James Wan’s Aquaman has reportedly added The Trench to Arthur Curry’s roster of villains. Production on DC’s first standalone Aquaman movie featuring Jason Momoa in the titular role recently got underway, with elements of the story beginning to drift into place – with a focus on the antagonists Arthur Curry will have to face. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II was cast as the villain Black Manta, but James Wan has stacked the deck heavily against his aqueous hero with some added challenges. Hollywood heavyweight Dolph Lundgren will be stepping into the role of King Nereus and Patrick Wilson is starring as Aquaman’s half-brother and rival Orm a.k.a Ocean Master.
It seems as though that wasn’t enough of a threat for Momoa or James Wan, as Arthur Curry is also set to battle a particular set of monstrous creatures from the deep.
According to Superhero News, Aquaman will face off against sea creatures which are bipedal humanoids with arm, legs, fins, big heads, big eyes and very sharp teeth. From this they deduced that these features fit perfectly with The Trench, a carnivorous race introduced in the New 52 relaunch of DC Comics. Their information also suggested that The Trench would be created using practical effects, with the actors playing these creatures using stilts for a tall, looming effect, as well as full-body suits. They’d be augmented using facial animatronics as opposed to CGI. While there’s no guarantee that they won’t be tweaked using elements of CG in post-production, the focus with Aquaman appears to be heavily on practical effects.
This isn’t the first time that The Trench have been rumored to appear in James Wan’s Aquaman, with rumors dating back as early as March 2014 when a fan site known as The Aquaman Shrine tweeted about their inclusion in the movie:
We've been told that 2018's AQUAMAN starring Jason Momoa will also feature Mera, Orm, Black Manta and THE TRENCH!— The Aquaman Shrine (@AquamanShrine) October 15, 2014
The director himself cryptically teased the appearance of creepy sea monsters last year, stoking speculations that audiences would see a horrific iteration of those ever hungry deep sea creatures: The Trench.
The Trench are a branch-off of Atlanteans that adapted to live near a deep sea trench in the Mid-Atlantic. Their physical appearance changed drastically and they developed the ability to spit toxic, paralytic chemicals from their toothy mouths. Working on the assumption that the creatures described are indeed The Trench, then horror veteran James Wan is the man to bring them to the silver screen. His gory pedigree seems perfectly suited to these twisted creatures, and the emphasis on practical effects could ensure that they’re a more memorable threat than the ranks of average superhero CGI enemies.
They may function as the drone-like enemies serving under or alongside one of the primary antagonists, like the Chitauri did under Loki in Marvel’s The Avengers, though no substantial plot elements of Aquaman have been revealed thus far. They’ll likely remain tightly under wraps until Jason Momoa’s first fully fledged appearance as the marine superhero in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.