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  • Why is Willem Dafoe's Nuidis Vulk not returning to Aquaman 2? James Wan breaks down the reason
A still from Aquaman (Image via DC)

Why is Willem Dafoe's Nuidis Vulk not returning to Aquaman 2? James Wan breaks down the reason

Aquaman 2 has artfully captured the imaginations of fans worldwide after the first trailer for the film hit the internet. The second installment of James Wan's film based around the superhero from Atlantis had a long and winding path before it arrived at its destination. The film was initially slated to premiere ahead of The Flash and Blue Beetle but will instead premiere on December 20, 2023.

The Jason Momoa-led franchise, which has already spawned one of the most popular DC films to date, will feature characters from the original film, including Temuera Morrison's Tom Curry, Nicole Kidman's Atlanna, Amber Heard's Mera, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II's Black Manta, and Patrick Wilson's Orm.


But the trailer did not depict one important character- Willem Dafoe's Nuidis Vulko, the Atlantean who taught the young Arthur the tricks of the trade.

In a recent interview with EW, James Wan revealed that Willem Dafoe could not return to the film because of scheduling conflicts. As such, the film missed out on one of the best actors to feature in the DC universe. However, it gives Wan something interesting.


"But what that allowed me to do was expand on Atlanna's role"- James Wan expands on the positive takeaway from Willem Dafoe's absence in Aquaman 2

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James Wan has been increasingly optimistic about almost everything around Aquaman 2, including the lengthy reshoots, which he claimed in a recent interview was a regular part of big-budget productions.

While confirming to EW about Willem Dafoe's absence in Aquaman 2, Wan expanded on how it helped him push Atlanna to a more central role, which, in a way, was a win for the film.

James Wan said:

"Willem is not in this one, no. Part of the reason was because his schedule did not work out for us. But what that allowed me to do was expand on Atlanna's role. Atlanna in this one ultimately becomes Arthur's advisor. Because Arthur's not from this world, she helps him better understand the world and the politics of how things work."

Wan also revealed to EW that the second film will take on a more "romantic" angle as Arthur Curry would be forced to team up with his feuding sibling, Orm, to face a bigger threat than ever.

Wan added:

"I always pitched this to everyone from the get-go. The first Aquaman was Arthur and Mera's journey. The second movie was always going to be Arthur and Orm. So, the first was a romance action-adventure movie, the second one is a bromance action-adventure movie."

Aquaman 2 will have plenty of differences to boast about when it finally premieres. The film's trailer also received a great reception from fans, with most praising its visual style and excellent art direction.

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In a year that saw most DC projects failing to take off, the Jason Momoa starrer may finally change the studio's fate. Amidst the uncertainty surrounding the studio, it is hard to predict if a third part of the franchise will ever make it to the screens.

Aquaman 2 premieres on December 20, 2023, in theatres.


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