Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is secretly bringing back the perfect setup for James Wan’s canceled DC spin-off horror movie, The Trench.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom may not have a lot of effects on the DCU, as Gunn’s upcoming reboot will most likely have a big effect on the series, but one thing it can do is set up James Wan’s canceled Aquaman spin-off. Although initially slated for 2022, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has been the subject of lots of controversy and development issues, with the sequel being pushed back all the way to December 2023. However, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom isn’t the first time that DC has struggled with an Aquaman film, as one project that was lost was James Wan’s horror spin-off The Trench.
Announced after the success of 2018’s Aquaman, a spin-off film called The Trench was announced, with it being set to focus on the various creatures of The Trench that were introduced in the first film. Although the project was in development for a while, it was later revealed that The Trench would actually star Yahya Abdul-Mateen’s Black Manta, the villain from the first Aquaman. However, in April 2021 it was announced that The Trench would no longer be moving forward at DC Studios, meaning that James Wan’s DC horror movie was shelved.
Black Manta’s Return Means James Wan’s The Trench Can Still Happen
Although The Trench has been canceled for some time now, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has the perfect opportunity to revive James Wan’s The Trench. When it was initially announced that DC Studios was canceling The Trench, it was rumored that DC was only temporarily shelving it, and may move forward with the project at a later date. Although not much has been heard about it in a while, Yahya Abdul-Mateen is returning as Black Manta in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, meaning that the sequel may revive interest in the spin-off.
Black Manta will be reprising his role as a villain in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, this time facing off against Aquaman, who has now teamed up with his brother Orm. In the post-credits scene for Aquaman, it was revealed that Black Manta was still alive and desired revenge, with the villain finding and partnering up with Dr. Stephen Shin. Black Manta has already been defeated by Atlantis once, so attacking the kingdom a second time will most likely bring about some harsh punishments. Black Manta’s Aquaman 2 story could end with him being banished to The Trench by Orm, once again setting up James Wan’s The Trench.
New DCU Leadership May Make Spin-Offs Challenging
Although the initial DCU lineup featured tons of planned spin-offs, it may be hard to complete those now under the new leadership of James Gunn and Peter Safran. Many details about their plans for the franchise are still unknown, and while Wan is an acclaimed director, Gunn may not want any projects associated with the old DCU to move forward. On top of that, there are rumors that Jason Momoa will be recast as Lobo in the DCU, meaning that Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom could be the last Aquaman film – killing The Trench again.