Be careful what you find in a Lost Kingdom.
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The King of the Seven Seas might have something much freakier to worry about than a brother with throne envy in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.

According to James Wan, who's returning to direct the sequel to his 2018 blockbuster Aquaman, this time he's taking inspiration from a campy Italian sci-fi/horror film from 1965.

"Aquaman 2 is very heavily inspired by Planet of the Vampires," Wan told Total Film recently. "You can take the boy out of horror, but you can never take the horror out [of] the boy."

Fortunately for us, the trailer for Planet of the Vampires is available on YouTube. It features leather-clad humans (whose suits look like prototypes for the original X-Men movie) who crash-land on an unfamiliar planet. Unfortunately for the space crew, that particular spot of the universe has a bunch of creepy creatures seeking host vessels.

Plot details for Lost Kingdom have yet to emerge, but as EW's Nick Romano noted back in June, the title seems like a signpost for the mythology of Aquaman and Atlantis.

We know from the 2018 film that Atlantis was once a super-technological kingdom, but things went awry and it sunk. It broke up into seven pieces, only four of which managed to make a go of things. Nothing, however, is known about the seventh kingdom that Orm (Patrick Wilson) mentioned in the first film, and it seems likely that's where Lost Kingdom is headed. 

Will Planet of the Vampires' influence on the Aquaman sequel leave Arthur/Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Mera (Amber Heard) finding the lost kingdom and then swimming for their lives? And how will Pilou Asbaek (Game of Thrones' Euron Greyjoy) fit in? Only time will tell.

Aquaman
Jason Momoa in 'Aquaman'
| Credit: Jasin Boland/Warner Bros.

In any case, Wan says fans will be ready. He planted seeds for them to be in the previous installment.

"The first movie took a lot of people by surprise, right? And that's partially because they were not familiar with the comic book, which deals in this very lurid, strange world," he said. "People were taken aback that I didn't throw all that stuff away and make a dark, heavy film. But I didn't feel that would have been right for it. So with the second film, I feel it will be easier for people to accept where we go because I've already laid the foundation."

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is slated to hit theaters Dec. 16, 2022.

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Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2022 movie)

Jason Momoa returns as the half-human, half-Atlantean king of the seven seas.

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