Aquaman 2 is moving forward. Warner Bros. has tapped David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, who co-wrote the first movie, to pen the screenplay for the sequel. While the studio had high hopes for Aquaman, and there was early indication that they were going to look at doing a sequel, this is the first major development we've had when it comes to the movie actually entering the process of becoming a reality.
According to a new report, David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick will write Aquaman 2. Johnson-McGoldrick co-wrote the first movie alongside Will Beall, working from a story by Geoff Johns, Beall, and director James Wan. At least for now, he's going to fly solo on this first draft, but it's always possible somebody else could step in down the road. However, Johnson-McGoldrick makes the most sense, as he's frequently collaborated with Wan in the past, having also penned the scripts for The Conjuring 2 and the upcoming third entry in that franchise, which looks to enter production later this year. Some of his other credits include the upcoming Dungeons and Dragons movie, Wrath of the Titans and Orphan.
Another key piece of the puzzle is James Wan. He's reportedly in no hurry to get a deal done to return to the director's chair, and Warner Bros. doesn't want to pressure him. He is, however, closing a deal to return as a producer for the sequel alongside Peter Safran. So he'll at least be involved to some degree. The studio is, understandably, hoping they can get him to sign on against as director as well, given the tremendous success that the first movie has enjoyed.
Aquaman grossed $1.12 billion worldwide and, though not exactly a critical darling across the board, it fared better than many of the other more recent outings from DC Films. It also managed to top The Dark Knight Rises as the highest-grossing DC Comics adaptation of all time. Additionally, it's Warner Bros.' first title to gross more than $1 billion at the box office since 2012 when The Dark Knight Rises crossed that mark. This was particularly crucial, given the lackluster response to Justice League which, despite having the added benefit of Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman, only brought in $657 million worldwide. But audiences have really responded to Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry.
For the time being, there is no word in regards to story details for the sequel, but, given the post-credit sequence from the first movie, it's heavily expected that Black Manta would become the main villain. In addition to the sequel, the studio is also developing a horror-themed spin-off titled The Trench, based on the creatures of that same name who were featured in Aquaman. James Wan will also produce that project. Aquaman 2 does not yet have a release date. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details are made available. This news was first reported by The Wrap.