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The studio has tapped David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, who co-wrote the first movie, to begin penning a new installment, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
James Wan, who helmed the first movie and worked with Johnson-McGoldrick on The Conjuring 2, is making a deal to return as producer, as is Peter Safran. It is unclear at this stage whether Wan would return as director.
Aquaman opened in December to $67.8 million and has gone on to earn $1.12 billion globally. It is Warner Bros.’ first DC movie to pass the $1 billion mark since 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises.
The hiring of Johnson-McGoldrick finally gets a sequel into development, with a wait this long after a successful release a rarity in modern Hollywood. In some cases, studios begin to develop follow-ups even before a franchise picture rolls out. In many cases, it could be the Monday after a massive opening or that first week that studios and filmmakers come together to talk sequel.
But in Aquaman’s case, Wan was in no rush to jump back in (and still remains noncommittal to directing at this stage), and the studio did not want to pressure him or his collaborators.
Ironically, the studio had an easier time (just a bit) putting into development an Aquaman spinoff and hiring a writing duo to develop a horror-tinged project titled The Trench, which THR revealed last week.
Johnson-McGoldrick co-wrote the Aquaman script with Will Beall (Gangster Squad), with Geoff Johns receiving a story by credit along with Beall and Wan. He is repped by Paradigm.
The Wrap first wrote about Johnson-McGoldrick’s hiring.
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