Patrick Wilson has confirmed that he will be returning for Aquaman 2. In the first Aquaman, Wilson portrayed King Orm aka Ocean Master, the half-brother of Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry and the current ruler of Atlantis who seeks to command the entirety of the Seven Seas by uniting the underwater kingdoms under his rule and leading them in a war against the surface world.
After breakout roles in the likes of The Phantom of the Opera, The Alamo and Hard Candy, Wilson rose to prominence with his role as Nite Owl in Zack Snyder’s Watchmen. Since then, he has been best known for his horror work with Aquaman director James Wan, first starring in the initial two Insidious movies, and then most prominently as paranormal investigator Ed Warren in The Conjuring and its various sequels and spin-offs.
Wilson offhandedly confirmed his return to Atlantis during an interview with THR about Midway, a war film about the World War II naval battle of the same name where US forces won a decisive victory over the Japanese Empire. Towards the end of the interview the subject drifted towards other topics, including Aquaman, regarding which Wilson stated he has been “slightly briefed” on “Orm-related matters” but despite his desire to know all the details of how he will be involved, out of respect for Wan he has held off getting involved until everything is more developed. However, he did state that Wan’s ideas for Aquaman 2 are “pushing it even further” (confirming Momoa’s statement of the film being “way bigger”) and that he also has “a few ideas of where Orm fits in, but I’m not gonna talk about them.”
Work on Aquaman 2 was underway almost immediately after the first was completed, with Wan even stating that Aquaman’s structure intentionally left room for subsequent stories to be developed. Aside from Momoa as the eponymous sub-aquatic hero, it was confirmed last month that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II would be returning as Black Manta. Also confirmed is the completion of the story, which Momoa developed with scriptwriter and Aquaman co-writer David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick.
Any superhero movie that features multiple villains can often suffer from issues with pacing and focus (we all remember the bloated debacle that was Spider-Man 3), and Aquaman’s judiciously utilizing of both Ocean Master and Black Manta - the hero’s most prominent and enduring nemeses - as fully fledged characters was one aspect of the film that raised it above average superhero fare. To feature them both again will require a further balancing act, and given where the characters were at the end of Aquaman, Aquaman 2 will most likely see Orm in prison for his crimes, and may well see Arthur reluctantly come to him for advice as Black Manta’s mission of vengeance escalates.