‘Aquaman 2’ Reportedly Explained Vulko’s Absence in the Movie’s Initial Cuts

willem dafoe vulko aquaman

The year’s Summer is almost behind us, and that means it’s already time to think about what the Fall and Winter cinema season will offer us. Both Marvel and DC will have something to offer before the end of this year, and as Marvel is releasing another chapter in their Multiverse Saga, DC is getting ready to close DC Extended Universe for good with the release of ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.’

The original ‘Aquaman’ movie was released in 2018, and it was enormously successful. Grossing $1.148 billion, it became the highest-grossing DC movie ever, so naturally, it didn’t take long for Warner Bros. to greenlight a sequel. However, in the last five years, a lot of things have happened around WB and DC Studios, so the upcoming sequel has found itself in a pretty thankless position by the time the first trailer was released.

Warner Bros. decided to pull the plug on DCEU, and ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ will serve as the franchise’s final movie before a soft reboot, DCU, starts in July 2025. That also puts a big question mark on Jason Momoa’s future as Aquaman. Not to mention the ongoing strikes, all the previous commercial failures, and controversies regarding one of the movie’s stars, Amber Heard. When we look at all of that, the upcoming ‘Aquaman’ sequel is probably the most snake-bitten movie we’ve ever seen.

Vulko’s absence was reportedly explained in the initial cuts before it was entirely removed from the movie.

Due to the ongoing strikes, Hollywood actors still aren’t allowed to promote their movies, give any interviews, or attend Red Carpet events. However, directors are a different story, so ‘James Wan,’ the Aquaman director who also returned for the sequel, recently revealed that Willem Dafoe will not reprise the role of Nuidis Vulko in ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.’ Part of the reason was scheduling conflicts, according to Wan.

Now, according to MyTimeToShineHello, the initial cuts of the movie featured a subplot about a virus in Atlantis that killed Vulko off-screen. However, that subplot was subsequently removed, so Vulko’s absence won’t be explained, nor he’ll be mentioned in the movie at all. James Wan previously said that Vulko’s absence in the sequel allowed him to expand the role of Nicole Kidman’s Atlanna, who will now serve as Arthur’s advisor.


‘Aquaman 2’: James Wan Teases Potential Third Movie but Casts Doubt on Returning as Director

Willem Dafoe first joined DC Extended Universe when he was cast as Vulko in ‘Justice League.’ However, 2017’s theatrical cut didn’t feature any of his scenes, so his official debut was in 2018’s ‘Aquaman.’ Vulko’s ‘Justice League’ was later included in 2021′ ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League,’ and from the looks of things, that was the last time we see him in this role.

Starring Jason Momoa, Patrick Wilson, Amber Heard, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Dolph Lundgren, Randall Park, Temuera Morrison, and Nicole Kidman, and directed by James Wan, ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ is set to be released on December 20, 2023.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Are you looking forward to ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’? Let us know in the comments.

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