair Aquaman With An Unlikely Ally

King Orm in Aquaman

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

In 2021, Warner Bros. (via ScreenRant) released an official synopsis for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, hinting that the story would involve our title hero being forced to team up with someone you would not expect him to play nice with. As reported by Deadline, it was officially confirmed that Patrick Wilson’s Orm would be reluctantly joining forces with his half-brother to take on Black Manta when a first look at the sequel was revealed during CinemaCon 2023 in Las Vegas.

The footage also featured Amber Heard as Mera, whose level of involvement in the new film had been a subject of much speculation until then. The sneak peek did not offer enough detail to confirm how much of  the story focuses on her, but did depict her in some amusing action sequences.

James Wan Returns To Direct Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom

Jason Momoa in Aquaman still from the first movie

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Aquaman marked director James Wan’s first foray into the comic book movie genre having launched his career with horror flicks like the first of the Saw movies, before developing the worlds of Insidious and The Conjuring. Of course, he would begin to switch gears into other genres  by helming one of the Fast and Furious movies (2015’s Furious 7), but also revisited his roots for 2021’s Giallo-inspired Malignant before he was confirmed to be returning to the world of Atlantis.

However, as we know from an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Wan would take inspiration from his favorite genre when helming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom – specifically citing a campy, Italian sci-fi flick from 1965 called Planet of the Vampires as an influence. Making his Aquaman sequel somewhat horror-inspired sounds like a good consolation for his scrapped Trench spin-off idea.

David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick Pens The Script

Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson in The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

On the writing front, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has the co-writer of the first film, David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, holding the pen. According to an interview with Jason Momoa published in Esquire, the movie star was also heavily involved in developing the story of the sequel at the beginning.  

Johnson-McGoldrick has a bit of sequel experience on his resume already, having written Wrath Of The Titans, The Conjuring 2, and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. It seems that Warner Bros. trusts him with the responsibility of structuring a proper follow-up to the biggest DC Comics adaptation ever.

Where Is The First Aquaman Movie Streaming?

Aquaman vs Orm in Aquaman

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

With there still being plenty of time before Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom hits theaters, it's understandable if you have a bit of trouble keeping your excitement for the sequel contained. That being said, one of the best ways to satisfy your craving for King Of Atlantis action on the big screen is by watching previous Aquaman and the other canonically related DC movies

The even better news: it's really easy to do that as all of the DC Extended Universe titles – including the first Aquaman solo film – are currently available to stream with an HBO Max subscription. You can always rent or purchase all of the titles digitally at all major outlets, or find them in Blu-ray or DVD form.

Stream Aquaman on HBO Max (opens in new tab).
Rent/buy Aquaman on Amazon (opens in new tab).
Buy Aquaman on Blu-ray Amazon (opens in new tab).

We’ll keep updating this feature as we get closer and closer to Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, so be sure to occasionally come back, and stay tuned for all of the latest updates about the production here on CinemaBlend!

Jason Wiese
Content Writer

Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.