WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Aquaman, out in theaters on December 21.
Eagle-eyed viewers may notice a very familiar horror reference relatively early in James Wan's Aquaman as a clear nod to the filmmaker's previous work with the popular Conjuring franchise.
Laying on the ocean floor as Arthur Curry and Mera enter a sunken ship to talk to Vulko, the creepy, porcelain doll Annabelle can seen discarded at the bottom of the sea.
"Maybe Patrick Wilson is really Ed Warren pretending to be King Orm?" laughed Wan in an interview with Cinema Blend when asked about the Easter egg, jokingly referring to Patrick Wilson appearing prominently in both films as different characters. "I'd like to see that film, how about that?"
Annabelle was first seen in Wan's 2013 film The Conjuring as a demonically possessed doll confronted by Wilson's paranormal investigator Ed Warren. In an instant hit, the doll would receive its own spinoff in 2014 detailing its haunted origins before receiving another prequel, Annabelle: Creation, in 2016, with a third Annabelle spinoff currently filming for a 2019 release with Wilson reprising his role as Ed Warren.
Directed by James Wan, Aquaman stars Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Amber Heard as Mera, Patrick Wilson as Ocean Master, Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta, Temuera Morrison as Thomas Curry, Dolph Lundgren as Nereus, and Nicole Kidman as Queen Atlanna. The film opens on December 21.