Aquaman is one of the most anticipated movies of the year and many comic book fans are wondering if this is the movie that can finally turn the Worlds of DC ship around. It’s Jason Mamoa’s first major lead role on the big screen, but there’s a lot of potential for both allies and enemies of Aquaman to show up. From the trailers released so far, we know that Ocean Master and Black Manta are the two main villains of the film. It looks like both Aquaman’s love interest Mera (played by Amber Heard) and his mother Atlanna (played by Nicole Kidman) have substantial roles in the film, but it’s tough to decipher which other characters might show up. It’s a busy, FX heavy movie, so in theory, almost anything is possible.
Adding to the excitement, mid and post credits scenes have become mainstays in both the MCU and Worlds of DC, often acting as essential scenes that tie extended universes and multiple movies together. The post credits scene in Justice League showed Lex Luthor recruiting Deathstroke for his own evil team, so it’s fun to speculate on whether or not he’ll return in Aquaman once the credits roll. Another question that remains to be answered is whether or not it was Aquaman who saved Superman from drowning in Man of Steel all those years ago. We’ll have to wait until the movie is out for those queries to be answered, but in the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the characters from the Aquaman franchise that we hope to see on-screen, and others that can stay submerged in the deep.
18 DON'T WANT TO SEE: DARKSEID
Some DC fans believe it’s only a matter of time before Darkseid makes an appearance on the big screen, and Aquaman seems like an unfortunate place to do it. His nephew Steppenwolf wasn’t able to secure the Mother Boxes at the end of Justice League, and there’s rumors that Darkseid will return to Earth to do it himself, similar to how Thanos vowed to finish the job at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
We know the plot of Aquaman focuses on the hero’s larger attempt to unite the Seven Great Citites of Atlantis to stand up to evil forces, but what forces are we talking about exactly? There’s already enough going on that we don’t need to see Darkseid yet, unless it’s long after the credits roll.
17 HOPE TO SEE: DEEP BLUE
Deep Blue is the daughter of Atlan and Tsunami. Considering her half-brother Ocean Master (played by Patrick Wilson) is obviously in the movie, it would be cool to see Deep Blue show up to complete the family dynamic. Her first appearance in comics was in Aquaman #23 back in 1996.
Working Deep Blue into the film would be a challenge, however, as one of her abilities is that she can breathe under water but not on land. We already know that around two-thirds of the movie takes place underwater, so fitting her into the action could be unlikely. Still, feuding family members always make for interesting storylines, so it would be neat to see which side Deep Blue would take if she was to appear in Aquaman.
16 DON'T WANT TO SEE: THE DEAD KING
Before being betrayed by his brother Orin the First, The Dead King was Atlan, the Greatest King of Atlantis, and father to Aquaman and Ocean Master. He turned evil when Orin hunted him down and ended his people, wife, and family. Atlan returned to destroy Orin and allowed Atlantis to come crashing down in the process.
With Ocean Master and Black Mantra already sharing the role of the antagonist in Aquaman, an appearance by The Dead King in movie would make it convoluted with villains. We’ve seen how negatively audiences sometimes react when’s there are too many characters to keep track of. Both Spider-Man 3 and Suicide Squad are classic examples of why it’s a bad idea to jam as many bad buys into two hours as you can.
15 HOPE TO SEE: WONDER WOMAN
At the end of Justice League, Diana Prince worked with Bruce Wayne to set up a new base for the team, while the other members went back to their daily lives. Aquaman takes place after Justice League, so there’s a slim chance they could show up in the movie. Yes, director James Wan has confirmed there won’t be any Justice League cameos in the main story, but it wouldn’t be the first time a director or producer has misdirected DC fans on purpose.
With Wonder Woman 1984 set for release in 2020, a mid or post-credits scene would be the perfect time to give audiences a tease of what’s to come. Rumors abound for Justice League and Suicide Squad sequels as well, so you never know what we’ll get once the final credits roll.
14 DON'T WANT TO SEE: THE THIRST
Despite being one of Aquaman’s greatest enemies, it wouldn’t make much sense for The Thirst to be in the Aquaman movie. The Thrist is a villain made up of old, dry river mud formed into the body of a human being. He’s the brother of the ancient Waterbearer goddess and he targets the idols who watch over the Secret Sea. Aquaman doesn’t have anything to do with the Secret Sea, so adding this element would make for a (literally) messy movie.
The Thirst appeared in the Aquaman comic series starting in 2003, but was destroyed when Aquaman surrendered control to the light of the universe. You can picture him on-screen looking like Sandman from Spider-Man 3, which, aside from the transformation scene, fans weren’t particularly fond of. Let’s just keep The Thirst buried for now.
13 HOPE TO SEE: LEX LUTHOR
In the Justice League post-credits scene, Lex Luthor escapes and hooks up with Slade Wilson (aka Deathstroke) to suggest starting his own evil group of bad guys, potentially the Legion of Doom. Since Black Manta seems to have a large role in Aquaman and he’s also a member of the Legion of Doom in the comics, this flick could definitely start laying the foundation for yet another ensemble movie about the bad guys.
A divisive casting choice at first, DC movie fans have come to like Jesse Eisenberg as the menacing bald-headed villain Lex Luthor. Aquaman follows Justice League, so there’s potential that Luthor will show up again in a post-credits scene or connect to the larger story somehow.
12 DON'T WANT TO SEE: BATMAN
Haven’t we seen enough of the Caped Crusader lately? Again, director James Wan stated that there are no other Justice League members in the film, but you never know. Last we saw Batman he was setting up a command center with Wonder Woman for the group.
The one major reason why it seems like Batman specifically won’t be in Aquaman is Ben Affleck’s status within the Worlds of DC. It seems like every other week we’re getting reports of his on-again, off-again relationship with the franchise, with the latest reports being that he’s no longer part of a new Batman standalone film. Affleck’s casting as the caped crusader has been controversial from the start, so why tease a new Batman story line when nobody seems to know if he’ll be back at all?
11 HOPE TO SEE: SHAZAM!
After Aquaman, Shazam! is the next DC film to have a firm release date and it’s coming up quick. There doesn’t seem to be much of a connection between the two properties though, other than the fact that Aquaman director James Wan co-produced Shazam! director David F. Sandberg’s last feature-length film, Annabelle: Creation. Furthermore, Sandberg reportedly moved to Los Angeles in 2015, so maybe there’s more to the connection that we know.
Aquaman stunt co-ordinator Kyle Gardiner also worked on Shazam!, so that’s one more link in the chain that could make it a possibility. The trailer for Shazam! is hilarious, so if Aquaman somehow manages to work in a Shazam cameo in the mid or post-credits scenes, it would sure to be a howl.
10 DON'T WANT TO SEE: THE FLASH
The stop-and-start nature of the upcoming standalone film doesn’t give us confidence that the Worlds of DC knows what to do with the speedy hero The Flash. The latest release date is projected for 2021, with the start of filming potentially delayed until late 2019.
Actor Ezra Miller, who plays the titular hero, has no doubt had his hands full as a supporting character in the Fantastic Beasts series, so it would be surprising if he’d found time to shoot anything for Aquaman. The Flash also relies on the Speed Force for his lightning fast quickness, so it’s hard to imagine that power working in an underwater environment. Furthermore, it’s understandable if comic fans are tired of The Flash’s on-screen presence in general, as they’ve already been subjected to five seasons of The Flash TV show, which airs on The CW.
9 HOPE TO SEE: DEATHSTROKE
With a quick appearance alongside Lex Luthor in the post credits scene from Justice League, Slade Wilson (Deathstroke) would be an interesting character to see on screen in any capacity. He looks pretty damn cool in full gear, boarding the yacht as Luthor states: “It’s time to level the playing field, Mr. Wilson. Shouldn’t we have our own League?”
Again, his appearance in a mid or post-credits scene in Aquaman would make the most sense, and will largely depend on which future film the Worlds of DC wants to tease next. Rumor has it that Aquaman will seemly beat Black Manta at the end of the movie, only to have the villain come back to life in a similar way to join Wilson and Luthor in their own wicked group.
8 DON'T WANT TO SEE: SUPERMAN
Henry Cavill’s future as Superman also seems to be in doubt, with no more standalone Superman films scheduled due to the box office disappointment of Justice League. When we last left Superman, he had been resurrected, helped the team defeat Steppenwolf, and returned to his job at The Daily Planet as Clark Kent.
The one question on everyone’s mind for Aquaman is if the movie will finally confirm the longstanding fan theory that Aquaman saved Kal-El in Man of Steel. Although it would be the perfect time to do it, referencing such a minor incident in the past seems like a moot point. In the moment, Superman’s rising to the surface of the water was chalked up to some friendly whales, so would it really make a difference now if it was something else?
7 HOPE TO SEE: CYBORG
As another Justice League member, it’s highly unlikely that Victor Stone (aka Cyborg) will appear in the main story of Aquaman. Obviously his cybernetic body wouldn’t bode well in an underwater environment. However, he did make a cameo in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice before becoming a main character in Justice League, so another teaser cameo would be neat to see.
To refresh your memory, we last saw Stone learning how to strengthen and enhance his powers with the help of his father in S.T.A.R. Labs, so we know Cyborg is alive and well. There have also been rumors of a standalone Cyborg film potentially arriving as early as 2020 that would focus on his origin story, so we hope the DCEU introduces that idea sometime soon as well.
6 DON'T WANT TO SEE: GREEN LANTERN
DC hasn’t had much success translating Green Lantern to the big screen. While Ryan Reynolds has luckily resurrected his superhero career as the foul-mouthed antihero Deadpool, fans aren’t exactly chomping at the bit to see another Green Lantern movie of any kind.
Strangely enough, there is a Green Lantern at the beginning of Justice League who joins the Atlanteans, Amazons, and Olympian Gods in fighting Steppenwolf and the Parademons. Green Lantern was planned to have a bigger part in a sequel, but now it’s doubtful that a second Justice League movie will ever see the light of day. You never know, but Aquaman seems like the wrong movie to correct the ship on this one, and two wrongs don’t make a right.
5 HOPE TO SEE: AQUALAD
There’s crazy potential for Aqualad, the young version of Aquaman’s longtime sidekick Garth, to show up somewhere in Aquaman. In the trailers, there are flashbacks featuring a young Arthur Curry, with one prominent scene depicting him being bullied at an aquarium of some kind. After a bigger kid pushes Arthur, he uses his powers to summon all of the marine life in the tank to give the bully a staredown.
It would be cool to see Arthur meet his young friend at this time, even if it’s only for a brief moment. Although he’s been around in the comics since the ‘60s, Aqualad is not a totally forgotten character either, having appeared in TV shows like Teen Titans Go! and Young Justice in the last decade.
4 DON'T WANT TO SEE: STEPPENWOLF
Steppenwolf’s time in the sun is up. He failed to collect all of the Mother Boxes in Justice League and was attacked by his own Parademons at the end of the film. Presumably, he’s still alive, but most DCEU fans don’t have any interest in seeing him again.
No offense to Ciaran Hinds (who played Steppenwolf), but the character wasn’t particularly interesting or memorable. There’s a very slim chance he could show up -- or at least get a mention -- if Darkseid does appear, but the unlikely he’ll be in Aquaman. That’s a good thing, because if the mid or post-credits scenes do want to set up a Justice League sequel, audiences will no doubt be looking for a new bad guy to anchor the movie.
3 HOPE TO SEE: DOLPHIN
Dolphin first appeared in the DC comics in Showcase #79 in 1968. In the early years, she was Aquaman’s love interest until his wife Mera returned from exile. Aquaman features some prominent interactions between Aquaman and Mera, so it will be interesting to see how deep the movie goes into their relationship. If the film explains how they came together, it could be possible that Dophin is mentioned or even has a cameo. It’s another longshot since it’s a fairly large role that we haven’t heard about, but it would still be cool to see.
Later, Dolphin becomes romantically involved with Tempest, the evolved version of Garth (who started as Aqualad), Aquaman’s long running sidekick. The two have a son named Cerdian, so there’s definitely potential for the family to show up in this or future Aquaman films.
2 DON'T WANT TO SEE: DOOMSDAY
This one would be incredibly hard to explain and doesn’t seem worth the effort at all. Doomsday showed up at the end of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, a Kryptonian monster created by Lex Luthor using a mysterious ancient ritual using General Zod’s corpse. Yes, it’s as stupid and confusing as it sounds. Superman destroyed Doomsday at the end of the movie, but also sacrificed himself in the process.
Doomsday’s appearance the first time made Dawn of Justice feel like a bloated movie, so his return in Aquaman would not only be illogical but also unnecessary. Without Lex Luthor, it would be next to impossible to explain how Doomsday could come back from the dead anyway, so he’s better off left in the past.
1 DON'T WANT SEE: THE FISHERMAN
The Fisherman has been used to describe a couple of characters in the DCU, but his true identity has never been revealed. He’s a secretive character who uses lures and hooks to snag his enemies, often stealing belongings to sell on the black market. He was supposedly ended in Gotham Central #37 in 2005, though it was later discovered that this was not the original character with that pseudonym.
We know that Djimon Honsou appears in Aquaman as The Fisher King, but this character almost certainly has no connection to The Fisherman, who we have no interest in seeing. We are very excited, however, to see how big of a role Honsou, Andrews, Nicole Kidman, Dolph Lundgren, Willem Dafoe, and others will have in the movie.