In the aftermath of Justice League's disappointing box office performance, there's some doubt about the future of the DC Extended Universe as a whole. However, even the doomsayers would have to admit that there's no stopping Aquaman.
The movie, which is slated for a December 21, 2018 release, wrapped up principal photography with neither Zack Snyder nor Joss Whedon at the helm. The James Wan-directed venture is expected to follow the events of Justice League, and at the same time serve as an origin story for Jason Momoa's wannabe King of the Seven Seas.
If we sneak a look at the cast roster, we can find three characters who were Aquaman’s adversaries in the pages of DC Comics: Ocean Master (Patrick Wilson), Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and King Nereus (Dolph Lundgren). But Wan told Entertainment Weekly that not all of them will be villains:
This is what I'll say: I don't have three villains. I think that's ridiculous! I would never go into an origin movie with three villains. We don't even know the main character, let alone the world and its antagonist. I believe in taking baby steps.
Neither DCEU installment released to date provided us with a good picture of the underwater kingdom of Atlantis or its inhabitants, so there's a lot on the director's plate already. He has no interest in pitting Arthur Curry against three big baddies in his first standalone movie. Instead, the movie will explore the rivalry between Curry and his half-brother, Ocean Master.
I want to introduce Arthur Curry in a much more emotional and powerful way, and introduce Mera, played by Amber Heard. And, of course, there's Nicole Kidman and Temuera Morrison playing his parents. We know Black Manta is in there, but I will say this: Patrick Wilson is the main antagonist in this film. I wouldn't necessarily say “villain”, but he's the antagonist.
The movie might position Black Manta to team up with Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) and Deathstroke (Joe Manganiello) to form the Legion of Doom in a potential Justice League sequel. And maybe Nereus is the guy who keeps bugging Momoa's superhero in both the first movie and potential sequels, but never really fights with him.