It's been an extremely rough year for the DCEU. The sequel to Shazam! and the solo outings of The Flash and Blue Beetle all underperformed. And even superhero movies as a whole seem to have taken a backseat to the unstoppable power of Barbie and J. Robert Oppenheimer.
Into this dark era comes a splash of much-needed lightness. While the original Aquaman film certainly wasn't great, it managed to balance its world-threatening plot with humor and colorful costumes. That blend (as well as not having to compete against a Star Wars film) made it more than $1 billion worldwide.
With director James Wan and star Jason Momoa returning, it looks to deliver more of the same. Also back are Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson and (sorry, haters) Amber Heard. And Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, whose star has only risen in the interim, will try to get his revenge as Black Manta.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom arrives in theaters on December 20.