A new plot breakdown of Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom reveals additional details about the film and confirms prior leaks. Posts and threads coming out of test screenings, as well as inside sources, tell us Black Manta is the villain and he has some kind of mystical weapon or spirit possessing him. That part and more seem to be true.
Shared by YouTuber Syl Abdul, the breakdown appears to come from somewhere official – i.e., a film site, trade publication, or entertainment magazine – so we shouldn’t have to guess about its accuracy. The details shared begin, “Having failed to defeat Aquaman the first time, Black Manta, still driven…to avenge his father’s death, will stop at nothing to take Aquaman down once and for all.”
They continue, “This time Black Manta is more formidable than ever before, wielding the power of the mythic Black Trident, which unleashes an ancient and malevolent force. To defeat him, Aquaman will turn to his imprisoned brother Orm, the former King of Atlantis, to forge an unlikely alliance. Together, they must set aside their differences…to protect their Kingdom and save Aquaman’s family…”
— SyL ☕ (@sylabdul) September 13, 2023
It ends with the real shocker — to anyone who’s never seen a comic book movie — that Orm and Aquaman also have to save the world “from irreversible destruction.” It’s a perfect summary of what we’ve already heard. Black Manta has a trident and wants to make Aquaman hurt the way he does by becoming fatherless in the last movie.
What the summary doesn’t say, which we shall fill in here, is the “Black Trident” belonged to the King of a forgotten Kingdom of the Seas (hence the title). According to the leaks, this King’s ghost is the “malevolent force” unleashed by the weapon and Manta becomes his avatar and foot soldier. Moreover, the force needs something.
That thing is blood, royal Atlantean blood in a child sacrifice. This, in theory, would restore the evil king to his throne and his empire to its ancient, subjective grandeur. Aquaman’s newborn son with Mera, reportedly being introduced in the sequel, becomes important at this point. Black Manta, it’s said, kidnaps the child and might try to kill him.
This refers to the Silver Age when Manta killed the toddler Arthur Curry, Jr., also known as Aquababy. Screenwriter David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick indicated during pre-production that Lost Kingdom was going to draw from this period, though it won’t be adapting any issues panel-for-panel as far as anyone can tell. Star Jason Momoa did inject socially conscious themes, however.
Pollution, climate change, and humanity’s deleterious effect on the oceans are expected to be a plot point as these are issues close to the Hawaiian native’s heart.