After weeks and months of waiting, wondering if the movie will be delayed, maybe even canceled, the upcoming ‘Aquaman’ sequel finally received the first official trailer earlier this week. The trailer promises another visually stunning adventure in which Jason Momoa’s titular character will need to team with his former adversary and half-brother Orm to stop the returning villain Black Manta, who plans to get a hold of Black Trident to exact his revenge on Aquaman.
What’s interesting about ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ is that, unlike many superhero sequels, it won’t introduce a new villain but continues the storyline from the previous movie. Black Manta, the supporting antagonist from the previous movie, now returns as the main villain, while Orm, the main antagonist of the previous movie, will return as a supporting anti-hero. That’s how it seems for now, at least.
All the other supporting characters from the original ‘Aquaman’ are returning as well. Well, almost. As the director, James Wan, recently revealed, one of the original movie’s supporting characters will be absent.
The ‘Aquaman’ director revealed that Vulko will be absent from the sequel.
Willem Dafoe joined DC Extended Universe as Nuidis Vulko during the development of ‘Justice League.’ However, his scenes were cut amid a change of directors and reshooting of the movie, so his debut as the character was in 2018’s ‘Aquaman.’ However, the scenes he filmed for ‘Justice League’ were later featured in the director’s cut, which was released in 2021.
Despite earlier reports that the entire principal cast of the original ‘Aquaman’ will return for the sequel, director James Wan has now revealed that Dafoe will not reprise the role of Vulko due to scheduling conflicts. However, Wan teased that Dafoe’s absence helped him expand Nicole Kidman’s role as Atlanna, meaning that we should see much more of her in the sequel.
“Willem is not in this one, no. Part of the reason was because his schedule did not work out for us. But what that allowed me to do was expand on Atlanna’s role. Atlanna, in this one, ultimately becomes Arthur’s advisor. Because Arthur’s not from this world, she helps him better understand the world and the politics of how things work.”James Wan for Entertainment Weekly
Willem Dafoe is a veteran actor who definitely isn’t unfamiliar with superhero movies. He’s one of those actors who had the chance to star in both DC and Marvel movies. He played Norman Osborn, the original Green Goblin, in Sam Raimi’s ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy (2002 – 2007), and he reprised the role in 2021’s ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home.’
Considering that ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ is the last DCEU movie, it’s highly unlikely that we’re going to see Dafoe as Vulko again unless this upcoming sequel somehow manages to be successful and James Gunn decides to develop ‘Aquaman 3’ as a part of the upcoming DCU.
Starring Jason Momoa, Patrick Wilson, Amber Heard, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Dolph Lundgren, Randall Park, Temuera Morrison, and Nicole Kidman, ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ is set to be released on December 20, 2023.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Will you miss Willem Dafoe as Vulko in ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’?