Aquaman finally spashed onto the big screen today. The King of Atlantis looks set to rule the international box office after a staggering opening week in China which smashed previous DCEU takings in the unpredictable territory. Arthur Curry looks set to do the same elsewhere and eyes are already turning to likely sequels. Momoa himself has said he already pitched the opening of Aquaman 2 to Warner Bros and the latest movie clearly sets up a major villain for Aquaman 2 in the end credit scene.
WARNING SPOILERS FOR THE END CREDIT SCENE ONLY:
Fans do not have to sit all the way to the very end of the credits, there is only one scene and it features two characters already shown in the movie.
A report in ReRelease News describes the entire scene in detail: “The scene begins in the middle of the ocean. David Kane aka Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is floating on a piece of wood. His suit is heavily damaged from the fighting with Aquaman in Italy. A man on a ship notices him. The man is Dr. Stephen Shin (Randall Park). Dr. Shin only has one scene during the actual film, which consists of him giving a TV interview arguing that the Atlantis is real.”
“Black Manta appears inside Dr. Shin’s Boat, sitting on a couch and listening to that very TV interview.
“Dr. Shin is examining Black Manta’s suit and tells him that it consists of Atlantian technology. He asks Black Manta to lead him to Atlantis. Black Manta agrees, but only if Dr. Shin would lead him to someone else. He throws his knife on a poster of Aquaman and the scene cuts to black.”
The trailers already showed Black Manta fighting Aquaman and Mera in Italy but many had thought he would feature more heavily throughout the film.
Now it seems clear he is being held back for the sequel.
Fans had hopes there might be some connection to the wider Justice League but director James Wan’s early hints that his movie stood alone have proved entirely correct.
With the futures of Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill both looking increasingly disconnected from the DCEU, there was still scope for a cameo from Wonder Woman, Flash or even Cyborg but it seems Warner Bros are keeping all their DC properties distinct for now as they figure out the future of the franvhise.
Shazam is up next and then Wonder Woman 2, which will be set in the 1980s and so allow more time for the DCEU to be restructured. After that a new DCEU and Justice League may start to emerge.
AQUAMAN IS OUT NOW