Aquaman is a 2018 American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, it is the sixth film in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). The film was directed by James Wan from a screenplay by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall and stars Jason Momoa as Aquaman, with Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Nicole Kidman in supporting roles. In the film, Aquaman sets out to lead the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, replacing his half-brother, King Orm, who seeks to unite the seven underwater kingdoms against the surface world.
Development began in 2004 but did not gain traction until Man of Steel was released in 2013. In August 2014, Beall and Kurt Johnstad were hired to write competing scripts. Wan signed on as director in April 2015, and in July 2016, the film moved forward with Beall's screenplay. The main cast was confirmed through 2016 and early 2017. Principal photography began in Australia in May 2017, taking place at Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast, Queensland, with additional production teams in Canada, Italy and Morocco. Filming concluded the following October. Several vendors provided visual effects, ranging from high-detail hair simulations to the creation of CG animals and locations.
Aquaman premiered in London on November 26, 2018, and was released in the United States on December 21. It grossed over $1.1 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing DCEU film, the highest-grossing film based on a DC Comics character (surpassing 2012's The Dark Knight Rises), the fifth highest-grossing film of 2018, and 20th highest of all-time. The film received praise for its tone, Wan's direction, visual effects and performances, but criticism for its dialogue, runtime and plot. A sequel, Aquaman 2, is set for release on December 16, 2022, and a spin-off, The Trench, is in development.