Aquaman‘s sequel is a sure thing, safe to say, at this point. The first one’s success everywhere, in particular overseas, saw to that. We just don’t know what exactly we’ll be getting yet.
Well, that is to say, other than a new bad guy. Orm the Ocean Master ceded the throne to Arthur and lived to see another day at the end of James Wan’s undersea epic adventure. But based on the story’s resolution — seeing the two brothers make peace — and the opinion of Patrick Wilson, the former and would-be King of Atlantis has turned over a new leaf and won’t wreak havoc if he comes back.
Orm might not even be free, Wilson stated at an event for the book The Art and Making of Aquaman.
“He’s not gonna be a main villain in another movie. I don’t think Orm ends up in Belle Reve like he does in the New 52. I assume they’re gonna keep him in some kind of jail below the surface. If [director James Wan] wants me back, I’m certainly happy to come back.”
And Wilson thinks a repeat performance is in the cards since Orm is not only alive and breathing, as Arthur’s brother, he is essential — even if he can’t say for sure what plans are for him.
“I don’t know what the future holds for Orm … You can’t kill him. He’s too important to [Arthur’s] journey … he’s a foil to [his character].”
The Arthur-Orm dynamic is a little like that of Thor and Loki over in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and could serve the same purpose for Warner/DC. You could just as easily see Orm betray Arthur again and the Atlantean brothers reconciling all over. However, they aren’t looking to copy and paste the MCU way of doing things anymore (ask Toby Emmerich or Kevin Tsujihara). So the likelihood is minimal.
James Wan also weighed in on what is at the heart of their discord and he said to Entertainment Weekly they simply have different upbringings and desires.
“Orm’s got a soft spot for his brother who lives on the surface world and if anything just wants him to rule Atlantis and the world together, but his brother doesn’t see it that way. A lot of the clashes they have stem from their different upbringings.”
If Orm doesn’t cross tridents with Arthur again then signs point to a continuation of the blood feud between the latter and Black Manta, hinted at by the end credits scene. Manta means business. Seeing Arthur as responsible for his father’s death on the submarine, he won’t stop until either himself or the Atlantean is dead.
Black Manta’s screen time in Aquaman could and should’ve been expanded. Audiences were left wanting more in his case so it’s only fitting the focus is put on him.
A lot deserved more exploration. That’s why a horror movie centering on the Trench is on the way, certain to tide us over until Arthur Curry’s next adventure — which won’t be until 2022.
They are taking their time and producer Peter Safran gave The Hollywood Reporter a good reason why.
“[DC Films chief Walter Hamada], myself and James Wan always shared the same philosophy, which is: you want to do it right. You don’t want to do it fast. You just want to do it right.”
What do you make of Wilson revealing Ocean Master won’t be the primary villain for Aquaman 2? Do you think Black Manta will be the main villain? Or do you think they might introduce somebody new?