SDCC 2018: Worlds Collide in the Wild First Aquaman Trailer

The DCEU has seen some major battle sequences in the past, but this takes things to a whole new level. Warner Bros. finally dropped our first real look at the standalone Aquaman film after director James Wan teased it last week.  We expected to see bits of Arthur Curry’s origin and his introduction to the underwater kingdom that is rightfully his, and we got them. But by the end of the trailer we were promised an underwater war that could rival any that have graced the big screen before.

In the buildup, we see some scenes featuring previously released images: the warriors of Xebel on their sea dragons, facing off against those of Atlantis atop their great whites; Aquaman boarding a submarine; the two brothers, Arthur (Jason Momoa) and Orm (Patrick Wilson), squaring up with their multi-pronged spears. What comes after, though, is truly breathtaking.

Curry travels into Atlantis, a surprisingly high-tech underwater city that departs from the already-renowned aesthetics of Star Wars’ Otoh Gunga and Bioshock’s Rapture. Atlantis actually has a lot in common with Marvel’s Wakanda; it’s been hidden from humanity for ages and has engineered far beyond what the population on land is capable of. The trailer features the city’s coliseum (spot the Roman thumbs-down from the crowd), where Arthur and Orm battle for the throne. The fight quickly escalates from between brothers to between armies, resulting in what looks like the climactic battle in which the Atlantean forces and a tylosaur (a massive, swimming crocodile) charge into an army of terrifying giant-crab-things that weaponize lava.

The most stunning image of the trailer is a wide-angle shot of Aquaman and Mera (Amber Heard) descending into an ocean of razor-toothed creatures. Comics fans will recognize the hideous foes as the Trench, an isolated, cannibalistic species that apparently can get in a boat. Let’s hope they don’t go for the land next.

Finally, we can’t forget the other villain of the movie, Black Manta, who boasts an impressive awesomeness-to-screen-time ratio here. In our first look at the villain, portrayed by The Get Down’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen, he uses his deadly manta ray (pun most certainly intended) in an effort to obliterate Aquaman. It’s only a small slice of action, but we’re guessing that this secondary plot will take up a good chunk of the film’s scenes on land.

Find out if the rightful king can halt his brother’s land invasion when Aquaman hits theaters December 21.

Featured Image: Aquaman Poster. Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures.