In Aquaman, James Wan brought a dark and horrifying world to life in a sequence involving The Trench, a deadly area of the ocean filled with bloodthirsty monsters that Arthur Curry must fight his way through towards the end of the movie. As well as a sequel, Aquaman was initially to have a spin-off movie that would have seen Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s Black Manta villain taking the lead in a story that would have expanded what we know about the terrifying world under the sea. However, by April 2021, the spin-off was canceled by Warner Bros., and all focus was put on Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. However, James Wan has explained that there is every chance his ideas for the spin-off could manifest in another project.
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Aquaman’s success in 2018 was quite unexpected in many ways, considering the state of the DCEU at the time. As the only movie in Warner Bros. DCEU to have passed the $1 billion mark at the box office, the studio initially wanted to capitalize on that success by quickly putting into development a sequel and also a spin-off. While the sequel has had its bumps, from Covid delays and other production issues, the sequel is now set to hit theater’s next year, but while speaking to Comicbook.com, James Wan reflected on the canceled spin-off and how he will likely reuse his plans in something else. He said:
“Listen, I feel like everything I come up with, everything I do, if I come up with something that I don’t end up using, that doesn’t mean that I cannot be inspired to use that in a different way. That’s my problem, is I come up with a lot of ideas and I have so many ideas just percolating, but obviously, I can’t use all of them. So I would say of all the different thoughts and ideas I’ve come up with, I end up using maybe 20-30% of them in my work, and so I do have a drawer full of ideas that could develop into something else.”
The Trench May Still Feature in Aquaman’s Future
Although there will be no spin-off movie based on The Trench, there is nothing to say that the location may not turn up again in the future. While it is looking doubtful that there will be many horror-orientated segments in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, with the movie recently being described as a “buddy comedy” by Warner Bros. executive Walter Hamada in a recent testimony for the Amber Heard/Johnny Depp trial, it is probable that this will not be the last Aquaman movie we see on the big screen and that could lead to another chance for The Trench to be revisited.
In the meantime, James Wan still has his hand in the horror genre that brought him to prominence with movies like Saw, Insidious and most recently Malignant, so his belief that some of his Trench ideas will manifest somewhere else is very likely. While it may not be really known why Warner Bros. decided to pull the plug on The Trench at a time when they are looking to increase their DC output, at least James Wan isn’t worried that his ideas for the movie will completely go to waste.