As filming and production get underway for Jason Momoa’s second solo outing as the titular Aquaman, what do we know about the lost kingdom of Necrus?
With production and filming now underway for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, fans are yearning for any clues about the film’s plot, and the movie’s production title of Necrus reveals a great deal about the lost kingdom. In an Instagram post last week, director James Wan revealed that the movie’s working title is Necrus, which shares its name with a kingdom that has made a limited appearance in Aquaman comics throughout history. Could this working title allude to a live-action appearance of the kingdom of Necrus, and its tyrant ruler Mongo, and could fans see more at this years’ DC FanDome event?
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Releasing in 2018, the first Aquaman film was released to massive global, financial, and critical success, and ushered in a new era for the DCEU off the back of other commercially successful entries into the franchise such as Wonder Woman and Shazam!. Directed by James Wan and starring Jason Momoa in the titular role of Arthur Curry’s Aquaman, the film introduced fans to the world of Atlantis and other kingdoms that lay beneath the surface of the Earth’s oceans. The film followed Momoa’s Aquaman as he teamed up with Amber Heard’s Mera to stop Patrick Wilson’s Ocean Master from uniting Atlantis and mounting a full-scale assault on the surface world. By the movie’s end, Aquaman had embraced his role as the rightful ruler of Atlantis and had secured a tentative peace.
With the second Aquaman film now in production, and focusing on a lost kingdom, could Necrus be that kingdom, and what might it mean that it is referred to as “lost”? The comic book history of Necrus can answer several questions, while speculation and educating guessing can offer a potential glimpse at more offerings from James Wan’s subaquatic sequel. Exploring more about the lost kingdom of Necrus could help unlock the secrets of the sequel, and we take a closer look to find out more.
Necrus’ Comics History
First appearing in Aquaman #30 (December 1966), the kingdom of Necrus is the second domed city to appear under the Earth’s oceans, after Atlantis. However, unlike the city of Atlantis, Necrus has a far more unstable status. Perhaps one of the more bizarre settlements in DC Comics’ extensive history, Necrus actually only exists on the material plane for a brief period of time when an alien satellite enters the Earth’s orbit. Earth’s magnetic field triggers a device that then opens up a hole in dimensional space, from which Necrus emerges. The city’s location in the ocean is also then dependent on the satellite’s position, as it can appear at any point on Earth. However, just as easily as Necrus can appear from a dimensional hole, so too can this mysterious city disappear.
Known throughout its history as “The Black History”, Necrus is ruled over by its tyrant king, Mongo. Ruling as a militaristic warlord, the society of Necrus largely follows suit and is inherently militaristic. The last time that Necrus appeared on Earth thanks to the alien satellite that controls its appearances, members of Mongo’s people slaughtered a surface outpost that was under construction. Following this act of violence, Atlantis then went to war with Necrus and argued that there can be continued acceptance of surface dwellers living beneath the waves; a story that Aquaman 2 could adapt. Though not a popular kingdom, Necrus has appeared in DC Comics and has been a thorn in Aquaman’s side.
Necrus’ Aquaman Villain Hint
Given the prominence of Mongo in Necrus’ societal hierarchy, it is likely that the Aquaman villain himself will feature in the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. So far, casting rumours are scarce but seeing Mongo on the big screen would need somebody that can command a fearsome and imposing figure, as well as pose a physical threat to Momoa’s Protector of the Oceans. Game of Thrones alumnus Pilou Asbæk could well fit this role.
Mongo himself has a great disdain for surface dwellers and takes an aggressive stance against all those who would dare venture beneath the waves. Mongo believes that the Earth’s oceans belong only to those who are able to breathe while underwater, and considers all others to be an invading force that must be met with hostility. So great is Mongo’s aggression towards the surface that he once tried to forge an alliance with Atlantis to fight against the surface world. In this particular storyline, Aqualad, Mera, and the Atlantean army successfully defended Atlantis after Aquaman refused to forge the alliance and was subsequently imprisoned by Mongo. The villain retreated to The Black City, mere moments before it faded from existence once again.
Is Necrus Aquaman 2’s Lost Kingdom?
Given the comic history of Necrus, it is very likely that this could factor into The Black City becoming the titular Lost Kingdom of Aquaman‘s sequel. As a satellite passes back and forth in and out of Earth’s atmosphere, it could be a trial of Aquaman’s speed and power to deal with Necrus before it becomes too great a threat. As well as its threat potential, there is also greater scope for globe-trotting travel for Aquaman, the powerful water-bending Mera, and others that may factor into this new story. Taking down another fellow Atlantean may pave the way for an Ocean Master return for Patrick Wilson in an unlikely and uneasy alliance, and there is still the lingering threat of Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s Black Manta who is keen for revenge on a number of counts.
Ultimately, it is nearly impossible to predict just how big an impact Necrus will have on Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, though it seems highly likely that it will be far more than a mere cameo or Easter egg given its status as the film’s working title. As Wan, Momoa, and the entire team get to work on creating what is sure to be another stellar entry into the rapidly-evolving and expanding DC Extended Universe from Warner Bros., fans everywhere will no doubt continue to speculate about what Necrus’ inclusion could mean for the hero and his allies, as well as for the surface world.
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