The sudden success of “Aquaman” seems to have Warner Bros. Pictures thinking outside of the box in terms of brand expansion. A recent Hollywood Reporter article claims that the studio is working on a horror movie spinoff of the franchise that will take place in the dark underwater kingdom of The Trench, but Jason Momoa isn’t expected to star in the film.
The horror thriller will follow the same blueprint as James Wan’s previous horror hits; mostly keeping the budget low and maximizing on profits. The new spinoff will most likely not include any of the major actors seen in “Aquaman,” for cost reasons, and will probably bring on new talent to fill most of the roles. Wan has seen amazing success in the horror genre; his first “The Conjuring” film made over $319M worldwide on a $20M budget, and the sequel made $320M on an estimated $40M budget. The small budget films, like “Insidious” which had a $1.5M budget, made over $95M worldwide for the studio, while “Insidious 2” made $161M with a $5.1M budget.
James Wan co-produced and directed “Aquaman,” and his popularity in China is one of the main reasons why the film did so well overseas. Wan debuted “Aquaman” in China this year, making the country the first stop on the premiere tour. Wan is expected to produce this new spinoff as well, and the studio is most likely hoping to repeat the same release schedule. Peter Safran will also produce the project if everything goes according to plan.
According to early reports, Noah Gardner and Aidan Fitzgerald are working on the screenplay for the film, but Warner Bros. Pictures hasn’t made any official announcements at this time.
“Aquaman” stands as the top-grossing DCEU installment to date, having made over $325M domestically and over $1.1B worldwide. The film starred Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Nicole Kidman, and Patrick Wilson. “Aquaman” also got a Digital and Blu-ray release date this week, the film will be streamable in the spring.