Warner Bros. has announced the Aquaman 2 release date, confirming that a sequel will indeed be swimming into theaters on December 16, 2022. This was wholly expected, as director James Wan’s Aquaman surpassed all expectations and soared to a worldwide box office of over $1.1 billion. It quickly became the highest grossing film of the “DC Extended Universe”, which encompasses every movie made since Man of Steel. Yes, the fish man movie made more money than the movie starring Batman and Superman, the two most iconic characters in comics history.
We learned last month that Warner Bros. was already developing an Aquaman sequel, but Wan has distanced himself from jumping right into the follow-up, maintaining that he’d like to wait until the script is right. Earlier this month, word broke that David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, one of the co-writers on Aquaman, had been tapped to pen the script for Aquaman 2. Now Warner Bros. apparently feels bullish enough on his take that they’re ready to stake their claim on the release calendar, although they’re giving themselves a lot of runway to get it right.
Currently the only other film scheduled for release on December 16, 2022 is an untitled Disney Live-Action film. That release date makes a lot of sense, as the pre-Christmas corridor proved incredibly fruitful for the first Aquaman even as skeptics predicted the film would be overshadowed by family fare like Mary Poppins Returns on Christmas. Quite the opposite occurred, and Aquaman is now impossibly Warner Bros.’ most popular DC franchise.
To that end, Warner Bros. is separately developing a horror-tinged spinoff called The Trench, set in—you guessed it—the trench. Wan is producing that one, and it’ll carry a lower budget than the main Aquaman film. As for Jason Momoa’s future, right now DC seems laser focused on its individual properties and has no plans for a Justice League sequel—or really even much interconnectivity— so I wouldn’t expect him to pop up again onscreen in a DC until Aquaman 2.
Next up on Warner Bros.’ DC release slate is the comedy-tinged Shazam! in April, followed by the Joaquin Phoenix-led Joker in October, the female team-up movie Birds of Prey in February 2020, the highly anticipated sequel Wonder Woman 1984 in June 2020, and at long last the reboot The Batman in June 2021. For a complete look at upcoming DC movies, click here.