Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is secretly restoring the perfect setting for James Wan's canceled DC spin-off horror film The Trench.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom probably won't have much of an impact on the DCU, as Gunn's upcoming reboot will likely have a major impact on the series, but one thing it could do is schedule James Wan's canceled Aquaman spinoff. Although originally slated for release in 2022, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has been the subject of much controversy and development issues, with the sequel being pushed back until December 2023. However, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom isn't the first time DC has struggled with an Aquaman movie, as one of those failed projects was James Wan's horror flick The Trench.
Following the success of 2018's Aquaman, a spin-off film called The Trench was announced, which will focus on the various creatures of The Trench introduced in the first film. Although the project had been in development for a while, it was later revealed that Trench would actually star Yahya Abdul-Mateen's villain Black Manta from the first Aquaman. However, in April 2021, DC Studios announced that it would no longer be moving forward with The Trench, meaning James Wan's DC horror movie was put on hold.
Black Manta's Return Means James Wan's The Trench Can Still Happen
While "The Trench" has been canceled for a while, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has the perfect opportunity to rerun James Wan's "The Trench". When it was initially announced that DC Studios would be canceling The Trench, rumors swirled that DC was simply shelving it for now and may move forward with the project at a later date. Although there hasn't been much word on it for a while, Yahya Abdul-Mateen will play Black Manta in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which means the sequel could reignite enthusiasm for the spinoff. interest.
Black Manta will reprise his villain role in Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom, this time against Aquaman, who has now teamed up with his brother Orm. In the post-credits scene of Aquaman, it was revealed that Black Manta was alive and seeking revenge, and the villain tracked down and teamed up with Dr. Steven Sheen. Black Manta has already been defeated by Atlantis once, and if he attacks the Kingdom of Atlantis again, he will probably receive some severe punishment. Black Manta's Aquaman 2 story may end with him being banished to The Trench by Orm, setting James Wan up again trenches.
New DCU Leadership May Make Spin-Offs Challenging
While the original DCU lineup contained a plethora of planned spinoffs, it may be difficult to complete them 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 likely doesn't want any old DCU-related projects moving forward. On top of that, there are rumors that Jason Momoa will be recast as Lobo in the DCU, which means Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom could be the last Aquaman movie - killing the trench again.