We got our first (very brief) look at superhero sequel Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom via the trailer teaser that dropped on Monday. But ahead of the main trailer's actual arrival, director James Wan is doing a little damage control, looking to sink rumours about problems with the movie's shoot, direction and Amber Heard's concerns that her role as Mera (Atlantean warrior and paramour of Jason Momoa's title character) was "pared down" for the sequel.
Talking to Entertainment Weekly, Wan addressed the fact that the film, which originally shot in 2021, has seen several chunks of additional photography since then, which led to concerns that it might be in trouble, or having to constantly evolve as the DC regime shifted from the days of the DCEU to James Gunn running the show.
“We have big actors in this movie, and everyone’s schedule is really hard. So, we had to break up our shooting schedule into sections," Wan explains. "We’ll shoot a bit here now, because this actor’s available, and then we’ll do another shoot now, because this guy’s available. People are like, ‘Oh, they’re doing a whole bunch of different shoots!’ No. If we actually combined them all together, it’s actually not that many number of days at all.”
He also addresses the issue of Batman, who is supposedly cameoing in the movie, with a scene shot featuring Michael Keaton's Bruce Wayne, and then one with Ben Affleck's.
“The tricky thing early on was not knowing whether Aquaman would come out first or come out after The Flash. So, we just had to be prepared. At the end of the day, the best thing I would say about this movie is that it is not connected in any way to any of those films.” He won't specifically be drawn on whether any version of the Caped Crusader shows up, teasing only, "You're going to have to wait for the movie to come out."
Finally, there's Amber Heard, who claimed last year that her role as Mera had shrunk thanks to the negative publicity surrounding her fractious breakup with, and trial featuring, Johnny Depp. According to Wan, it wasn't any real-world issue impacting the movie, more part of the plan all along.
"I always pitched this to everyone from the get-go. The first Aquaman was Arthur and Mera's journey. The second movie was always going to be Arthur and Orm," Wan says. "So, the first was a romance action-adventure movie, the second one is a bromance action-adventure movie. We'll leave it at that."
Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom is planning to swim into cinemas on 26 December, with the trailer landing tomorrow.