In a recent revelation by James Wan, it has been disclosed that an original character from the first Aquaman movie will be notably absent in the upcoming Aquaman 2.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is set to make its debut in theaters later this year, following a prolonged and tumultuous production journey. The film has undergone numerous transformations over time, and now faces the added challenge of serving as the conclusion to the current era of the DC Extended Universe, just prior to the super-powered reboot helmed by James Gunn and Peter Safran.

However, there is optimism that the franchise could conclude on a triumphant note. Aquaman previously achieved the distinction of being the only billion-dollar earner within the DCEU, and it appears that most, if not all, of the elements that contributed to the success of the first film will be making a return in the sequel.

Aquaman 2 Will Be Missing One Major Character

According to James Wan, the director of “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” the upcoming sequel will exclude Willem Dafoe’s character from the first film.

Wan disclosed this information during an interview with Entertainment Weekly, accidentally revealing that Dafoe’s character Nuidis Volko would not appear in the sequel, saying, “Willem is not in this one, no. Part of the reason was because his schedule did not align with ours.”

While some may be curious about how Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry will manage without his mentor, Wan explained that Vulko’s absence allowed him to “enhance Atlanna’s role.” Nicole Kidman, who portrays Atlanna, is set to return in the sequel. Wan stated, “But what that allowed me to do was expand on Atlanna’s role. In this installment, Atlanna ultimately becomes Arthur’s advisor. Because Arthur is not from this world, she assists him in gaining a better understanding of the world and the intricacies of how things work.”

In the previous film, fans last saw Dafoe’s Atlantean character imprisoned by the villainous Orm (played by Patrick Wilson) after discovering his betrayal and aligning with Momoa’s titular hero.

Can “Aquaman 2” Thrive Without Willem Dafoe?

Although Willem Dafoe’s character played a crucial role in the plot of the first movie by aiding in Arthur’s transformation into the hero he became, the absence of the character in the sequel is not a catastrophic setback.

This is not the first instance of a major actor/character not reprising their comic book role after playing a significant part in a previous film. Marvel recently faced a similar situation with Daniel Kaluuya in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

Despite his vital role in the first “Black Panther” film, Kaluuya did not return for the sequel due to scheduling conflicts, and the movie still turned out well.

While Dafoe’s DC storyline may remain unresolved for the franchise (particularly as “Aquaman 2” marks a significant milestone in the DC Universe), it might be acceptable. Many other familiar characters are returning for “The Lost Kingdom,” ensuring that fans will have plenty to enjoy.

Moreover, Nicole Kidman’s Atlanna will now have the opportunity to fill the void left by Dafoe and play a more substantial role in this underwater adventure than initially anticipated.

“Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” is scheduled for release in theaters on December 20.