Willem Dafoe has left the ocean, or something like that. According to a new report from industry insider KC Walsh, the fan-favorite actor will not appear in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, despite playing a major role in the previous film and cameoing alongside Jason Momoa‘s Arthur Curry in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Dafoe portrayed Aquaman’s mentor Nuidis Vulko, a chief Atlantean scientist and one of the hero’s foremost supporting characters from the comics. The former Spider-Man star was widely expected to reprise the Vulko role in the sequel, but Walsh states the story has other plans.
In response to an inquisitive fan on Twitter, Walsh made the claim that the friendly father figure will not only be absent from the film but will be snuffed out of the franchise altogether. Vulko will, supposedly, be killed offscreen at some point during the movie, ending Dafoe‘s time in the DC cinematic universe and stripping Aquaman of his most-trusted confidant.
Dafoe‘s journey as Vulko has been a bit strange from the start. He was originally cast in the role by Snyder for Justice League but saw all his scenes cut from the theatrical release. He eventually debuted in Aquaman before having his initial Justice League restored in the highly-demanded Director’s Cut.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is set to be directed by James Wan, returning from the first film. Momoa will be back in the title role, with Patrick Wilson also returning as his formerly villainous half-brother Orm Marius. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Dolph Lundgren, Temuera Morrison, Nicole Kidman, Randall Park, and Amber Heard are all expected to make a comeback as part of the cast.