It has been nearly seven months since Warner Bros. Pictures had decided to pull the plug on the development of the potential Aquaman spin-off titled The Trench, which reportedly would have been based on the deep-sea monsters that were featured in the blockbuster 2018 film.
Through a recent Instagram post, director James Wan has now revealed a new interesting detail about the canceled project. While responding to a fan’s question about Black Manta, the filmmaker has confirmed that the canceled spin-off film was actually a secret solo project centering around Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s villainous character.
Production on Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is currently underway in London and is currently slated to arrive in theaters on December 16, 2022.
According to James Wan, the cancelled TRENCH movie was secretly going to be a BLACK MANTA solo film starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II! pic.twitter.com/rWsLM8IBOn
— Walt (@Uber_Kryptonian) October 25, 2021
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will once again be directed by Conjuring Universe creator James Wan from screenplay written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick. The sequel is produced by Wan and frequent collaborator Peter Safran. Wan previously teased that the sequel will feature a more serious and relevant story as well as some horror elements.
The sequel features the return of Jason Momoa as he reprises the leading role of Arthur Curry/Aquaman. Joining him are returning cast members including Patrick Wilson as Orm, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Dolph Lundgren as Nereus, and Amber Heard as Mera. It’s still unclear if other characters from the first film would also be appearing in the sequel like Nicole Kidman’s Atlanna, and Willem Dafoe’s Vulko. It was also previously reported that Momoa’s fellow Game of Thrones alum Pilou Asbaek was in talks to join the upcoming project.
Based on the DC character created by Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger in 1941, Aquaman had earned a gross of over $1 billion at the global box office, making it one of Warner Bros.’ highest-grossing DC film. The character made its live-action film debut in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and also later reprise the superhero role in Justice League.