Aquaman is still weeks away from release, but Warner Bros. is apparently quite confident that we'll want to see more.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich has already kicked off talks for Aquaman 2, buoyed by the news that the film is expected to earn north of $65 million on its opening weekend later this month. Reportedly, no writer for the film has yet been hired, let alone a director, but the studio's confidence in the performance of the first film is high, so the sooner the second installment is in the pipeline, the better.
This report comes at a time when Warner Bros. is still looking for more key pillars of its DC Extended Universe, as the future landscape of that megafranchise continues to take shape in the wake of Justice League. With uncertain futures for both Batman and Superman, Wonder Woman is the franchise's current top star, with Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn making a strong push with her own film (she costars in Birds of Prey) coming soon.
There are lots of projects in development, but right now the studio needs solid franchises other than Wonder Woman within the DCEU, and Aquaman could prove to be the next solo franchise that sets them on that path, particularly when you consider that those box office projections come on a weekend that also includes Mary Poppins Returns and Bumblebee.
As for the major players in the first Aquaman, star Jason Momoa has already said he has ideas in mind for his character's sequel, but director James Wan is playing things a bit more coy. When asked about a sequel by SYFY WIRE during the Aquaman press junket, Wan said that it's his tradition to let the first film come out before discussing such things.
"I'm highly superstitious, and I don't talk about any other sort of like sequels or stories or whatever before this one's even out yet," Wan said.
Wan's superstition is perhaps warranted in a Hollywood where franchises can crumble quickly, but for now Aquaman is looking more and more like a safe bet for Warner Bros. The King of Atlantis is about to strike gold, and if this report holds true after the film's release, the studio wants more.
Aquaman opens in theaters everywhere Dec. 21.