Aquaman was the butt of every superhero joke for years. Mocked as the guy with the power to talk to fish, the idea of an Aquaman movie was seen as a one-way ticket to a huge flop. Then James Wan and Jason Momoa came along and singlehandedly made the character cool. Momoa’s take on Arthur Curry was near-universally praised and he can take credit for a decent slice of Aquaman‘s $1.1 billion box office haul. But it seems that Warner Bros. is already looking for a replacement for him.
According to our sources – the same ones who told us Kevin Conroy was playing Kingdom Come Batman in “Crisis” and a Green Lantern show is coming to HBO Max, both of which turned out to be correct – the studio has big plans for the underwater universe they’ve established. From what we understand, Momoa will remain in the role for Aquaman 2 and Aquaman 3. By the time the third film concludes though, Arthur will have finally taken the throne of Atlantis and been coronated as its full-time king. These royal responsibilities will come with the realization that he can’t be King of Atlantis and still continue his superheroic duties as Aquaman though, so he’ll pass the mantle to a new character.
Said new character will be a DCEU version of Young Justice‘s Kaldur. In that series, he’s the son of Black Manta, though ends up being taken under Aquaman’s wing as his protégée and eventually leads the Young Justice team. If the movies follow this trajectory, we could see Momoa remaining in the franchise beyond Aquaman 3, albeit in a supporting role rather than as the protagonist.
Whatever ends up happening, Warner Bros. clearly have long-term plans for the property. Aquaman 2 is officially in development and targeting a December 2022 release date, while “horror-tinged” spinoff The Trench is also being worked on. If the franchise continues this trajectory, we could see Aquaman 3 in 2025. By that point, Momoa will have been playing the part for almost a decade, so it’s understandable that he’d want to move onto other projects.