We’re still months away from the premiere of Warner Bros.’ Justice League, where DC’s live action heroes (previously debuted via cameos in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice) will join forces to save the Earth. In a direct counter to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Warners is pushing the crossover film first, then the solo films will follow, with the exception of Wonder Woman, which releases 5 months beforehand. The next solo film will be Aquaman, from director James Wan (The Conjuring 2, Furious 7). Jason Mamoa, Amber Heard and Willem Dafoe will be reprising their roles as Arthur Curry/Aquaman, Mera and Atlantean scientist Nuidis Vulko, joined by Patrick Wilson as Aqua man’s half-brother Ocean Master, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta, with Nicole Kidman and Temuera Morrison as Aquaman’s parents Queen Atlanna and Thomas Curry.
According to an earlier report by THR, the film has added a surprising name to its cast: Dolph Lundgren, who will be portraying King Nereus, ruler of the underwater city of Xebel who “claims Mera as his own and wants to kill Aquaman,” which would seemingly make him another antagonist in the film. This won’t be Lundgren’s first for ray into comic book media, with his recent stint as Russian Mafia boss Konstantin Kovar on The CW’s Arrow and having played the title character in 1989’s The Punisher.
In the New 52 comics, Nereus is the former military leader of Xebel, a rival city to Atlantis made up of its former citizens. It is also the home of Mera, to whom Nereus was originally betrothed. After she was sent on a mission to assassinate Aquaman, she ended up falling in love with him instead and Nereus believed her to be dead, before encountering her much later. His insistence that she honor their marriage arraingment put him at odds with Aquaman, which should make for a compelling subplot for the film. It’s been a treat seeing him menacing Stephen Amell on Arrow, and with fellow 80s action stars Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell flexing their comic book muscles in Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 later this year, it was high time Lundgren got in on the fun.
Principal photography for Aquaman is slated to begin next month in Queensland, Australia with the film scheduled for release December 21, 2018.