While it seems an Aquaman spinoff is further away on the horizon than first thought, Warner Bros. Pictures has an interest in keeping Arthur’s (Jason Momoa) undersea kingdom alive in other ways.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio is developing a spinoff film based on The Trench, the fishmen tribe seen attacking Mera (Amber Heard) and Arthur before they make their deepest dive into an alternate dimension halfway through Aquaman. According to the report, writers Noah Gardner and Aidan Fitzgerald will take the first crack at the idea. Based on the creatures introduced during the New 52 relaunch in 2011, The Trench are a tribe of Atlantis cut off from the rest when the nation sank into the ocean. Unlike the other tribes, which remained more or less human, the Trench devolved into animalistic fish-like creatures. It is unclear if the film will be set prior to the sinking of Atlantis or feature the Trench as antagonists for a new set of characters. One thing is clear, though: Arthur, Mera, and anyone else established in Aquaman will not appear.
Additionally, the site suggests Aquaman director James Wan and Momoa want to take their time and rest before mounting a second adventure with Arthur.
Which means the studio may be getting impatient once again in the face of an unexpected success. Previously, the studio planned to make all the superheroes darker in an attempt to imitate The Dark Knight and its phenomenal debut, but later pivoted to an Avengers-style team-up picture when that film proved to be a billion dollar enterprise. The rush to capture some that lightning has come to be one of the biggest Achilles’ heels for the studio as its ambitious projects like Justice League fail to capture the box office or critical praise Warners wants while more modest pictures like Wonder Woman and Aquaman — yes, they are modest despite $100 million+ budgets — strike chords with movie ticket buyers.
But perhaps The Trench will prove there is more box office gold to be mined under the sea.