Aquaman 2 isn't expected to begin shooting until the middle of 2021, with James Wan returning as director. After an uneven start (to put things simply), the unofficially titled DC Extended Universe has really found its stride over the past thirteen months. Aquaman was a crowd-pleasing box office success last December, and Shazam! kept the good vibe going by becoming one of 2019's best-reviewed comic book movies back in the spring. And while it exists apart from the DCEU continuity, Todd Phillips' Joker is one of this year's bigger pop cultural events.
2020 and 2021 are expected to be equally rewarding years for the DCEU, with filmmakers like Matt Reeves and James Gunn coming aboard to put their spin on properties like Batman and Suicide Squad. Similarly, Cathy Yan is poised to break out in a big way with next February's Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), and Patty Jenkins will return with another Wonder Woman adventure next year. Arthur Curry, however, isn't due to come back until late 2022, and fans shouldn't expect any major Aquaman 2 updates for a while now.
In a much larger report on the state of all things DC-related, Variety reports Aquaman 2 won't begin filming until early to mid-2021 (or upwards of eighteen months or more from the time of writing). Wan, as mentioned earlier, has been tapped to return as director, with Jason Momoa and Amber Heard lined up to reprise their roles as the new rulers of Atlantis, Arthur and Mera.
On the one hand, this news isn't entirely shocking; Aquaman 2 isn't scheduled to open until December 2022, so an early to mid-2021 production start makes sense. It will also give Wan and his team enough space to refine the sequel's undoubtedly extensive visual effects in time for its marketing to get underway by either spring or summer 2022. All the same, this update provides a clearer picture of Wan's schedule for the next couple years. The filmmaker is currently shooting an original horror movie titled Malignant (for a summer 2020 release), and it was previously indicated he could begin filming Aquaman 2 as soon as 2020. However, assuming Variety's article is accurate, it appears that's not the plan after all.
That's probably for the best, though; Wan will need to promote Malignant next year, and it would be better for him to do that before he returns to Atlantis, not after or around the same time. Momoa claims Aquaman 2 will be even bigger than its predecessor (an exceptionally high bar to clear), so that's all the more reason for Wan to take his time and catch his breath before leaping head-first into production. Returning writer David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick has already locked the story for the sequel ahead of then, which suggests his script will be in proper shooting shape by the time Wan is free once more. Four years is still a long break between films these days but, given its predecessor's popularity, audiences may be all the more hyped for Aquaman 2 by then.
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
- The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021
- Black Adam (2021) release date: Dec 22, 2021
- DC Super Pets (2022) release date: May 20, 2022
- Aquaman 2 (2022) release date: Dec 16, 2022