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Aquaman sequel delves into the Lost Kingdom with inspiration from the frozen tundra of Antarctica

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Aquaman director James Wan promises that for the superhero movie’s sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, “Atlantis is even bigger, brighter, more colorful, more vibrant.”

But as exciting as it is to go back to Atlantis, movie audiences can look forward to seeing entirely new places, including the Lost Kingdom. In the first film, it was revealed that there were seven Kingdoms of Atlantis: Atlantis, Xebel, Kingdom of the Fishermen, Kingdom of the Trench, Kingdom of the Brine, Kingdom of the Deserters… and the Lost Kingdom: Necrus.

To create Necrus, James Wan was inspired by Antarctica. “Antarctica felt like an inspiring landscape that is familiar,” said James. “But it’s also a place most of us have not visited, and that would allow me to explore a heightened version of it. I was excited to create this kingdom, which is a completely new visual element in this film, along with other new worlds. And I have to say, it wouldn’t be one of my films without some of my signature creations, so there are new, dark creatures for audiences to enjoy.”


To bring Antarctica to life during an English summer at Leavesden Studios in the United Kingdom, the movie’s art department created a frozen tundra across two soundstages and on the studio backlot. A field of ice was constructed, which plays host to Manta’s basecamp tents and vehicles, with giant fans blowing “snow” across the set and billowing the walls of the tent. The crew in shorts wore sunglasses to protect their eyes from the glare of the white exterior set as the cast sweated in high-tech cold-weather costumes. The VFX team was dispatched to Antarctica, Greenland, and Iceland to capture stunning aerial drone footage and real-world location plates to complete the final look at the frozen environment.

Producer Peter Safran said that audiences will be thrilled to experience the sequel. “James Wan has an incredible ability to capture the colors and the fantasy that exists in these never-before-seen worlds,” said Peter. “We wanted to take the audience on a travelogue of these astounding new environments above and below the surface… By embracing the mythic nature of Aquaman’s quest and combining it with these stunning visuals, James gives us something uniquely compelling—it is worldbuilding and visual storytelling at its zenith.”

Out-of-this-world worlds aside, it all comes back to the human aspect of the characters and the journey they go through. “While our last movie was a love story that focused on Arthur (Jason Momoa), this is an action-adventure with two brothers, Arthur and Orm (Patrick Wilson), overcoming their differences to save the world,” revealed James. “They’re going up against an even more powerful Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), whose love for his father and his need for vengeance has taken a darker turn. We wanted to not only expand the story and the characters but also give audiences an even more immersive and exciting experience.”

And at the center of it all is, of course, Arthur/Aquaman, “along with all of the signature charm and humor Jason infuses into this hero,” added the director. “And even though Aquaman sits on the throne, responsible for all of Atlantis, he is still a man, working to align his two roles—father and king—into this bold and expansive new world.”

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which also stars Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Dolph Lundren, and Randall Park — all returning to the roles they originated, opens exclusively in cinemas on December 20, 2023.

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