Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom director James Wan has confirmed that the superhero sequel will address the issue of climate change.
The first Aquaman movie, starring Jason Momoa in the title role, was a major success for DC Comics as it earned well over $1 billion at the global box office. The sequel will deal with Arthur Curry / Aquaman protecting Atlantis from an ancient evil that arises.
Within the comic book series, the character of Aquaman is concerned with keeping the world's oceans clean, which touches on the serious subject of climate change.
Even though The Lost Kingdom will be a popcorn comic book movie, that serious issue will feature as a plot point.
"I think people are going to be excited to see that this movie is quite different from the first movie in terms of tone. It's a little bit more serious, and we're dealing with issues like climate change," Wan told The Hollywood Reporter.
"We're not afraid to lean into that in a big way, because the 'Aquaman' comic book, even way back when, has always been environmentally conscious. He's always been someone who's fought to keep the ocean clean, and it feels more relevant in the world that we're living in today.
"So this movie has something to talk about, but it's still a fun action-fantasy movie."
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will star Momoa, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Dolph Lungren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Temuera Morrison and Nicole Kidman.
Has DC upheaval harmed Aquaman?
In 2022, DC Comics and Warner Bros. went through major changes at an executive level as James Gunn and Peter Safran were brought in, with the former dealing with the creative side of the business following his success with the Guardians of the Galaxy Franchise as well as The Suicide Squad.
Wan insists that these changes haven't impacted Aquaman as much as other productions within the DC Extended Universe, however
"I've had to make adjustments all along the way. The DCU has been through lots of different versions, and one of the things that was challenging about this film was keeping track of what's going on," the director continued.
"Fortunately, the Aquaman universe is pretty far removed from the rest of the world. We're going to many different underwater kingdoms that are not necessarily related to what's happening with the other movies and characters, so we're stand-alone in that respect.
"So I can just tell my story on its own without being affected too much, but at the same time, I have to be mindful of what's been happening."
Despite what Wan says, Aquaman's release date has been shifted back on a couple of occasions.
Action / Fantasy
2018 • 143 minutes
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
2023 • minutes